Category Archives for "Social Media"

social media strategy and integration

Necessity – Not a Luxury: Digital Integration With Social Media

So you have a social marketing campaign running.

But just having one is not enough.

We’re talking about digital integration: the art of coordinating all of your marketing efforts in order to present a unified and consistent brand to the consumer throughout all of your marketing channels.

So, how do you make sure that your social media offerings are productively integrated with your other digital assets? We’ve got some tips for you today.

Coordinate your social media profiles

One of the first steps is simple enough to be a no-brainer, but people continually seem to get it wrong: you have to keep your social media consistent within social media. This means stretching your brand across each outlet, only allowing for minor variations in theme or context if they’re appropriate for the channel.

Make sure that your color scheme, profile photos, and other details are as consistent as possible. Then, use a tool like TweetDeck to coordinate and schedule your posts to make sure your profiles march in lockstep.

Social media is not an Island

The first rule of digital integration is that no effort is unilateral, and no effort is made in a vacuum. Your efforts on social media are just as much a part of your marketing efforts as any other.

This means that in addition to making sure all of your social media accounts are productively linked, but they should be directly tied to your website or websites, your email marketing, and your search advertising campaigns. Everything needs to be coordinated.

Take your landing pages to the next level

So you’ve got your bespoke landing pages for your paid search campaigns. But do you have them set up for your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media accounts? It turns out that this is very useful, and each media channel needs a slightly tweaked landing page to do its job in the best possible way.

This is basically a continuity problem: since your ads look different on each media channel, the landing page needs to change, too. This is because you don’t want to surprise your users or accidentally make them think you’re taking them for a ride. They need to feel comfortable!

For E-Commerce, consider using tools like Shopify’s Facebook stores so that your landing pages sit on your social profiles, thus eliminating the possibility for click attrition.  Once more sales channels are brought into the social media world, landing pages can exist on social profiles, increasing impulse buys and, of course, profit.

Digital integration with social media: no longer a luxury

Once you’ve managed to comprehensively integrate your social media accounts with the rest of your marketing, consumers will be able to travel through your brand channels totally comfortably, without feeling lost. This comfort should translate to increased brand trust, and hopefully, increased conversions.

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Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. He has  contributed articles to Visual.ly, Entrepreneur, and TechCrunch. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas, or you can reach him at NickAndrewRojas@gmail.com

create a social media strategy

Don’t Get Social Without a Social Media Strategy (Facebook)

According to TechCrunch, over 30 million small businesses have active pages on Facebook.

Facebook also reports there are over 645 million views on local Facebook pages with over 13 million comments. It’s easy, and free, for business to get started on Facebook, but that also means you’re in stiff competition to attract a loyal audience. Fortunately it’s not difficult to plan and execute a Facebook social media strategy that works for your business.

Here are some tips to get started:

Setting Up Your Account

Dive into Facebook by creating a business page. Simply log in to your personal account and establish your presence. Follow the prompts and ensure you categorize yourself appropriately so customers can find you. Once you go through the basic set-up, thoroughly fill out your “About” section of your page and add more about your business, website, how to get in touch and some photos.

Establish a Posting Frequency

Don’t just sit back and wait for customers to start commenting, you may never see any traction. Post articles, news, photos and trivia questions to get some activity on your page. Brainstorm with your staff to figure out your posting frequency by determining what times of day your target audience is probably the most active.

Some companies like Walmart post early and often to attract a loyal following.

Meanwhile, Starbucks posts plenty of product photos but their content is sparse. Surprisingly, both strategies work for these conglomerates. In Starbucks’ case, customers seem to pay more attention when there are updates because they’re infrequent. For Walmart, customers get involved through the regular updates and always have the retailer on their social media radar.

Add Photos and Videos

Uploading product photos and videos are a good way to establish a brand with your customers. But there are more ways to post photos and videos than simply uploading a shot of your latest release. Instead, ask customers to upload content in front of your store or holding your products.

