Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to make a good Social Media Marketing Strategy

Start with your Goals

Before you can create a strategy, you need to specify what you wish to accomplish with social media marketing.

Here are some common goals to give you an idea:

Increase brand awareness
Learn more about your target audience
Educate and inform customers
Improve customer service
Monitor brand reputation

This list could go on forever, but you’ve got the idea. Don’t start your social media campaign until you’ve clearly established and made a written record of these goals.

Create a Strategy Based on Research

Blindly jumping into social media is a terrible mistake that may create major setbacks. You must spend time doing detailed research and creating solid strategies that will enable you to reach your goals.

The research process includes but is not limited to:

Determining if your target audience is online or offline
Examining the successes and failures of other social media campaigns
Creating realistic timelines
Establish a method for tracking results

Once you’ve done all this research, you can start building the actual path (strategy) for reaching your goals.

Build Relationships

At the end of the day, social media is all about building relationships. This means you don’t just show up on the social network of your choice blasting your marketing message. That wont get the job done. It actually mite make everyone dislike you. You have to treat social media users just like you would people in real life. Get to know them, interact without promoting, help each other out. Only then can you start to achieve your goals.

Create a Schedule

Tweeting, blogging, or posting on forums haphazardly isn’t a social media strategy. You need to set up an actual schedule. Not only will this help you stay committed and on task, but creating a social media schedule also improves your campaign’s efficiency. You’ll no longer be wasting time making up your strategy as you go.

Stay on Course

Many times companies view social media as a quick fix, but the reality is social media is a marathon not a sprint. Remember, it’s about building relationships. This requires constant connections over a long period of time, just like any other relationship. You can’t expect to gain valuable insight, increase brand awareness, or build relationships with people who will help promote your content in a matter of days. Stick with it!

Measure the Results

How you measure success depends on which goals you’re trying to achieve. For instance, if your goal is to increase brand awareness and to maintain a positive reputation, you can track results by using conversation discovery techniques. Whether this is setting up Google Alerts for any time your brand is mentioned or paying a company to do it for you, the point is that you need to have a strategy for monitoring your results. By taking the guesswork out of your social media monitoring, you can see exactly how your campaign is performing.

Make the Right Tweaks

Now that you have a strategy in place for monitoring your progress, it’s time to start tweaking your campaign for maximum efficiency. For example, if your goal is building links and you see you aren’t gaining any back links, you might need to alter the style of your content. Or perhaps you need to promote it differently (maybe you’re promoting it with the wrong social media sites.) The point is if your strategy just isn’t working (assuming you’ve given it time to work,) you need to make some changes. No one achieves perfection on their first try, it requires constant fine-tuning.