The rapid growth of social media has become a major marketing component for businesses worldwide, despite their size or industry. A solid internet presence has now become the essential means for companies to reach their customers from all across the world. Since most of the population interacts through some form of social media, it only makes good business sense to implement a social media strategy within your marketing plan. Here are a few tools to help you build a firm strategy to capture more customers on social networks.
Develop Concise Goals and Objectives
Decide who will be responsible for social media marketing within your company or organization. It can be the marketing department, PR, or the communications department. An important thing to keep in mind is that whoever is designated to take on this task, there must be transparency, communication, and collective collaboration at all times. The social media goals must mirror the overall objectives of the organization. They should be clear, manageable, measurable, and realistic.
Do Lots of Research
Social media research is going to be the lifeblood of your strategy. Invest the time doing the research instead of just crossing your fingers and jumping in. Good research will enable you to distinguish who your target market is, which sites best fit your company, as well as how and when to best engage with them. LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook are some of the more popular sites that offer a great platform and a large selection of followers. Social media blogs are another viable source to plug your marketing strategy into, so create a list all the way from the top sites down to the small ones. Do some thorough research on each site that you are considering social networking on. Also, search for competitors to see what they are doing and are not doing. Pay attention to what is being posted and commented about. Familiarize yourself with your target market and related keywords. Always look out for new buzzes and social media trends in relation to your industry.
Setup a Data File for Contacts and Other Data
Join the conversation and subscribe to as many social media press and blogs as possible within you’re industry. While doing so, keep a list of the sites, connections, and content that have relevance to your organization. When you have to provide content and input, it will be readily available to you from your data file. Always remember to be respectful and honest; if you do this the connections will grow automatically. Participate in social media post and leave insightful comments. Make sure that it is helpful and informative; please reframe from including sales-type jargon. Nobody likes to be pitched or sold.
Develop Social Media Relationships
Now that you have people talking to you as the spokesman of your organization, it’s time put all of that research to good use. Interact on forums and blogs; it is also helpful to answer industry related questions on Yahoo Answers as well. Chat groups are now a key component of social media tools, so make sure you are chatting with followers and those who may have an interest in your industry. Following and befriending others will help you nourish and develop those relationships. Here’s a very important thing to keep in mind. Many social media marketers make this mistake. Don’t, I repeat do not just choose people that have a large number of followers. Give the same amount of value to the individuals who may only have a few. People actually notice this type of thing which leads them to forming an opinion about an organization.