Ask people to write in funny captions for their own photos, or to create their own caption for an image you recently uploaded. Give away coupons and freebies to entice your audience to keep engaging and spreading the word about your company. Give bonus prizes for customers who upload a video testimonial.

Make It Useful

Turn your Facebook presence into a resource for customers looking for useful information and tips. For example, the LifeLock Facebook page frequently posts news and articles on identity theft protection that expand past their own brand. LifeLock also posts updates from their blog, like tips on helping seniors avoid scams.

You can also make your Facebook page useful by offering content your customers can’t find anywhere else. Offer coupons, insider sales information and host a free video chat that targets your customers

Encourage Testimonials

Encouraging testimonials means taking the good with the bad. Don’t censor customers who had an unpleasant experience with your company. Instead, encourage unsolicited feedback to gain trust with new customers who want to balance the pros and cons of using your services or buying your products.

Bare Minerals takes a largely hands-off approach to their Facebook page and lets consumer feedback drive traffic.

With over one million likes, the company’s approach is working. They also post frequent sales, updates on events and new product releases to keep their engaged audience informed.

Get Organized

It’s easy to get swept away in the excitement of social media and quickly get lost in the details. Stay organized by creating a social media content calendar. Hootsuite offers examples and tips on how to create one along with downloadable examples.

You can also use the site to schedule your posts for days, weeks and months in advance across all your channels from Facebook to Twitter and Google Plus.

3 Big Financial Services Social Media Marketing Rules You Must Not Miss

Social media is massive in terms of impact

Nearly every company has a social media presence.

It is a great way to connect with new clients and continue to develop relationships with them (high net worth prospects, for example). However, those who work in the finance industry may be a bit hesitant to get started. That is because of a set of rules published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority–known as FINRA.

Plus, add a little bit of “social media usage confusion”, and it’s enough to stop anybody in their tracks.

These rules are put into place to protect consumers and businesses in the industry. Unfortunately, these regulations can make it hard for financial planning services companies to begin developing a social media presence. These tips will help you when you get started with social media.  It is a way to reach out to your prospects and continue to build trust with existing clients.

1. Establish a social media policycan-social-media-work-for-financial-services

You need to make certain every involved employee (including you!) understands exactly what the social media platforms are used for and how to stay within the guidelines of FINRA. Additionally, go over your policy regularly. Since social media is rapidly changing, you may need to make changes on a regular basis.

2. Inspect social media rules and keep documents current

FINRA requires that each a firm’s written communication is subject to routine inspection (FINRA official). Because of this, it is vitally important that you keep documentation of how social media is being used as well as a listing of URLs of all accounts. There are further requirements; looking further into this section of the regulations can help you better understand what records must be kept.

3. Testimonials are off-limits, but…

It is important that you not make recommendations or suggestions for clients on social media platforms. And, clients cannot boast about your company, and share pages. Because of this, it may be best to use a “soft-sell” approach to social media. A chatty and personal approach that only mentions your services in passing both makes your business approachable and helps avoid making a mistake with regulations. And, when you add education and information marketing to the mix (without the sales hype) it will help to build your reputation. Over time, you’ll attract higher quality clients and more of them if done right.

As a business in the financial sector, you cannot be too careful when working with social media. However, it is an important way to connect with your customers and the “next frontier” of marketing.

Therefore learning how to utilize it without overstepping the regulations put into place by FINRA is vital. The biggest piece of advice is to start slowly and always be vigilant. If you are careful, your social media profiles can be a very positive addition to your company’s online presence. And, you should follow the ‘regular’ online marketing principles of research, analysis and content updates. That includes learning from top wealth management advisors.

In summary

Subjects you need to consider when using social media for your financial services business are:

  •     SEC and FINRA rulings and regulations
  •     Social media marketing strategies for FSI (these must be planned, and built out over time)
  •     Social media policy standards and employee usage
  •     Plan of action for social media policy management
  •     Defining ROI and objectives of social use

Examples: Financial Services Companies That Are Doing Well Using Social Media:
Financial Services Companies That Get Social Media
5 Ways Financial Services Firms Can Use Social Media
Best Use Of Social Media For Financial Services
ps-one-more-thing
P.S.

