10 Best Tips to Jump Start Your Social Media Program

Powerful social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are presenting retailers with new ways to engage with customers and extend their brands. But is Twitter right for my business or does it reach the wrong customer segment? How can I leverage YouTube and tap into viral marketing? What functions do I need on my Facebook page? These questions are just a few of many retailers are struggling to answer. Here are 10 key steps and best practices to help retailers jump start their social media programs right now.

Based on research and conversations RIS has had over the past year with key innovators, marketers and executives the RIS team has pulled together a comprehensive Social Media Accelerator Kit to help companies avoid pitfalls and succeed in social-media channels. The kit is an in-depth resource that provides:

>Real-life best practices and tips/tricks for succeeding in social-media channels
>Steps for developing and executing your social-media strategy
>An example social-media policy guideline for your organization
>Best practices for measuring your progress and success

Here are 10 tips and tricks from the kit retailers can leverage now.

1. Start with a clear, written social media mission: Elements of this mission document include defining corporate objectives, how to enhance and protect the brand, and how to judge success.

2. Selling, influencing or both?: The answer to this question will influence everything from creating Facebook pages, launching customer groups and methods of engagement.

3. Position your company as a thought leader: In addition to creating a social marketing team, retailers should get their best employees to use social media tools to influence followers, employees and the marketplace as a whole about trends and issues impacting the retailing.

4. Extend customer/technical support: Twitter, Facebook, and wikis provide companies with powerful tools that should be used to extend the reach and effectiveness of their customer/technical support operations.

5. Promote two-way communication: Your thoughts and ideas are just as important as what others are saying. The idea of the engagement is to contribute and build a dialogue.

6. Set strict branding guidelines: Retailers must set clear guidelines for precisely how employees need to represent their brands to their customers and the world.

7. Get your customers to become advocates of your brand: Deploy techniques that help you convert customers into advocates that promote your brand to their friend and followers.

8. Develop, build and grow your follower base: Don't aim for quantity, but instead build a list of high quality followers.

9. Check to see if social media is driving traffic to your site: Look at your analytics tools to see how much traffic social-media postings are driving to your site. Analyze referrers.

10. Develop conversion metrics: When developing success metrics, define important KPIs that align with overall corporate goals.

RIS News' Social Media Accelerator Kit is available now. The executive summary and table of contents can be found by clicking here.

For related content, see:

Shorten Your Social Media Learning Curve: Part 1

Shorten Your Social Media Learning Curve: Part 2

To learn about how social media is revolutionizing the workforce, attend this upcoming RIS News Webinar.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds