9 Steps of Social Media Marketing

Social media isn’t just ‘chatting’ with your friends, it is a serious way to connect with your current, past, and future clients.

Many company’s don’t use it at all, or ones that are using it aren’t getting the full potential out of it. One really great place to be found is in a social arena where people can see that you really do take an interest in the people you serve through your business.

Social media is a powerful tool by which you can connect and market your business on a whole new level.

Getting started may take a little organization and there are a few action steps you can take to get you on your way.

1. Do you know who your target market is?
One common mistake made by so many small business owners is not really knowing who they serve. By opening your virtual net to ‘everyone’ will leave you putting out messages that will be of no interest to anyone.

Look at the demographic of people you commonly serve – or want to serve – and then make a short list (up to 10) of your focus.

2. Do you know what you want to achieve?
Are you looking for more branding, sales, increasing awareness, bringing back old customers, developing new relationships?

Are you increasing your engagement with your community or wanting to mend some old wounds?

3. Do you know what your message is?
When you get people listening to you its a good idea to have an interesting and informative message.

On social sites especially its great to be entertaining and vogue with educational information and useful material. Be your clients ally and help them out where you can. They will appreciate it.

4. Do you know what your competitor is doing?
Whether you are building a website or setting up your social media strategies, it is absolutely necessary to know what your competitor is doing.

Find out what they are doing, do more, and do it better.

5. Do you know who will be managing your social network?
Consistency is key. Engaging and interacting with your ‘followers’ is very important. There are certain times of the day that can be more effective for different offers or topics.

6. Do you know where your audience is during certain times?
Whoever you choose to manage your social networking opportunities make certain they ‘speak well’ for your company and they consistently put out useful information.

Don’t sell all the time – that’s a good way to lose ‘friends’.

7. Do you know the rules on the social site?
Also it is necessary to know and follow the terms of service for each social site. Just because you see one company doing something (like having a contest) doesn’t mean that the way they are doing it is within the policy.

Not following policy is a good way to lose your account. Yes, social networking sites are free, but if you lose an account after building a relationship with 1000’s of followers – losing that FREE site gets expensive in terms of loss.

8. Do you know what social sites you want to start with?
It’s probably a good idea to start with one and get a good momentum going before concentrating on another.

As well, once you have a good rapport with your clients on one social networking site, you can invite them to join you at your other sites too.

The top ones are Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.

There are several good tools that will help you tie in your website, social media, and networking efforts.

One hint though – even though you are concentrating on one social platform at a time, its a good idea to make your claim on all of them at once so you have consistency in your Branding.

9. Do you know what is considered a successful campaign?
Setting up a tracking sheet to measure different actions will help you to decide on the success’s of various campaigns.

If your focus of a campaign was to gather more followers and likes, then you measure how many likes you get.

Perhaps you wanted to send people to a particular sales page on your website, those clicks and visits need to be tracked.

Tracking is the method by which you can decide on the success or failure of a campaign. In that respect no campaigns are really failures as they all have valuable information; provided the correct methods of statistical analytics are taken.