The top five best practices of social media for business, part two of two

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By Alexandra Reid

In a previous post, I outlined the first three of the top five best practices of social media for business. In summary, it is important that you research and develop a social media strategy, dedicate enough time and resources and remember the three R’s: Respect, reflect and respond. In this post, I discuss the remaining two.

4) Measure your social media activities to determine business value

In measuring your social media efforts, it is imperative that you begin by establishing your goals or benchmarks. There are no universally applicable benchmarks to strive for, only your own aspirations for establishing or furthering your brand through social media. Without clear benchmarks, you have no way of determining what kind of data you need and have nothing to compare your data against.

Most businesses are interested in measuring how their social media presence has contributed to an increase in leads, sales, brand awareness and loyalty, and how it has aided their customer service. This is accomplished by analyzing the results provided by measurement tools. A simple Google search will turn up a plethora of measurement tools that can measure your social media account’s total page views, connections, engagement, referrals and conversions. I will discuss how to analyze this data to compare your businesses’ social media success against benchmarks in an upcoming post.

5) Follow through once you’ve started and stick with it

You’ve set up your social media accounts and tried your best to establish a presence but for whatever reason failed to succeed in hitting your benchmarks. Let me make one thing very clear: This does not mean it is quitting time. Abandoning your social media accounts without providing a reason will appear to your community that you are ignoring them and reverse whatever advancements you have made in developing a positive reputation for your brand on this channel. An outdated business blog or Twitter account conveys that your business is having difficulty managing its social media interests and staying on top of key issues in your space. Because your foray into social media was well planned and well thought out, your community active and well defined and your business processes aligned with keeping content current and relevant, your reasons for ceasing communication on this channel should be compelling to your community. If you were persuaded that social media was going to help build your profile, and provide you with a good communication channel with your audience, what changed to convince you otherwise? Perhaps your experience would make for a useful case study on social media.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with these points? Are there other practices that you think should have made the top five?

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