Throughout my career, I have developed and described numerous internal company strategy, policy and process documents. With experience and practice, it became clear that a process will not stand time and change if it is not scalable and replicable. The same principles hold true for a social media marketing strategy; it must be a process that can adapt to growth over time and change.
New social media channels are popping up from left to right, especially for niche social media communities and geo-oriented business networks. To reach new prospects, you will need to continually expand your reach through the appropriate new networks. With every expansion, whether you’re launching your initial social media marketing campaign or launching into a new social media or space, there are four key considerations. This article does not go into the details of your social media game plan to include your business strategy, goals, and actions required to make this happen, but rather offers a repeatable approach that can be applied throughout the lifecycle of your campaign.
1. Start small
If you’re just venturing into the world of social media for your business or deciding it’s time to get serious about your social media engagement to really take advantage of this incredible marketing opportunity, take a step back, focus, and get started. little bit. It’s easy to get caught up in the possibilities of social media marketing and quickly jump into too many areas at once. Not only will this be overwhelming, it will dilute your campaign. Do some research or hire a specialist who can advise you to choose two or three social networks that are most applicable to your business. Set up your profiles, identify your target audience, and start building your presence on those selected networks, making sure you stay aligned with your business strategy.
2. Make yourself comfortable
Developing comfort and familiarity with social media forums and technologies is very important, especially if you are new to the social media space. You must be comfortable not only with the use of technology, but also with the interaction with your target audience. Your interactions should be natural and pleasant. A key benefit of social media is the ability to speak “to” your audience and not “to” your audience. You are sharing ideas and adding value to your potential customers and to your industry leaders. There are countless ways to connect with your audience based on your business and area of expertise. A little trial and error is fine. Taste the water, try different approaches, and be sure to track and measure the results so you can determine what works best.
3. Establish a routine
This can be a difficult area for many companies. Yes, it takes some discipline, but once you establish a routine that works for you, you will have consistency that is essential for social media. If you only post an update on Twitter once a week, post an article on your Facebook page every now and then, and reply to a discussion on your niche social network once a month, you’re not gaining visibility. The more you contribute, the more visible you are. Staying active and providing value will generate a return on brand influence or recognition, which in turn will generate a return on investment. The routine that works best will differ for each business and will depend on whether you are running the campaign alone or with the help of colleagues or a social media specialist.
For some, it’s better to group social media activities into one time of the day to focus on other tasks for the rest of the day. For others, it’s easier to build small amounts of time throughout the day to focus on a specific social network. There are some great tools for scheduling your posts ahead of time across multiple networks, like Hootsuite (my personal favorite) and Tweetdeck. This can save you time and help you maintain that constant level of interaction. Not all updates and posts need to be pre-scheduled, but incorporating some scheduled updates is good practice and also a great way to utilize the services of a specialist. By delegating some social media marketing activities, you will have more time to personally interact with your target audience by responding to comments and responding to discussions on a routine basis.
Once you’ve adjusted this process for two or three social networks, you can expand to new networks, but do your research first. You need to determine the best social networks or social media spaces where your business should have a presence. Maybe this time you want to reach niche communities. Maybe it’s time to venture into video marketing, a really exciting space in internet marketing with so much chance of going viral if you do it right. You may be ready to start your own social network. There are tools available to make this happen. Decide which social media should be next on your list and begin the process of developing your existing strategy starting from number one.
Whichever direction your campaign takes, by staying within the framework of these four considerations as you develop your strategy, you will maintain control and consistency, which are key to the success of every social media marketing strategy.
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