it's more than social media

With the buzz and excitement around social media and the vastness of it as a tool for promoting businesses, it seems not only have more and more companies adopted it, but more and more companies are claiming to be experts (this happens in every industry with every trend - educating yourself on the company providing the services and their background is key).

When embarking on social media, for your business or to build your brand, more often than not, the service you are provided is a content plan, options for services and a schedule.

Before you start, remember, social media is only part of the whole equation. If you think of social media as a promotional platform, a conversation platform or a place to run ads, but only engaging part of your whole marketing plan, you will likely end up with only partial results.

So let's look at social media as part of your whole marketing and business package. Every part of your communication should be focused, concise and integrated for impact but it also needs to respect the values of your brand and how they correlate to your consumer.

1. Understanding your market.

By understanding who your market is, your key audience and focusing in on what really matters to them, you will be better off figuring out what platforms suit your business better. ie: Business to business should consider a presence on LinkedIn, direct business to consumer may have better luck on Facebook, or depending on the visual ability and the youth, Instagram may be better or some of the up and coming social media platforms.

2. What is your story.

People often say their key differentiator is their customer service, this is an expectation not a differentiator - unless you are doing something so extraordinary that people cannot help but notice it.

Your story relates back to your brand beliefs, your why. If your brand is built around serving the needs of seniors, focus on that demographic, if your brand believes in human rights, environment or community, it should reflect that in your style of messaging and what you connect with. You cannot be everything really well, and if you want to stand out and communicate to the core of your customer, find out what your customer believes in or why they chose you, it can help you uncover their driving factor.

David Ogilvy recognized that cake mix only requiring water made housewives feel lazy, by adding the requirement of a single egg, they felt that they were actually making something for their family, their value was serving their family something they made, the egg made it feel more genuine.

3. Core consistency

Let's say your message is customer service, it is shouted from the r