When a small business owner asks me how to get started in Social Media, the first question I ask is WHY?
Why do you want to get started with social media marketing? What do you want to accomplish?
The next questions I always ask are: What is the vision for your business? Tell me about your marketing plan. Based on their answers, I can determine if they have the vision and understand the value of social media marketing for their business. Lacking this insight can hinder their success using SM and hurt the growth of their business.
Goals and Objectives
It is important that you identify meaningful social media goals and objectives. The goals must be inline with the vision and mission of your business.
In order to set successful measurable objectives you must make them S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. The goals and objectives you set should be attainable and challenging.
Here’s a list of common social media marketing objectives.
· Increase sales
· Increase prospects and leads
· Build brand awareness
· Increase engagement with company brand
· Improve knowledge of prospects and clients
· Improve return on marketing investment
· Become the thought leader in your industry
· Launch new products or services
For example, one of my goals is to enhance my brand. An objective could be to increase engagement (i.e., #of likes and retweets) of my brand by 25% for calendar year 2012.
Strategies and Tactics
Once you clearly understand your goals and objectives, you need social media marketing strategies and tactics to support them. Going back to my previous example, one strategy would be to write and share others social media blog post articles on the Internet. This strategy supports my objective of increased engagement, which supports my goal of improving my brand.
The tactic would be deciding what and when to post on my blog or on which social network communities.
Research and create your profiles
Now that you have your goals, objectives, strategies and tactics, research and pick one or two social media sites to create a profile on. Figure out where your target market hangs out and fish where your fish are.
The most common sites and audience size are:
Facebook (800 million subscribers)
Twitter (100 million subscribers)
LinkedIn (135 million subscribers)
YouTube (490 million subscribers)
There you have it! To get yourself started in social media marketing, define social media goals and objectives to support your overall business goals. Support these goals with written strategies and tactics. Share great content on your blog and the social sites. Build relationships online. If you need help in creating a Social Media Strategy Plan for your business, contact me today.
Shelly Hunt is the founder and CEO of Social Media Success LLC. She knows technology and relationship building. Débuting Social Media-Success in 2010, Shelly offers her technical, business, and relationship acumen to small businesses. As a social media consultant and trainer she specializes in working with her clients to define their existing online footprint, create a roadmap to social media success, and train her clients to administer her plans to maximize impressions, target market reach, and return on investment.
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