First of all, social media used on its own does not constitute an online marketing campaign. It was never designed to take the place of traditional marketing but, instead, complement it. Secondly, the "making it up as you go along" approach will never bring success to any small business wanting to increase its market share, whether in social media or otherwise. In order to be successful you need a plan based on a goal and a well thought out strategy of how to achieve it. So, how does your business approach this issue?
A very important aspect of increasing your brand visibility on social media is to be consistent with regards to your branding. It is always wise to take a cue from your logo. If it's primary colour is blue, it makes no sense to create a header in Twitter that is primarily red and a corresponding header in Facebook that is primarily green. A rule of thumb is to do the best you can with what you have. Regardless of where you display it, your brand should always be your primary consideration. Social media is supposed to be fun, so have fun with it. Get creative. Feel free to make people laugh or cry. Put a human face to your brand. Just remember that everything you do or say reflects on your brand and the public perception of it.
A common pitfall among many organizations is not having enough fresh and interesting content for social media. Strive for content that is relevant, current, and genuinely applicable to your audience today. In planning ahead and dedicating resources for your social media efforts, you will ensure that you dictate and direct the general direction and tone of the conversation. It’s critical to have a content calendar to organize when you’re going to generate content and manage when the content will be pushed out.
Decide how your business wants to connect with current and prospective customers. Is your brand voice personal or professional? Do you have resources for a two-way conversation, or will your strategy focus on broadcasting? The demographics of your base are also important here. How old are they? What is their gender? Further defining your audience will greatly help you tweak the choice of social network that works best for your audience.
My advice would be to allow customers to use social media to share their feedback. Always show appreciation for positive feedback with positive responses, and address negative feedback head-on albeit via email wherever possible. Don’t make the mistake of deleting negative posts. Instead, show your customers that they’ve been heard, apologize and accept responsibility, and when possible, use feedback to improve how you do business.
With a social media plan, you can take that first huge step into proper use of social media. Social media marketing can not only help your business grow stronger, but when utilized correctly on the most relevant network, it will bring you closer to the the most important connections in the world of business—your customers, fans, and followers.