We have been working in the financial services industry for many years now. But, we often see owners and asset managers shying away from social media. They are afraid of getting into trouble. If done right and within compliance rules, social media can help lift your brand and overall visibility.

What do you think?

Social Based Lead Generation – 5 Tips You Should Know

Social media is a treasure trove of lead generation, and many marketers are catching on to the possibilities. According to an infographic by Wishpond, 77 percent of business-to-customer marketers say they have used Facebook to acquire a customer, while 34 percent say the same thing for Twitter. Meanwhile, LinkedIn has proven to be 277 percent more effective than either Facebook or Twitter, according to the infographic. Despite these strong returns, many marketers and business professionals are unsure of the best methods for extracting this value from their social presence. If you’re wanting to turn your social platforms into a wellspring of leads, here are five essential tips.

Start a Conversation

The primary value of social media is communication. For businesses looking to generate leads, this often entails starting and encouraging conversations with prospective consumers. Interactions with online users and their engagement with your social properties can be part of the process of producing a qualified lead. Even one-on-one conversations can have value because of their highly visible nature — on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms, conversations between a business and a potential lead can be seen by other users and increase your company’s exposure, according to Social Media Examiner. And if you’re engaging customers in a positive manner, your superior customer service will continue to bring in leads.social media leads globally

Invest in Social Advertising

For many businesses, lead generation involves paying other companies to produce qualified leads on customers. But many businesses don’t have the financial resources to make this type of investment. An insurance company, for example, might have a limited advertising and lead generation budget, but the success of that business still depends on gathering the best insurance leads available.

Fortunately, social media makes some of this lead generation both easier and more affordable. Social advertising on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms has been developed to provide cost-effective advertising options even for small businesses, according to SteamFeed. And because the targeting metrics of these social platforms can be used to refine your ad exposure, the ads can help businesses generate leads among their most likely consumers. Invest in social ad campaigns scaled to fit your budget, and strong leads should come your way.

Use Prominent Link Placement to Bring Social Users to Your Website

Social properties can generate their own trickle of leads for businesses if they drive traffic from those profiles to your website. Most businesses geared toward generating online leads have websites that feature landing pages, fillable forms and other features designed to appeal to consumers and take in information. SteamFeed recommends building social profiles and pages that prominently feature links back to your website, whether you’re trying to drive traffic to landing pages or other properties. Effective link placement will be easy for consumers to find and use, resulting in greater website referrals and an organic stream of leads.

Streamline Your Web Presence for Mobile Device-Convenience

It can never be overstated that social media and business networking is becoming increasingly more of a mobile experience. Having your website optimized for mobile devices is of utmost importance. And with significant differences in usability between devices — both smartphones and tablets — understanding how your audience connects to your site and social properties is a critical first step. Keeping your site’s technology current is also key as cellular providers are making it easier and easier for users to upgrade. For example, T-Mobile’s JUMP program gives smartphone users the ability to switch devices, and stay current, at any time for an added $10 a month. With each smartphone model offering a slightly different user experience, business owners must pay attention to the target audience and the platforms they’re using to connect.

Activate Your Followers

As Business2Community notes, social media users are typically focused on other interests than making purchases. But this isn’t as big of an obstacle as it may seem for lead generators, because lead generation doesn’t require a purchase. In that sense, businesses can craft content that offers a call-to-action because the immediate goal isn’t transactional — it’s all about opening up a greater line of communication, which social networking is ideal for. When you post and share content — or even put it on your website — include a call-to-action that appeals to your social followers. This simple addition to your social posts can encourage greater engagement and organic leads for your business.

photo credit: woodleywonderworks | cc

how to use social media competitive advantage 2014

How to use Social Media As Your Competitive Advantage in 2014

The past few years have seen the explosion of social media not only in terms of growth and participation, but also in terms of business opportunities for any and all entrepreneurs. While this has been said many times over by so-called experts in the field, not many understand how social media platforms can best serve their business interests.

