Are Your Foundations Firm? Building Your Social Media House.

Ever heard the story about the wise man who built his house upon the rocks, or the wolf who huffed and puffed to blow the house down? In both of these cases, the message is clear and one to be absorbed…set the right foundations and you’ll be left standing, but be foolish and take short cuts and you’ll come tumbling down.

Social media platforms are becoming some of our most valuable and powerful marketing tools and there is an increasing number of brands and businesses around the world signing up to them. However, the free account features of these services have led many companies to go into social media without counting the costs and ensuring it is backed with a strong strategy.

I’d like to remind you of the phrase “you don’t get something for nothing”? Ok, so maybe it’s not true in every scenario of life, thank goodness, but we know there’s usually a price to pay somewhere along the line and I believe that there is a price too of social media. This might not necessarily be in a clear monetary value, but there is a cost that you must weigh up before you commit.

Whether you are a homeowner or not, I hope my illustrations below will help guide you when it comes to building your social media strategy.

The parallels between buying social media and a house:

Solid Foundations:

Before building or buying a house you must always first ensure that you have set the solid footings and foundations, after all, what use would a house be if it all suddenly came tumbling down? The footings and foundations are what anchor and support the weight of the home and make it sustainable and long-lasting. This can also be said of social media.

Be Wise In How You Spend:

When buying a house, you need to be aware of your finances from the very beginning so that you spend wisely throughout the process. You want to be adding value to the property and know that your overall spend will ultimately bring you a return. There can be big rewards in real estate, just there can social media but you must monitor your finances and ensure you spend in the right areas.

Identify a Strategy/Plan:

Whether you are building a brand new structure or renovating an existing one, it is always important that you have an architectural and structural plan in place to guide you along each step of the way. Audits, reports, competitor analysis and getting to know your buyer/audience will all help you produce a home/social strategy that is right for you and your consumer.

Have The Right Builder:

You wouldn’t hire a builder without first receiving a recommendation or proof of their skills and experience and being reassured they’re up to the job. A good builder will take the time to know you; your goals, expectations and needs. There is value in someone passionate, truthful, and reliable who will be a good communicator throughout the project.

Have The Right Team:

Ensure you have a strong team of people around you, whether internal or external, to help and encourage you along your journey. A good team have the ability to work closely together and share skills and strengths in order to achieve the best. Some useful skills to have around include creative design, development, time management and organisation.

DIY:

You don’t have to outsource everything, keep yourself open to training. You know what they say about taking fish to the villagers or teaching the villagers to fish, there’s value and return in training!

The Functions of Each Room/Platform:

You wouldn’t put a washing machine in a bathroom, or at least I hope not, this same consideration must go into your social setup. What might work on Facebook, may not when placed on YouTube or Google+. Think about what the main use of each platform will be, who do you expect will visit and what do you have that will make them want to share their experience and return?

Use The Right Tools:

Ensuring you have the right tools and materials for the job is an essential part of both building a house and a social media presence and can make all the difference! We all know the saying “a workman is only as good as his tools”, and there is some truth in that. In the last few years there has been a massive explosion of social media tools and so to choose the right one is not always an easy task. My advice would be to keep an eye out for blogs that provide reviews and always ask for a demo/trial before committing that way you can be sure you understand what it has to offer you and how it works!

Have Insurance:

Despite having the solid foundations in place, unforeseen dangers outside of your control can still lie ahead. The best thing you can do is to make sure you’re protected and prepared.  Set some clear basic social media guidelines and a crisis management plan so that in the case of an emergency, everyone will know what to do and you know you’re insured.

Protect Yourself:

Keep it locked by setting up a strong password; keep it very exclusive, always know who has it and change it if ever you feel it has been compromised. Services like Hootsuite can be a really helpful way of providing different levels of access across a team without handing over the full reins or compromising security.

Moving In:

Congratulations … moving in is a special time, for you and your community!! It’s time to share all your hard work with your favourite people and customers. As a way to celebrate, why not offer a special promotion or discount to get people’s attention and integrate your social media efforts with your other marketing goals.

Keep Going:

Doing the groundwork, planning and building is the big bit over and done with but don’t think that it ends there. Your house is now the home you dreamed of however trends, styles, technology and people all change … there will forever be improvements to make and entertaining to do!

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Social media, just like house buying, can be the best thing you ever do and it will ultimately pay off if you do it right, but it does come with a bit of hard work! Don’t be put off by other people’s experiences and let this simple perspective help guide you through your social media journey one step at a time.

D&W love all things social and house renovating (with many of us having just gone through the new house experience). If you’d like to meet up and discuss either of these topics, or maybe you have your own examples to share, please get in touch with us on Twitter @DigitalandWise, use our contact us form, or call us on 0161 946 3895.

By 2018, 42.4% of world’s population will be plugged into the internet, with around 3.6 bn people able to access it at least once a month.
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