Do you have one? Do you need one? What is a Social Media Strategy?

Lately I have seen many new followers on Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and Blogs approaching the way they use Social Media completely wrong.

Now this may sound obvious to you, but the reason is simply because they have no strategy at all.

Create and effective Social Media Strategy
Create an effective Social Media Strategy

Social Media Marketing or Social Media Networking as it is referred to, can bring you and you can also find new business, but there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

The clue is in the title, first and foremost……be social! If a new follower or friend requests to connect…great! But…..if all they do for the first is send me a link to promote themselves, it turns me off right away, and I will not take any notice of what they have to say in the future.

So what is the correct way and how do you implement a Social Media Strategy?

Well Social Media is still in its infancy when it comes to implementing an effective strategy for businesses. First of all you need to have the full support of your team and involve them in what it is you’re trying to achieve, so here are a brief of what I believe you should do.

As you do in life and in business, you should and determine some realistic goals and objectives and why what you hope to achieve from Social Media. As you know your goals should be SMART……Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Timely. It is important these tie in with your companies’ vision and goals too.
Choose and research which Social Media sites where you can potentially engage with businesses and people. Depending on your business type and sector will determine which platform will work well for you. Look around and take a peek at what others in your industry are doing and saying, get a feel for what it is they do.
Search your company/brand name and determine the relevancy and find your competitors, your target keywords, Listen understand and identify your target audience.  Once you have done this, it’s time to start getting involved, greeting new contacts as you would in a meeting or on the street or in the bar! Be Social.
Build relationships with your new followers, friends, networking contacts and don’t hide! I see too many people who just send out automated updates and have no interaction whatsoever!, It’s about being Social right?
Strengthen relationships with arranging meetings offline (depending upon distance!) YES you are networking online, but it shouldn’t end there, go out and attend a networking event and strengthen those ties you are building. A popular way is by arranging a tweetup

You’ve got your objective right? OK so now what and how do you build on this?

Push more traffic to your website – Provided you have Google analytics on your website, you will begin to see where the traffic is coming from on your website. Promote blog posts via the Social media platforms, create videos directing visitors to your website, and promote across the social media platforms too.
Improve your brand awareness – How? Simply add more targeted fans and followers to your Social Sites, it’s not about how many but the quality.
Increase positive feedback – Encourage feedback to your messages, blog posts, articles, tweets, status updates….be aware, there will be good and bad comments, its human nature!

Want to enter a new market? – Never before can you identify and find the key players, influencers, but look out for who is contacting you via your blog, via tweets, via Facebook, and of course Linked In.
This is just a brief on how you should approach your Social Media Strategy, each individual and business will be different.

One question from all of this is how do you measure the effects of Social Media? Who do you know who the influencers are? Who do you need to be talking to? In my next blog post I will be sharing this with you!