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Many businesses still not getting social media

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While social media adoption has grown exponentially in Australia, surprisingly some businesses continue to lag behind.

According to a recent BRR Media survey into the social media habits of ASX200 businesses, 22% of top companies are not using any social media channels and 7% don’t see the value for their business.

A 2013 Sensis study revealed 65% of Australians use social networks and 45% of us log on daily. This is a very large pool of potential customers, clients and employees presenting a big opportunity for savvy businesses to connect.

Many Australian businesses have been quick to join their audiences on social media where they are most captive, engaged and active. They are taking advantage of the many opportunities social media presents by tapping into a number of key business areas including customer engagement, lead generation, customer service, employee engagement and corporate branding.

Is your business taking full advantage of the benefits of social networking? Here are the steps your business should take to adopt and make the most of social media.

1. Don’t let the risks lead to inaction

Is your company risk averse when it comes to social media? Assessing risk is an essential component of any social media strategy, but it shouldn’t become paralysing. After all, not participating on social media presents the much greater risk of your business falling behind.

By creating a robust social media strategy, good governance arrangements and effective monitoring processes, you will ensure the risks are mitigated and your social media strategy can be executed effectively.

2. Create a social media strategy

Through creating a social media strategy, you can ensure your social media activities are proactive, strategic and planned. A good social media strategy with detailed timeframes will help you to organise your workload, ensure accountability and manage time effectively.

A social media strategy should outline your goals and objectives, identify your target audience, outline your key messages, detail your tactics and timeframe and identify KPIs. It should also outline who will be responsible for social media management and how you will monitor and evaluate social media activity.

Your social media strategy should be a dynamic document which is continually updated and adapted according to what is working and what requires improvement.

3. Share great content

Social media users expect content which is valuable, educational and engaging. In turn, by posting this type of content users are more likely to share content; helping to grow your brand engagement.

Content marketing is a key industry trend on the rise. Think of your business as a content publisher.

Create new content which will resonate with your audience including articles, videos, audio or white papers, and unearth and repurpose your company’s old content. Through sharing great content, your business is given the opportunity to build your thought leadership, carve out your niche area of expertise and drive brand engagement.

4. Encourage engagement

Social media is a fantastic way to create conversations and drive brand engagement. However, often many companies make the mistake of broadcasting information rather than creating a two way dialogue.

Through asking and answering questions, responding to mentions and comments, and joining existing debates and discussions, your business can build a community around your brand. The payoff is an engaged and interested follower base which is more likely to trust you and remain loyal.

5. Measure success

It’s important to measure the success of your social media activities against your goals, objectives and KPIs. By monitoring and evaluating your success you can determine whether your social media activities are working and whether you are getting a return on investment.

A good place to start is by looking at your social media statistics. There are many social media monitoring tools available which can track social media reach, influence and engagement. Through analysing these statistics you will get a good handle on whether your strategy is successful.

The social media landscape is constantly changing and it is easy to fall behind. Only by adopting social media, staying abreast of change and making the most out of social media channels, can your business keep up and thrive.