Social Media Marketing –
Building a Community of Loyal Followers
Once you’ve decided that your business truly will benefit from a Social Media presence (5 Reasons Your Business Needs to be on Social Media), it becomes your job to determine what that presence will be and how will you put that plan into practice. You want to maximize your time and effort and get the best results for the time and money you invest. Planning and creating social media strategy that is unique to your business will serve you well.
Before you leap in, there are at least 4 areas you want to look at to ensure you are getting the benefits you want for your business.
- DISCOVERY – Don’t skip this one no matter what!
There is always something more to discover.
In the marketing world we call this” Market Validation and Research”What you will be doing during this phase is deeply diving into your business and how it serves a target audience. You may think you already have the answer to this, however, getting to know you and your business – Knowing more about what it is you do and who you serve and writing it out – will allow you to “DO Social Media” better. In this process you develop a solid picture of your audience and the solutions you provide to their needs and want. Your social media connections become your community of those you serve – Your “Target Market”. Get to know them intimately as you would your best friend.Know what they are searching for. Explore where they are the most interactive on the internet. What social media do they use? Where do they hang out and share? What gets them engaged? What information are they hungry for and how might you provide it?Then examine what you are presently doing – How effective are you at getting your community into a conversation? Look at what your competitors are doing. Are they doing something that is working? How can you do something similar? Take a look at what will bring you immediate and long term results.
- SET GOALS AND CREATE A PLAN –
The “Just do it” approach will only frustrate you and end out being a waste of your time.
In this step, objectives are set for Social Media involvement and activities. Determine how you will analyze measurements of success. What is success in social media? Once a strategy of measurement is in place, you can use it for continued “monitoring and adjusting”.Start by establishing a base line – look at what is happening now so that there is an ability to see the results the “new and improved” activities are producing or not producing. As you “Do Social Media” you will observe shifts into relationships that build engagement. The plan can move you forward. With an established, detailed plan that includes budget, costs and a calendar, it is possible to look at additional recommendations on Social Media strategies and resources, analyzing results to support the Social Media objectives that enhance your business plan.
- METRICS AND MEASUREMENT – How will you know it’s working?
This is an important key element to ensure you are not working really hard and getting few results. What can be measured should be carefully documented and measured to demonstrate when established goals are achieved. Watching the numbers allow you to monitor and adjust your progress. Do more of what works and stop wasting time on things that are not working. Viewing the results and following the progress, make recommendations for changes in strategies and adjustments in the plan possible in both the short term and long term.
- IMPLEMENTATION AND TRAINING – Who is going to do it?
Now you get to decide who is going to do it and how much time will be devoted to the process. Will you hire it out or do it in house? Will your team need to be trained or can you depend on their expertise? If you use an in house team, what are the existing strengths, what training will they need, and how will you track and measure their progress?
There is a saying out there that compares Social Media marketing to adopting a puppy. To be committed, it takes a lot of attention and work. You need to feed, exercise and train that puppy to get the healthy growth and results you envision. Are you aware that you are adopting a puppy? Know what you are getting into and the work it entails to get the results you really want then go for it! The results are just as rewarding.
I am a “Visibility Guru” and will guide you through the process of creating and implementing a Social Media Marketing plan that builds a community of loyal customers that support your business, the products and services you provide. Let’s get you found and increase your ROI.
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