Nowadays, social media presence is as important as one’s telephone number. Having the basic Facebook page and Twitter account is not enough, though several savvy business people have taken advantage of this medium as a means to expand their business interest. With social media increasing in importance each day, the following are ways to maximize a social media presence in order to obtain results for exposure in both immediate and long terms

Stay on top of Facebooksocial media icons  2014

Since the opening of Facebook ads, there has been a deluge of users, each with their own businesses to promote on the biggest social media platform. Not many understand, though, how best to maximize one’s page amongst the millions of pages online. This is done through the use of Facebook promotion and campaign strategies, which allows you to manage a promotions, advertisements, pages, groups, etc. through a centralized, monetized system. Learning this system and using it to your advantage is the best way to grow your business using Facebook.

Blogging and Websites

Many business owners think that they need to operate their own website or blog for their business. This maxim still holds true but the best visibility comes when the site ranks high on search engines such as Google and Bing. This is done through increasing networks with other websites through link exchanges, mentions and reviews on their site. Through the increase of visibility on other websites, one’s own website through redirects and links will rank high in search engine results.

Be in Control of Communication

Another way to utilize social media for one’s advantage is through direct communication with customers on social platforms themselves. In this way, one reaches out not only to current consumers but also other potential consumers on the site. Because of the openness of these venues not only for advertising but also for customer relations, many businesses can expand their clientele in a short period of time.

Multiple Platforms

The social media universe is ever expanding. Aside from Facebook, there is Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and many others platforms. While one can open accounts in every single one, finding the right one to search and reach out to your target demographic is the most efficient manner in maximizing this activity. Thus, learning about the users of specific social media platforms would help in focusing one’s advertising activities in this area of the universe.

Stay Updatedinternet updated brand trends

The social media universe is very dynamic and constantly changing. Each day, a new app or even a new platform is unveiled into the market. Thus, it is important, to stay updated and be kept abreast on the developments in technology as well as social media processes. This is done through reading the news as well as putting one’s ear to the ground as to discover the next burgeoning trend in social media.

This much is clear: everyone now has a social media account, especially entrepreneurs and business people. Just having one, though, is not enough to maximize its value as well as become a competitive advantage for one’s business. Following the tips above can surely provide one’s business a leg up in 2014.

Camille McClane is a freelance blogger and infographics designer located in Southern California. She loves writing on all-things tech and social media, and loves interacting with like-minded writers. She frequently contributes to the blog of HostPapa, a hub for media content info and more. She hopes you enjoy this article!

photo credit: daniel_iversen | cc

How To Build A High-Performance Social Media Team

Marketing a company’s logo and products on social media makes it easy and affordable to promote brands. Social Media Today reports that over 90 percent of all marketers use some type of social media for their business promotions.

This reflects the ease and convenience of social marketing, but also the changing demographics of social networks: more middle-aged consumers with greater purchasing power utilize these networks than do teenagers and young adults.

A company looking to capitalize on social media marketing can put together a “dream team” of professionals in order to get optimal results.

Social Management

social-media-team-managementConsider social marketing more than an offshoot of a marketing department. Think of it as its own branch of the company. Unless you can count the number of workers you employ on one hand, selecting a manager or coordinator for social marketing helps to keep every blogger, Tweeter, and Instagrammer on the same page.

A manager should understand both digital and physical communication, be capable of using Pinterest to display images while printing off hard copies and using a postage meter to send them through snail mail. Much of their time will be spent sending memos or letters through postage as the employees under them work online.

The UK-based business advisory group of SalesForce suggests that your manager have better organizational and project management skills than social media skills, since the latter can be found more easily than the former.

The Numbers Guy

social-media-team-performance-plan

Any company, no matter its size, has heard the term “ROI” so often that it may as well be tattooed into an owner’s forehead. This metric has great value because numbers do not lie about which departments and products pull their weight.

You need not hire a financial analyst to study minute changes to YouTube video viewership, but Mashable urges a company to include a person in their social media team that understands the statistics of social media and the value of measuring performance.

