6 Tips for Developing a Social Media Strategy

With the growing popularity of social media, many businesses feel they need to integrate it into their marketing mix, but most aren’t sure where to start or how to develop a plan. Social media is useful for many types of organizations, whether it’s a big brand or small business.

Using social media correctly helps companies engage audiences in new ways, be more personable, develop new connections, and maintain the ones they have. This two-part article will cover the elements of a social media strategy and the steps to build one.

Social media has taken the institutional control of marketing and put it in the hands of consumers or the general public.

1. Research and Listen – Determine who your audience is and where they are online.

2. Building Relationships – One key benefit of social media is building relationships with your clients.

3. Identify Goals and Objectives – You’ll get much farther with social media marketing if you offer something of value first.

4. Develop your Plan – Map out your approach to delivering your products or services to satisfy the needs of your audience.

5. Social Media Tools – Make sure that you have solid, relevant content on your main Web site that you can lead visitors to when they want more detailed information.

6. Measure, Measure – Measuring can be a challenge, because the medium is conversational in nature. You can measure the number of your followers, or those who are participating in the conversation. You can measure Web traffic increases due to your social media efforts. You might gauge the tone of the conversation, and what percentage of participants was influenced by your involvement.

The key is to develop a strategy, identify your metrics for success, and set up your analytics to report if success happens or not. It’s up to you to be innovative on how you engage your audience with the many social media tools available.

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