Loading

Grow Smart Business


teaserInfographic
Close

Search Articles





Social Media 101: Put Together a Strategy in 6 Easy Steps

July 26th, 2012 ::

Social Media 101

If you are just getting started with social media for your small business, putting together a strategy can be overwhelming. Here are the steps you’ll need to take to put together a basic social media strategy:

1. Decide what your goals are.

The best way to stay motivated and not get discouraged is by deciding what your goals are. Are you going to use social media to increase sales, generate leads, build brand awareness, become a thought leader in your industry, or a combination of all four?  Your answer doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that you know why you want to use social media in the first place.

2. Determine keywords.

If you want to get found online – including on social media – you need to use the words and phrases your potential customers use when conducting a search. You can easily find that information with keyword discovery tool WordTracker.  Once you choose the best terms for you, incorporate them in all content, headlines, status updates and tweets.

3. Find your audience.

While you may think you have to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Pinterest, you won’t know what social media platforms you need to use until you find out where your audience is spending time. To find them – and find out what they’re talking about – you’ll want to use social listening tools like Flowtown, SocialMention or ViralHeat.

4. Choose a social conversation tool.

Save time and make your life easier by setting up an account with a social media conversation tool like Hootsuite, Jugnoo, Postling or Sprout Social. You’ll be able to respond to comments and questions, actively engage with people in real-time, and even assign conversations to other people at your business.

5. Put together a list of topics.

Since you already know what your audience is talking about online, putting together a list of topics to post will be easier.  Here’s what you’ll want to share:

  • Curated relevant industry news
  • Company news that will affect your customers
  • Links to your blog posts, white papers, ebooks and other marketing collateral on the topics you already know your audience is interested in
  • Photos and videos from everyday work life and events
  • Answers to FAQs

Remember to mix up the content to keep things interesting, let your personality shine through, and always be positive, even if you are dealing with an irate customer who is lambasting you with angry tweets.

6. Analyze and tweak.

If you owned a restaurant and there were two dishes customers never ordered off your menu, you would remove them, right?  Same with your social media strategy.  If something is not working, tweak what you’re doing. Use social media analytics tools like Crowd Booster, Google Analytics or Swix to make sure you’re using the right social media platforms and sharing the information your audience cares about.

***

Did I leave anything out of this post that you are curious about how to do?  Leave a comment below so I can address your questions in future posts.

Image courtesy of socialmarcom.com

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

Get more small business resources from Network Solutions

Web.com is now offering forums designed to support small businesses in cities throughout the US. Learn more about these forums here: http://Businessforum.web.com/

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Marketing, Social Media | 4 Comments »

  • Courtney

    Great article! Thank you for mentioning Viralheat. We’d love to talk to you more about the post. Could you contact us?

    • Anonymous

       Will do – thanks for reaching out Courtney!

  • http://sproutsocial.com/ Brittany at Sprout Social

    Thanks so much for mentioning Sprout Social, Monika! Much appreciated. And I 100% agree with your tip to mix things up and let your personality shine. I think customers are so much more likely to connect with a brand that they feel is authentic, sincere, and personable rather than robotic. Connecting and engaging with your audience will likely lead to stronger brand evangelism (and hopefully sales)! 

    Great article!

    • Anonymous

       You’re welcome Brittany!  Thanks for leaving a comment – I really appreciate it.  And yeah, I think brands overthink what kind of tone to use, and they end up sounding like robots instead of people.