Seek out candidates, internally or externally, who combine business skills with digital acumen in order to determine the social media campaigns that need a shot in the arm and the ones that have been performing above expectations.

Visuals

If you believe that the Internet generation’s attention span has denigrated due to the instant availability of information, a picture in your social media circles can be worth much more than one thousand words (or 8.54 Tweets).

The images you produce and display on social media need to be much more polished and professional than the written content, since only a little bit of the written content will be consumed while the pictures become scrutinized.

Hiring a visual designer to work with photos and videos helps to maintain a strong image of company and products. Spark Growth Partners recommends that companies maintain no fewer than four separate visual-imagery social networks in order to quickly and easily market pictures.

This does not take into account video social media like YouTube and Flickr; choose a candidate with experience shooting and editing both still photos and video.

photo credit: francistoms | cc

4 Different Social Media Considerations for CEOs

Chief Executive Officers act as the faces of businesses, but some businesses are still murky about whether or not it’s a good idea to involve them in social media strategies.

  • Is social media a good use of a CEO’s time?
  • What value does it contribute to the business?
  • Should a CEO be involved in social media strategies?

These are the typical questions asked when any level of leadership begins to use new technology.

Here are some factors to consider:

1. Research – The Executives Chime In

In a 2013 survey by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, nearly 90 percent of 630 executives from companies with revenues of at least $500 million stated they had one or more social media accounts. Those executives also supported the use of social media by CEOs. When asked what benefit social media brings to the company, they responded:robert scoble social media logos picture

  • It gives the company a human face
  • It helps the CEO communicate with the company’s employees
  • It fosters a relationship with news media
  • It shows the use of innovation by the company
  • It has a positive impact on the business’ reputation
  • It enhances the CEO’s reputation as a good communicator

2. Knowledge – Expanding the CEO Role

CEOs are leaders in their industries, and know their business inside and out. This makes them the ideal spokespeople for companies in those industries, which we covered here in an earlier post. Innovation springs out of the minds of CEOs, and social media is one way to communicate some of the excitement that comes with those ideas. It can provide a glimpse into the future. Social media has proven itself to be a quick source of information across the globe.

The current CEO of Ernst & Young and former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury for Tax Policy, Mark Weinberger, used Twitter to comment on his recent assignment as Ernst & Young Chairman and CEO. The value of this social media network is that it allows a brief message to be sent by a busy executive that may be viewed as critically important to their followers. In a time when it may be unthinkable for an executive to spend hours crafting a news release or article, tools such as Twitter provide ways to give the public greater access to a company’s direction.

3. Results – The Benefit to the CEOs

Social media is not only a good thing, but a necessary outlet for greater visibility. Companies that have adopted social media as a way to communicate with the public and news media are able to engage their customers and strengthen their connections. Companies that fall behind in this area may soon be questioned as to what they have to hide. The result will be a shift in market share to the companies who do embrace this way of connecting with people.

4. Crisis Management – The Risks to the CEO

CEOs are human, too, which means they can put their foot in their mouth like anyone else. That’s why some CEOs may hire their own PR people to make sure the right message is delivered. Others just take the risk of spreading messages themselves. The result can be something like the recent PR issues generated by statements made by Chick-fil-A and Netflix CEOs.

Within a matter of minutes, a poorly crafted message tweeted by a CEO can be seen by millions of people across the planet. The potential for great harm in using social media is just as strong as it’s potential for good.

Like all areas of communication, CEOs need to be educated about the proper use, timing and types of messages appropriate for social media. With that basis of understanding, social media can become another powerful communication tool for these business executives.

Do you think CEOs should use social media to promote their businesses? Tell us why or why not in the comments.

photo credit (Robert Scoble Picture): Thomas Hawk | cc

How To Build More Web Traffic From Social Media (10 Tips You Can Use Right Now)

Social media goes hand in hand with building traffic to your website. Netizens nowadays devote so many hours using their social media accounts to share their thoughts, like interesting things, and search for new and upcoming trends. With that said, having social media accounts to represent and promote your small business is very important to build traffic to your main website.

