Whether you are a large corporation, small business or a sales representative, developing a social media marketing strategy is imperative – it determines the measurable success of your social media presence. If you’re ready to jump into social media marketing, but don’t know where to start, or if you’ve started a social media marketing campaign but aren’t getting the results you want – this blog is for you! Here are the simple, basic steps to developing a strategy for your campaign.

Step One: As always, before jumping into the social media realm, make sure your company has a social media policy. This will help ensure that your company is protected from legal ramifications and potential embarrassment.

Step Two: Monitor conversation about you. Don’t blindly jump in without knowing what has already been said about your company. Determine what your customers are talking about online so that you can tailor your social media presence to cater to their needs.

Step Three: Determine what you want out of your social media campaign. When you listened to the conversation online, did you hear customer service complaints? You may want to consider starting a customer service account to deal with problems customers have with your products. If you heard nothing, you may want to start a brand awareness campaign. Other options would be to develop customer loyalty and generate sales. Pick a direction for your company before proceeding to the next step.

Step Four: Open your accounts. Start your blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, LinkedIn, YouTube channel, etc. – and remember to keep your bios short and sweet. They should be 140 characters or less – otherwise your customers will skip through them.

Step Five: Find your target market online and make sure you “like” and “follow” their pages and accounts.

Step Six: Engage your new followers in conversations! Set up your posts and make sure they reflect the approach you selected in step three. Also, make sure that you are commenting on your customers’ blogs, and replying to your followers’ tweets and posts. Make your own posts interesting to your target audience – but also personal. Make it about more than just business. I can’t say it enough – the first word in social media is “social!” Engage your customers in conversation!

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