social media strategy is essential to achieve success, otherwise, social media marketing can become a time vacuum, and before you realise it, you’ve spent a few hours online, and achieved little as a result, posting randomly, and without true intent. Follow these steps to social media strategy success:

Identify objectives

Social media can be used for more than marketing your business. Be sure to include how you might create your social media strategy for relationship management, market research, and customer service too, as you may find that you could reduce costs by using social media for those functions too.

Identify target market

In order to work out how to reach your target market, you must first identify them. Yes, that seems obvious, but lots of people would like to believe that EVERYONE is their target market, and unfortunately that’s just not the case. By creating a picture of who you’d like to engage with, it makes it easier to identify which social media platform would be most efficient (if time or resources are limited, you may choose to use just one channel such as Facebook). Determine what interests your target market have, their age group, where they are based, and what they do, as this will help you to determine where to find them.

Engage with existing clients and prospects

Word of mouth marketing is one of the most powerful tools you have. Find and engage with your existing customers on social media, and they will start to do your marketing for you, sending recommendations your way. Connecting with prospects can break down barriers, and lead to more fruitful and open conversations. Once you’ve built a network of existing customers and prospects, cast your net wider, and search for your target market that you’ve not yet met!

Watch for opportunities

If you’re in a social situation (offline) and hear a conversation about a product or service in your area of expertise, you’re likely to “eavesdrop” on the conversation, to see if there is a way that you can join in and open an opportunity. It’s the same online, people share all kinds of information on social media sites, keeps your eyes peeled for opportunities, and join in conversations when it’s an area that you know a lot about!

Nurture relationships

Once you’ve found your target market, social media is not about selling to them, it’s about engaging with them, and building relationships. It might be a slower process, but the returns are often more rewarding. Find the opportunity to meet face to face as soon as you can, as this is where the most powerful exchanges happen. Social media is a great door opener, but nothing will beat the face to face meeting.

Test and measure results

As you will be more targeted in your approach, it is essential to measure the results of what you achieve, so that you can “tweak” any campaigns in order to maximise returns. It’s a good idea to check your results at least once per week, so that you can determine whether you are seeing the potential or interaction that you would expect. You will not necessarily get returns immediately, however, if you measure your results regularly, you will sense whether opportunities exist on the platform that you are using, and work out how to engage to maximum benefits. Social media strategy is suitable for ALL sizes of business, for those with limited time and resource, it’s a great way to stay on track, and for those larger organisations who have resource to run it in house, it’s a great way to set objectives and measure performance against those objectives. If you would like to discuss social media strategy for your business, please contact us: Tel: 0844 556 5116 Email: [email protected] Facebook: Sales Scene – Sales & Marketing solutions Twitter: @salesscene Caroline on Google +  ]]>