Building Your Social Media Strategy
Your social media strategy will continue to be a crucial component of a strong inbound marketing for businesses plan throughout all of 2012 and the years to come.
With millions of people and companies engaging in social media as their primary platforms for professional networking and marketing, the atmosphere has become cluttered and crowded.
While social media will likely play an even stronger role in successful SEO, and inbound marketing this year, there are many aspects of social media and social media marketing that will have to change and update. Now is the time do plan your social media strategy.
Social media marketing is an essential aspect of inbound marketing for business, and there are several new techniques and practices to help you develop your social media strategy.
Here are seven of them:
[dropcap]1.[/dropcap]Devise More Aggressive Goals
The first step to any new year challenge is reevaluation of your old goals. The same goes for your companies’ social media strategy. Go through your goals from last year and examine how successful you were. Work to understand what areas you were successful in and why and then devise a new set of goals that are more aggressive and more educated.
[dropcap]2.[/dropcap]Expand Your Platforms
For the most part, when we hear the term “social media” we think Facebook and Twitter. While these are no question the social media masters in the industry, there are new platforms that will need to be explored in 2012. Whether you like it or not, your social media strategy for the new year should include Google+ and LinkedIn. Take advantage of all the arenas that are available to you. Even if you are unable to really commit the time to regularly updating LinkedIn or Google+, you should create pages for your company to create a greater search presence.
Though the term “outsourcing” often has a negative connotation associated with it, it can come in very handy for social media marketing attempts. With social media having such an essential role in the marketing plan of many companies and businesses, it is essential that apt and inspired individuals are managing these campaigns.
With the added cost of hiring people to manage social media accounts, it can be tempting to let employees with other job commitments pick up the social media responsibilities. However, your campaign will have much more success if there is a dedicated team of trained personnel minding your social media marketing campaign.
[dropcap]4.[/dropcap]Use Analytic Tools
There are numerous online tools for measuring the success of your social media marketing campaign. While many companies and businesses have integrated some of these tools into their social media strategy, many are not using them to their fullest ability. Before you can expand on your social media campaign, you must measure the success of your current one.
Try to understand what areas of your strategy are working well and driving traffic to your sites and identify what areas are still lacking. Google Analytics allows you to monitor several different profiles and can tell you how many visitors came to your site from Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
There are several other tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite that can help you gain perspective on your current campaign and guide you to find the right way to expand it.
[dropcap]5.[/dropcap]Only Measure What’s Necessary
As mentioned above, using tools to measure website analytics is an important aspect of any social media strategy. However, before you obsess of every little measurement thrown your way, figure out what analytics are actually useful to you and your business.
This year, look more closely at the specific analytics that can demonstrate real growth. Something that merely shows you the number of followers or number of visitors is much less valuable and useful than something that explains number of sales queries or number of positive mentions, for example. Don’t waste your time on measurements and analytics that don’t really tell you anything.
[dropcap]6.[/dropcap]Be Active Rather than Automated
Using automated tools to help speed up and manage your social media platforms can be extremely useful. However, as social media is becoming more and more central in the world of online marketing, automation is losing steam. Being actually active and online with your social media campaigns will be a necessity this year and the years to come.
[dropcap]7.[/dropcap]Reevaluate Your Audience
Using social media allows you to build a valuable audience of consumers or followers. This audience is essential to the success of your inbound marketing campaign. You should take the time to understand who your audience is.
Use your social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as a way to build a network of contacts. If you take the time to understand how you can serve the audience you already have more successfully, you will be more productive with your campaigns. By knowing your audience you can avoid wasting time on content and messages that don’t immediately speak to them.