Guest post by Linda M. Lopeke of smartstartcoach.com
Social media can be one of the most productive tools in your marketing arsenal or one of the more frustrating experiences you'll have online.
The good news? As a new business owner or online entrepreneur, you get to make the planning decisions that influence the effectiveness of your social media marketing.
Here are 3 keys to ensuring your social media investment is working for you and your business...
1. Know your why
Like all marketing activities, your participation in social media should have a specific purpose that supports your overall business goals. There are over 50 ways to use social media to market a business but not all will be suitable for your needs.
The first key to your social media effectiveness is using the available methods and options appropriately to achieve a specific primary objective.
For example, if we asked you why you want to market your business in social media, which one of these reasons would be first to come to mind?
- Listening -- I want to understand my market better and gain more insight into what's really important to my customers.
- Talking -- I want to stimulate two-way discussions and conversations to help me get my message out to my target market, build relationships with others that are mutually beneficial, and gain credibility.
- Energizing -- I want to create opportunities for my customers to tell others about our business, products and great results to generate word-of-mouth referrals, and share viral communications.
- Supporting -- I want to make it possible for my customers to support each other and feel a sense of belonging to our community.
- Embracing -- I want to develop better products and services by collaborating with my target market and past customers.
2. Plan your social media activities
In an earlier post, Lynn shared excellent advice on how to use social media when you're just getting started. To take that further, we recommend mapping the decisions you've made about which social media accounts to use and how frequently to post to them onto a social media planning calendar.
This “must have” planning tool helps you organize all of your social media activities so you can better communicate your marketing message. When completed, you’ll know exactly what topics and themes you’ll cover, which social media channels you’ll post content to and when, and how your social media efforts fit in with and support all the other marketing and promotional activities you’ll undertake.
It’s also a great tool for ensuring all of the content you published in social media can be efficiently created, shared, tracked and managed.
You can download a free calendar here for planning your social media marketing.
(Use the coupon code provided to automatically set the price to $0.00 for you. Instructions for customizing the calendar are included in the Excel workbook. Yes, we are well into the year already, but all subscribers are offered new editions of the calendar each year at no charge when they become available. )
3. Monitor your results
Finally, you'll want to be able to review and analyse the results you're getting from social media marketing so you can make adjustments to your plans if needed.
The calendar provides a detailed worksheet for tracking key marketing metrics throughout the year. These statistics show you what's working and what's not so you can optimize your campaigns while working to achieve your social media marketing goals.
About the Author: Linda M. Lopeke is an internationally recognized authority on business management and creator of the award-winning SMARTSTART programs. She helps entrepreneurs create media-worthy success stories from their business ideas. Click the link for more useful products from smartstartcoach.com
* This post was sponsored by Smart Start Coach