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Five Steps to Creating your Social Media Strategy

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Every 60 seconds 277k tweets are composed, 2.5million posts are shared on Facebook, 216k photos are uploaded to Instagram and 72hours of video is uploaded to Youtube. Social media has taken over the world and your business should be taking advantage of this huge marketing platform.

Here are five tips to help you implement a strategy into your social media activity.

Goals and Objectives

Identify your business goals and set marketing objectives

Your social media strategy should aim to serve your business goals so you need to be clear on what these are from the very beginning then decide how you will use social media to assist in reaching them. Try focusing on 2-3 goals as focusing on them all will hinder the process.

Once you have established which goals to focus on, set some objectives to define when a goal has been achieved. Try using the SMART method to assist in setting your marketing objectives by ensuring they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound.

Choose your Networks

Which social networks are relevant to my business?

Don’t feel that your business has to have a presence on every social media network. The most relevant social networks for you will depend on the industry you are in and who your customers are. Spend some time exploring which platforms are used most frequently by your competitors and customers. It can be extremely time consuming maintaining every platform out there so it’s best to stick to a selected few that are most relevant to your business.

Top Tools:
Find The Best – Gives a good overview of each of the networks.

5StepsSocialMedia_Image2Twin Design/Shutterstock.com

Find your Audience

Connecting with the right people

Word of mouth is a powerful thing, so connecting with those that are connected to your target audience can be very worthwhile.

Start to search for your competitor’s social media accounts and connect with their followers, fans etc. These people already have an interest in what you have to offer so are likely to agree to connect and even visit your site to find out more.

It is also important to identify and connect with your industry’s key influencers. These are the people that others listen to and that create action. They could be journalists, bloggers, suppliers or even customers.

Top Tools:
Social Mention – Free monitoring tool to track who is talking about the keywords associated with your business.
Klout – Allows you to find key influencers using the Klout scoring system which gives a score from 0-100 for your impact online.
Yodelay Twitter Booster App – Allows you to follow another Twitter account’s followers very quickly and find targeted Twitter followers by searching keywords.

Integrate

Fully integrate your social media activity

Social media will not be much use to your business if it is simply used as an afterthought. It needs to be fully integrated into your current marketing/branding/PR activities in order to create a consistent message and experience for your customers and enable it to help you reach your business goals. Don’t worry this isn’t as difficult as it sounds!

All you need to do is introduce social media into your marketing efforts as early as possible to help amplify your work rather than waiting until the end of a planning cycle to explore social options. If there is a clear social presence from the start, you will benefit from additional customer touch-points, notice a boost in impressions and reach, and open up new sales opportunities for your customer services team.

Top Tools:
Use a social media calendar template to help plan and integrate your activity. We like this one from Populate Digital.

Relevancy

Content is key!

Social media marketing is a very crowded space and it can be difficult to cut through all the noise. Content is your answer to being heard. Ensure that you are sharing content that is relevant to your customer’s current challenges, their industries, job functions and favoured choice of media. This will encourage engagement and shares, build trust and help you become their key source of insight.

Relevant content will generate traffic which will in turn create leads and sales. Without traffic there will be no leads and your efforts will be wasted.

Top Tools:
If you find you are stuck for content ideas, try either of these two.

Feedly – Enables you to monitor blogs from chosen industries and collate articles of interest to you. 

Topsy – A search engine that helps to find real-time content from twitter and Google+. Includes Social Trends and Social Analytics tools.

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