It’s time – you’ve decided to formulate and launch your own social media campaign. Now comes the question of exactly how to do that.
You need to do your due diligence in order to figure out your resources and goals before you can roll out a successful social media strategy.
Remember that a complete social media strategy is not simply a vow to become more active on Facebook and Twitter. This is a complete package with the end goal of building your brand and building your business.
Here are a few questions to get you thinking in the right direction:
- What are your goals? How do they tie into your company goals?
- What are the best social networks to meet these goals?
- What is your target audience?
- Who is your ideal customer?
- How do you plan to draw and retain customers?
- How will ROI be measured?
- Will you outsource your social media or keep it in-house?
Now comes research. Check out a variety of social-media sites to determine which ones are right for you. When you’re looking at these sites, suss out your competitors while at the same time identifying your target audience. You’re then ready to start building relationships as you follow the online conversation. Which blogs and individuals are relevant to your business? Figure that out and make sure you know what they’re saying.
At this point, you’ll want to jump in and join the conversation. This includes fielding questions on LinkedIn and Yahoo!, joining Twitter chats and offering insight on forums and blogs. At the same time, you can bolster these relationships by including in-person interaction in your strategy. Meet with people offline, attend conferences, and make other personal gestures to give yourself a face behind the online presence.
Now that you’re part of the online community, it’s time to figure out how your efforts are paying off. Are your Facebook fans growing in number? Are you seeing comments increase? When it comes to conversations about your brand, is the chatter more positive or negative? How many contacts have you made? How much traffic is your website seeing?
All of these questions offer critical feedback as to whether your social media strategy is working, and in turn you can use this information to fine-tune your campaign.
Here’s where you engage in trial and error to find out what works best. As you continue to experiment, you’ll find out what’s worth your effort and what’s not. Keep in mind that social media is not a one-size-fits all. You need to tweak your own personal campaign in order to best suit not only your business, but yourself as the owner and operator.
Have you launched a successful social media strategy? What did you learn? I’d love to hear from you. Leave me a comment below or on my Facebook Page!