Social media web traffic twitter birds

An active online presence through social media is an effective way to reach out to your audience in a more personal level. Because people surfing the net spend most of their time on social media sites, you can interact with them more if you are also spending time there. Whether it is a new customer stumbling upon your Facebook or Twitter page or a loyal customer sharing your page and posts, it is important to give them something good to learn and discover about your company.

Here are 10 tips you can use right now for a more effective and productive use of social media sites to build traffic to your website.

1. Timing Is Everything

Make sure majority of your followers can see and share your posts and updates. The best time to post is from 8 AM to 8 PM because these are the main work hours, meaning people are most likely online. The ideal amount of posts to optimize results is between 5 to 10 tweets and 1 to 4 Facebook posts per day. Make sure you post the updates on multiple social media sites and your own blog or website. Pay attention to frequency and timing in order to get the most social engagement possible.

2. Share Your Expertise and Passion

As a business, one of your primary goals is to earn money. However, it is also necessary for your customers to know that you are passionate and an expert about your craft. Consider offering your audience a guide, brochure, or whitepaper to download. Put these on your website and then share the link to your social media accounts so it would be easy for your customers to share them to their friends.

3. Offer Seasonal and Exclusive Deals

Who doesn’t like a bargain, right? Use social media to promote exclusive offers like special discounts, buy one take one promo, or early bird rewards. Raffles and coupons exclusively available to your social media followers can make them feel special, therefore strengthening their loyalty and appreciation of your business.

4. Be Real and Real Time

The more you acknowledge and reply to your followers, the more engaged they become. The effectiveness of your social media strategy depends on how often you use it. Social media engagement relies on daily interactions among users to survive. Although auto posting tools can help you communicate with your audience, more businesses are beginning to understand that engaging with their audiences in real conversations will bring them better results. Being available to your audience in real time means you can have more meaningful back-and-forth conversations.

5. Stay Updated And Be Current

The only thing certain is everything changes; and this is also true about social networking sites. Learn how you can get the latest updates easily so you can know the current trends they are setting. You can follow Facebook’s business page (https://www.facebook.com/business/news), follow social media and tech experts on Twitter (https://twitter.com/smexaminer/writers/members), and set Google alerts (http://www.google.com/alerts).

6. Use Hashtags

There’s a reason Twitter created hash tagging and now Facebook is also allowing it. Hashtags are made for people to trend topics and businesses to promote. Combine those two and you can use hashtags to promote your new products, services, or special offers. Announce it on your social media accounts so your followers can participate making it trend. People who use hashtags are more likely to engage in social conversations and therefore are more likely to share a positive experience they’ve had with your brand once you’ve broken through.

7. Incorporate Infographics

Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly. A social media page is better to look at if it contains not just plain text but also some infographics to catch users’ attention. In fact, they reach more people because they are shared more often than other online content. They are easy to understand and share, so you could spread the word about your company’s products and services effectively.

8. Be Mobile-Friendly

People surfing the web are becoming more and more on-the-go lately. There are too many smartphones and tablets in the market these days that there’s no excuse not to go online even if you are away from home. Make sure your pages are mobile-friendly and easy to load. Use a design that is accessible and convenient for multiple browsers and devices. Include social media icons, mobile redirects, simple landing pages, and content you want your users to see.

9. Ask Questions

Contrary to popular belief, answering questions is not the end of your social media task. Asking questions is a good way to engage your followers and spark curiosity about your products or services. Some good questions to ask are ones that tap into the interests and lifestyles of your fans to generate conversations. You may also ask feedback questions regarding your newly launched product or service so you can find out what they like about it and what you still need to improve. This way, your followers can feel that their opinions are part of your decision making process.

10. Use a Conversational Tone & Engage

Social media has changed the way businesses communicate publicly. In fact, it is advised to avoid stiff business writing and encouraged to adopt a more conversational tone. Take them inside your brand’s experience instead of just hard selling. Although you are viewed as a business entity, your followers communicate with you and expect a response that would make you look sound a normal person just like them. Having a conversational tone makes your content feel more authentic and engaging to readers.

