Creating an effective Social Media strategy for your company can be a daunting task. But with a specific plan and resources it can be accomplished. Therefore, before launching into the deep trenches, I’d like offer the following do-it-yourself tips to help you organize your thoughts, as well as, develop and execute your plan:
1. Know your ultimate goal. What is it that you’re seeking to accomplish? Are you seeking to gain new customers for your product or service? Are you seeking to expand brand awareness or provide customer support? Or is it a combination of all of these things? If it is that’s fine. But you must know your ultimate goal in order to achieve any of the above. Developing your end game strategy will help you stay on task and focus as you begin to execute your social media game plan. This way you won’t waste your time or money.
2. Pick One Social Media Network to Master. The ugly truth is that you can’t master every Social Media networking site. My advice is to pick the one that you love the most and master it. Then use the others as filters to disseminate your content. Today there are so many apps/programs, such as TweetDeck and Hootsuite, that you can use to automate this process. It simply makes sense not to waste your time trying to master all of them.
3. Create a Content and Marketing Strategy that Supports Your Ultimate Goal. With Social Media remember that content is king. It rules the day. Content is everything from your daily posts or tweets, to your blog posts, to your engagement pieces/contests to your videos, audios, books, e-books, e-courses, etc. A good example of a content strategy would be if you’re an author who want to sell more books, you can break the book into more bit size pieces and re-purpose the content to attract more book sales. The idea here is to give the people a little and they will want a lot.
4. Post Links to Your Social Media Network Sites from Your Main Website. Your website or blog should have social media icons that link to all of the social media networking sites that you belong to. This makes it easy for those individuals that visit your website to connect with you via social media and it also gives you the opportunity to expand your viral reach by tapping circles or tribes.
5. Add Social Media Share Buttons to All of Your Blog Posts and Newsletters. Every time you create a blog posts or send out a newsletter you should include social media share buttons. This helps to expand your viral reach as your friends, fans and followers begin to share your content to their social media networking base.
6. Visually Link Your Networking Sites. What I mean by this is use the same graphics/logos on your social media sites that you use on your website. That way when someone goes to your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter, they shouldn’t see something drastically different from your homepage. If you don’t know how to make the connection visually, then hire someone from either guru.com or elance.com or fiverr.com to make that happen for you.
7. Stay in Present and Relevant. Don’t set up your social media networking profiles and pages only to disappear for months at a time. You want to keep people coming back for more and more. Give your fans something to expect on a regular basis.
8. Track and Analysis your Efforts. You will know what’s working for you in your social media strategy when you begin to track your results. This tracking can come in many forms, but at the very least you can use source codes to identify where your traffic is coming from and you can use web analytics to see what types of piques you had in traffic with specific posts. But don’t just limit yourself with numbers. If you’re a speaker and get more speaking engagements or more phone calls for clients then you will know that what you’re doing is working, especially when they inform you that they found out about you from Twitter or YouTube.
At the end of the day, understand that it doesn’t matter how many FB Fans or Twitter Followers you build none of them belong to you. Facebook can shut down or shut you down and so can Twitter. Therefore, your ultimate goal is always to move your friends, fans and followers out of social media, to your own website, on to your list and into your pocketbook. If you follow this simple formula you will can’t go wrong.