We’re at the point where most business owners believe that they should be on social media in some form. However, what isn’t especially clear is that they should do, when they get there. Most of them joined because friends pressured them with statements like, “What do you mean you’re not on LinkedIn? It’s the most professional social network?!” “You’re not on Facebook? What rock have you been under? It’s great for building relationships.” Or even, “You’re not tweeting on Twitter?!? Come on, get with the times! It’ll help your business.”
It’s too bad most business owners don’t stop to ask their friends one simple question. “What measurable results have you seen as a result of being on social media?” If they did, they’d be sure to hear a long-winded explanation that could be summed up in one word- NONE. The reason- they signed up, but don’t have a plan. The following five tips will help you develop a goal-oriented plan for using social media.
1. Develop goals. What are you trying to accomplish on social media? Do you want 2500 more website views per month, 20 extra people at a networking event or perhaps $6500 in sales from Facebook traffic? Understand what you are trying to accomplish and develop numerical goals.
2. Identify your target market. Who are you trying to reach via social media? Be specific giving demographic, geographic and psychographic descriptions. If you are trying to reach urban men, college educated, 40-55 who are busy executives, it would make much more sense to join LinkedIn than Pinterest (a predominatly female-driven service).
3. Develop your brand. What will appeal to your target market? How do you want to come across. Define your voice, perspective and physical brand. This should be consistent across all networks.
4. Join networks based on your goals, target market and culture of each network. If you want to reach women shoppers and drive 3000 more website views to your site, join Pinterest. If you want to connect with HR and get three job inquiries in the next month, look to LinkedIn. If you’re unsure of the purpose of a network or whose on it, visit Wikipedia.
5. Create a posting strategy. Decide how often you will post and where. Use a calendar to keep track of what you will post, where and when.
Bonus: Use a timer! This will help keep you from falling into a social media black hole!
We would like to thank Crystal Washington for her wonderful article.
Crystal Washington is a marketing strategist, social media consultant, keynote speaker and the owner of a Houston-based marketing firm, Black-Market Exchange. Crystal teaches professionals of all knowledge levels how to leverage marketing techniques, social media and networking effectively.