Five Steps for Social Media Success

May 04, 2009 6:48 PM  By

So you followed all of the rules and established your brand presence on all of the biggest social media networks—bravo! But where do you go from here?

Keeping up with your brand’s social media efforts can be a tremendous time expense. So it’s essential that you’re using social as efficiently and effectively as possible.

Even though your brand may have bountiful followers, friends and fans, you need to be sure that your social media properties are engaging your target audience. Follow these five tips below to ensure that your business is harvesting all of the benefits and opportunities that social media marketing has to offer your bottom line.

Have a purpose and be consistent
Before you set up your company’s social media profiles, it’s critical to determine the purpose of each profile. What message is your brand trying to communicate? Who do you want to communicate your message to? What is your business looking to gain from establishing social media campaigns? What will clients and prospects be seeking within your profiles?

Be certain that your purpose delivers the same value to your clients and prospects that they seek in your business. Use your social profiles to build trust and communicate the value of your business by incorporating content like client reviews, video testimonials and live links to industry articles.

Spark conversation and engagement
While connecting your Facebook profile to the RSS feed for your corporate blog might prevent you from breaking one of the cardinal rules of social media marketing (thou shall not forget to update profiles and include fresh content)—it surely doesn’t prompt interaction. Conversation and engagement are vital components of a successful social media campaign. Choose wisely
If your brand is going to use social media marketing as a legitimate business building initiative and not just a popularity contest, choose your networks and friends wisely—are you really reaching out to your target demographic? Or are you just reaching? Better yet, is your brand reaching out to anyone at all or are you waiting for brand advocates to come to you?

Make the most of your social presence by actively seeking out and engaging your target audience—expecting them to come to you won’t work. Additionally, playing an active role in the development of your business’s social network will help ensure that the time spent on your social profiles is contributing to the growth of your business.

Integrate
Make sure your social profiles are easy to find. There are a few quick and easy ways to start incorporating your social media marketing efforts into your daily regime to gain followers.

Post links to your social profiles in places like your website and your email signature. This provides the clients, prospects and vendors you deal with on a daily basis quick and easy access to your social channels and increases the likelihood of sparking the coveted two-way conversation.

What’s more, don’t be hesitant to ask people to join your brand’s social networks. If your company publishes a newsletter, this may be a good place to start requesting followers and friends.

Monitor and respond
While it would be ideal if your “tweeple” tweeted things directly to you and your Facebook fans posted about you right on your wall—conversations about your brand don’t always happen that way. But it’s still imperative to monitor what is being said.

Locate these conversations about your brand and use them to your advantage. Answer questions people may have. Appreciate and use the feedback social networks provide.

Most important, encourage people to spread the word. Brand advocates are extremely powerful marketing tools, so be sure your brand is maximizing this potential. Word-of-mouth is undeniably one of the most effective forms of advertising available to marketers, so it’s essential that your brand is closely monitoring online conversations and responding in ways that will drive your audience exactly in the direction you choose.

Achieving benefits from social media properties can be more time consuming and arduous than it may seem—so use these tips to be sure that your social media properties are integrated and engaging while remaining consistent and closely monitored. By doing this, you can be sure that your brand is garnering all of the benefits that social media marketing has to offer in an efficient and timely manner.

Lisa Wehr is CEO/founder of Oneupweb, a digital marketing agency.