Day 24: 6 Simple Steps to Create a Social Media Strategy

On Day 22, I had briefly mentioned that social media plays a major part in online marketing.  Social media has taken the internet by storm and just about everyone you know has signed up for at least one social network in their lifetime.  As the days go by, a lot more people are feeling the pull of social media and believe it’s necessary to join to keep up and keep in touch with the rest of the world.

This would also account for the large percentage of internet users who spend a good amount of their time on social media, on a daily/weekly basis.  The video below will give you a good idea about the reach of social media.

Your online business needs a streamlined social media strategy, if you want to tap in to this huge marketing opportunity.  Before you start developing your social media strategy, it’s important that you and your business team realize the importance of social media.

6 Reasons Why Social Media is Important for Your Business

1. Social media reach is increasing exponentially – With the advent of smartphones and tablets, people are accessing the internet and social media sites from just about anywhere.  Social media usage has increased tremendously over the last 2 years.

2. Adds personality to your business – An active presence on social media platforms will easily help you add personality to your company or brand.

3. Attracts new customers – This is a potential venue to attract new customers.  It’s a great place to target people who are genuinely interested in your service or product.

4. Builds relationships – As with any traditional business, relationships are vital for business success.  With social media, it is very easy to build relationships with existing clientele, prospective customers and also with industry leaders.

5. The SEO benefit – Search engines now use social media signals while rendering their search results.  So the content you share on your social media platforms play a major part in getting picked up by search engines.

6. Customer service – These platforms can used to provide support for customers and also to answer sales queries.

The Benefits of Having a Social Media Strategy

“Grand strategy is the art of looking beyond the present battle and calculating ahead. Focus on your ultimate goal and plot to reach it.” ― Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies of War

To win a war you need to have a solid strategy in place.  You need to be very clear about what your business is trying to accomplish through various social media channels even before you can start creating profiles there for your business.  You should also have a specific action plan that details how you are going to meet these targets.

Establishing the presence of your business on social media takes time and dedicated effort.  You will have to measure and redefine your actions in order to reach the objectives you have set.  Having a sound social media strategy will keep you and your team focused and goal oriented.

6 Simple Steps to Create a Solid Social Media Strategy

1. Identify your social media objectives

Any strategy must first begin with what your objectives or goals are.  Identify what you want to accomplish through your social media presence.  It could be different for each business.  Your target could be reaching a particular number of followers, getting more people to sign up for product updates or increase sales.  Make sure each objective is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound.  Vague goals will not work at all.

2. Select social media networks

It is then time to select which social media platforms your business needs to be active on.  One major factor to consider when making this decision is to find out where your target audience prefers to hang out.  Let’s say you are familiar with Twitter and like to engage with customers there.  But if the majority of your potential clients prefer Facebook, you are missing out on a major marketing opportunity.  Try to be active on those networks where your audience also is active.

3. Note your key performance indicators

In social media marketing, key performance indicators (KPIs) include follower interaction, click through rates, and overall engagement on your social media profile.  For example, on Facebook, how many likes and replies you received for a status update, how many images got shared, how much traffic was directed to your website from Facebook.  For Twitter, KPIs can include how many retweets and replies your tweet received.  Note down the key performance indicators for each of the social media channels you’ve selected.

4. Plan activities, content and tools

The next step is to plan what your are going to do on social media – which activities are you going to perform.  Sample activities include – attending and conducting Twitter parties, conducting contests and sweepstakes, interacting with other successful businesses in your niche, etc.  You also need to plan the content you are going to share on social media – images, status updates, links to articles/products, etc. and the particular time each day when it will be published.  There are tools like Hootsuite and Buffer that make social media easier to use.  Decide which tools you will be using to handle your various social media channels.

5. Make a list of social media influencers

Another important step in building up your fan base on social media is to get major social media influencers on board.  Contact five or six experts in your niche who have an established social media presence.  Build up a rapport with them and get them to share your business with their followers.

6. Measure and analyze

Based on your key performance indicators, measure your results.  Analyze those results and modify your social media activities to make them more effective.  Find out which activities are most fruitful and do more of that.  If a particular type of content is not yielding much results, see if you can improve by sharing at a different time of day or presenting it in a different format.

Free Social Media Strategy Template

I have created a social media strategy template that you can use for your online business.  You can download and print the free social media strategy template here.

social-media-strategy-template

Today's Action Step: Create a social media strategy for your online business.

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