By Robert W. Bly
Author, Copywriter, and Marketing Consultant
The first step to any social media marketing strategy is to establish objectives and goals that you hope to achieve. Having these objectives allows you to quickly react when social media campaigns aren’t meeting your expectations. Without these goals, you have no means of gauging your success and no means of proving your return on investment.
You don’t want to get carried away, however; too many goals are worse than none at all. That’s why you should limit yourself to two primary goals and two secondary goals. For example, a primary goal could be to raise brand awareness or increase customer loyalty. A secondary goal could be to generate more traffic to your website or build your list of newsletter subscribers. Based on these goals, you’ll choose the social networking sites you’ll use.
Step two involves conducting a social media audit. It’s important to assess your current social media use and how it’s working for you. This requires figuring out who is connecting to you via social media, which social media sites your target market uses, and how your social media presence compares to that of your competitors’. It will become evident which accounts need to be updated and which need to be deleted altogether once you see the numbers.
Once you’ve audited your accounts, it’s time for step three, when you hone your online presence. Fill out all profiles completely. If you don’t already have social media profiles on each network you focus on, build them from the ground up with your broader goals and audience in mind. If you do have existing accounts, it’s time to refine and update them for your best possible results. If authenticity is as important as experts say, you’ll want your social presence to be honest and unique. So in step four, you’ll find your social voice and tone. It can be valuable to turn to your competitors for inspiration when it comes to what content types and information get the most social media engagement.