We find that many people who want to use Social Media for business purposes, like marketing or customer services, often dive in and start doing before they have applied any time thinking.
When we start doing the social media marketing for a new client, it’s always quite exciting. Not only because we are starting from scratch and therefore can monitor the entire process from the very beginning, but also because it’s much easier to stick to a social media strategy and establish a good routine.
What can be a challenge though is actually explaining why they absolutely need a social media strategy and why social has to be integrated into their daily marketing activities, even if only for a few minutes.
It goes without saying that social media is strongly dependent on business goals and marketing strategy. Here is an example of the action steps we follow with new clients and the order in which they work best based on our experience.
- Agree on a tone of voice that reflects your business goals and values.
- Create a content calendar based on your customers’ needs and interests. Decide who is going to be responsible for what type of content and when it should be delivered.
- Use a project management tool such as Asana or Trello and set up notifications for upcoming tasks.
2. Set up your listening activities based on the relevance to your industry keywords. Monitor your business, industry, prospects, competitors, customers and influencers. Here’s your step by step guide.
- Create alerts for your industry keywords, your business name your competitors and other relevant terms. We use Mention which has a free version that’s great.
- Set up Feedly RSS Reader. We recommend Feedly to our clients because it’s a great (free) tool that helps keep track of useful reading material. We create lists of industry related blogs by clients, competitors, influencers, journalists and publications.
- Locate and track the Facebook pages, Google + communities, LinkedIn groups and Twitter Lists of influencers, journalists, clients, prospects and competitors.
- Sign up for Google Analytics and use the Keyword Planner Tool to create lists of relevant keywords and keyword phrases.
3. Determine which social media channels fit your objectives best and where your prospects are.
- Create all or some of the following: Facebook page, Twitter account, Google+ page, LinkedIn business page, Pinterest account, YouTube account, Instagram account, etc. Of course what we suggest is rather than jumping on the social media bandwagon all at once and signing up for every channel, spending some time researching where your audience actually is and which social media channel has the best potential for you.
- Link your social media accounts to your website. Choose good social media icons and make sure they are on each page.
- Let all your contacts know that you are online, live and ready to engage.
4. Interact, monitor and measure.
- The best tool is perhaps HootSuite – allowing easy schedule of social media messages, monitoring retweets, conversations and Twitter lists. Set it up and add as many of your relevant social media streams and lists. Use TacticsCloud to create and upload Twitter lists.
- Add mobile apps for HootSuite, Feedly, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
- Engage as a human to a human, think of it like going to a networking meeting. People don’t want to be bombasted by your me-me-me specially crafted messages.
Usually we’d add about several more steps to this list, but it all depends on the client and their strategy, needs and business goals. It’s important to understand that just because social media is free and accessible to anyone, doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. Social media marketing is an absolutely integral part of digital and for it to really work, it should be custom-designed.