There are a few simple principles to keep in mind when using social media to manage reputation and generate growth for your organization. The first order of business is not to be overwhelmed. It’s not about reaching every person in the world. Nor do you have to post to your social media accounts every hour of the day. The ideal approach is knowing how and when to reach existing and potential customers and convert that engagement into action or sales.

Conducting a Discovery Session

The starting point is building a thoughtful baseline profile that shows you’re a complete and legitimate company. Typically that requires a discovery session to identify the brand personality. That’s how you identify the most important features and benefits of your organization. From there, it is much easier to determine what kind of visual image and content you want to represent your organization. That branding should be consistently presented across all the social media platforms you choose to use.

The reason this phase of social media development is so important is that people are now so accustomed to using social media it is one of the first places they look to find out more about your organization. If they search for you on Facebook or another platform and find what amounts to an inactive account with no recent content, they are apt to feel you are less than a legitimate or complete organization.

Sharing your story

But be cautioned: Direct selling is not what social media is actually all about. It is more about building a relationship with people so that they feel trust in your organization. That’s why they come to investigate you on social media.

The better method is to share the story of your organization in a manner that helps people understand who you are and why they should care about you. That’s why so many social media strategies include posts with people and faces. Social media is about people connecting with other people. Research shows that people actually do 8-10 searches before making a buying decision. They may look for your Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin profiles even before visiting your website.

Seeking the right audience

While that organic content is important, the next level of engagement you want to employ when seeking the right customers is paid social media. That’s where you can target customers and refine what you get out of social media investment. Paid social enables you to profile the customers you most want to reach. That does two important things. It touches people with a pre-existing interest and lets you truly target your social content and messaging.

Benefits of paid social include:

1. Reaching the right people

2. Engaging them at the right time

3. Communicating in the right voice.

If you are looking to grow your business, an investment of 30% is typically necessary to drive real traffic and conversion. That’s how you branch out and bring in new customers.

Susan MacNicol is founder and president, and Tami Wloch is director of social & digital media of Strategic & Creative Marketing Inc. in Aurora, or

About Strategic & Creative Marketing, Inc.:

Aurora, Illinois-based Strategic & Creative Marketing, Inc., is a full-service marketing firm established in 2001, and experienced at working with small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. The firm holds a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification and a Women Owned Small Business Certification (WOSB) issued by Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). The firm’s team has created and implemented national, regional and local marketing and recruitment marketing campaigns. Creative tactics are based on carefully-crafted marketing plans and strategies first, and include print and on-air ads, social media paid ads and organic campaigns, trade shows, emails, video, public relations and promotions. Owner and President Susan MacNicol leverages 25 years of corporate marketing experience in the U.S. and globally to ensure that campaigns are integrated, backed by data and have the most compelling message reaching the right target market through the most effective tactics. MacNicol and Director of Social and Digital Marketing Tami Wloch speak and train locally and globally on all aspects of Marketing, including Social Media, Employment Branding and more. For more information, visit

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