>Finding Your (Business) Social Media Strategy


Welcome to social media. Now what do you do? Yep, you created a Facebook page and now that blank box is staring you right in the face. What should you type? Good question, glad you asked.


Define a Purpose

Social media marketing is not just about being present, it’s about participating, with a purpose. Before you even create a Facebook page or Twitter account for you business, ask yourself one simple question: Why? Answering with, “To market my business” is not good enough. You need a higher purpose, a more defined goal or you’ll be wasting your time on social media.

One possible answer is to get new customers. A fine and noble goal. From there you define who those new customers are, as specifically as you can. For example: married moms in an above average income household, who enjoy outdoor recreational activities. This is your “strategy picture.” Print out this description, along with a representative picture of a mom and tape it to your monitor. This is who you will be socializing with.

Determine a Strategy

Now that you know what you want to accomplish and who you want to influence, you can answer the most important question: How do I engage my potential customers to influence them? Yes, the key word is engage. How will you engage potential customers? What does a married moms, in an above average income household, who enjoys outdoor recreational activities, like to talk about? What does she want to know from you?

When you clarify that question, you can map out a strategy timeline that includes: What subjects you will talk about, what resources you will use (links, photos, videos), how you can add value to the conversation through advice, answering questions, providing educational information, or starting conversations.

Implement Your Tactics

Social media is not traditional media. Don’t exclusively broadcast hype about your business or send out classified ad-type messages. Be social. Talk to people like you would…well, talk to people. There’s a real person at the other end of that Facebook connection. So the first tactical rule is to communicate in a conversational tone. Pretend that you are speaking to one person who is standing right in front of you. Be personal and engage in social media with a personality.

That means being a real person. Even if you are representing your company, your Facebook and/or Twitter connections should know there’s a real person typing in updates. Put your name in the profile. If more than one person provides status updates for your company, end each update with a short signature, such as: “– by Stacy.”

How frequent should you update? Most businesses err on the side of caution. The answer is more frequently than you think you should, for two reasons: 1) Social media streams are based on recency, and 2) People have lots of friends.

When someone signs on to Facebook or Twitter, they see the most recent updates from their connections. If you want your update to show in their feed, you will need to have posted recently. That means posting frequently. I recommend that businesses post a minimum of four times per day: morning, mid-day, afternoon and evening. Now you can see the importance of having a strategy. If you are going to be posting that frequently, you need to have plan. You also may need some tools to schedule items in your feed when you’re not working. Some good ones are SocialOOmph and Sendible, which allow you to schedule tweets and Facebook items in the future.

So before you start a social media marketing program, start with a plan. It just makes sense, right? Now, what will you type in the blank Facebook box?

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