In a world of social media marketing, giving your followers a unique and personal experience is a must. Be innovative and caring in all your social media pursuits so you could gain more traffic and more loyalty out of your customers.

What else can you add?

photo credit: mkhmarketing

8 Steps To Your New Social Media Plan For Business Owners

Since the emergence of the Internet, there has been thousands and thousands of social networking sites created because of high demand from the general public. It has also been a practice for businesses to use social media to generate more traffic, turn users into customers, and interact with their audience.

Simply put, social media serves as a big and effective marketing and customer service tool to cater to people’s needs and promote your business as well.

planning-for-social-media

1. Importance of a Social Media Plan

Promotions have always been a staple for any business. They help grow awareness and create excitement around your products and services. Since people get almost all information they need using the Internet, a business without a social media marketing strategy is as good as dead.

Social networking sites are platforms where you can reach your audience in a more personal and affordable way, so use them as efficiently as you can. Planning is necessary and significant to come up with a unique approach that will carry your business to new heights. Here are some important points when planning your social media marketing strategy.

2. Setting Goals

What is your purpose behind doing this?

Having a certain reason and one specific goal in mind is the first vital step in planning. Understanding what you want to achieve will keep you focused and determined in reaching your desired milestone. Some of the most common (and precise) goals include building brand awareness, offering customer services, developing loyalty, and driving sales.

If you are just starting, you may want to focus on building product awareness first. People only share and talk about interesting and impressive stuff, so building up your products or services should be your first goal.

3. Channel Generation

Now that you know what your purpose is, it’s time to act on it. Don’t be afraid to be a newbie. It’s okay to seek guidance and learn from others. Look for current social media trends, consider them as your guide, and use them in a way that you think would benefit your business most.

You should have a keen eye to discern which trends and tools will help you reach your goal. Brainstorm with your social media or marketing team and encourage them to speak up if they have any ideas for your strategy.

4. Managing Platforms

There are so many social media platforms, but for starters, you must focus managing just one. The decision doesn’t depend upon the platform you enjoy using most, but the platform where your target customers spend their time on. Only move beyond this limit once you know that you can handle them well.

5. Partnerships

You can’t do everything alone. A start-up campaign coupled with big name partners is an easy way to get the attention you need. The online connections you make will give you the source of your results.

Search for people who talk about relevant topics to your business and contact them to start a partnership. Add them to your networks and follow up your progress. Partnerships will add new people to your network every day, the product of which is more customers.

6. Time & Schedule

Your social media plan should have a time-frame  Failing to do so will make you too complacent to accomplish excellent results. Develop a routine to achieve your goal at a specific time. The best way to reach your deadline is to be committed to your plans.

Once you decide to jump in, the only way to see results is to keep your activity level high and ongoing. Make online communication a daily habit for it to pay off. This way, you can move on from one goal to another and still maintain an effective timeline.

7. Measuring Returns

Set an expected return on your investment. You know your purpose, so you must also know your desired outcome over a period of time. You must measure the effectiveness of every project and strategy you use by evaluating how much contribution they have in reaching your goal. Every marketing activity needs results, so look for efficient tools to measure them.

Keep the strategies that worked and exceeded your expectations and find ways to develop and carry them out even further. If there is a method that failed, assess why it fell short and decide if you will alter it to give it another try or drop it from your strategies.

8. Building Your Own Home

Once your social media marketing strategy becomes really effective, people will begin looking for more things you have to offer. Don’t waste this public interest you’ve worked hard to attain—be ready for people to come running after you. An impressive website must have the elements of a gorgeous web design, remarkable content, and complete business and product details. It must be user-friendly, easy to navigate, and engaging.

An impressive social media presence followed by a strong, proactive business website is the perfect combination to catch the harvest and make them want to stay with you.

Learn more from our Marketing and Business Resources Library (free downloads).