Maybe you’re thinking about using social media to grow your business. In that case, you want to be sure you get off on the right foot. Or perhaps you’ve already started using social media, but you’re not getting the results you want.
Either way, this checklist will help. Use it as a guide to putting social media to work for you…
Step 1: Define Your Goals
Before you even think of starting up a social media strategy, you need to clearly define what you want your social media strategy to do for you. Here are some of the more common goals:
⇒ Create sales.
⇒ Presell prospects.
⇒ Generate leads.
⇒ Send people to your lead pages.
⇒ Encourage people to download and use a freemium.
⇒ Build your brand recognition.
⇒ Use it as a communication platform with your prospects and customers
(including handling customer service issues).
⇒ Jump start viral content.
⇒ Spread the word about contests.
⇒ Drive people back to your website.
⇒ Get people to read a blog post, watch a video, etc.
⇒ Encourage people to use an app (such as a Facebook app).
⇒ Take advantage of paid advertising, including retargeting (such as through the
Facebook ad platform).
⇒ Get people to call you.
⇒ Establish yourself as an expert in the niche.
You may have other goals – whatever they are, write them down.
Secondly, you need to define a primary goal for your social media campaigns, along with your secondary goals. In other words, figure out which goal is MOST important to you, and then design your social media campaigns around achieving that goal.
TIP: Keep in mind that social media platforms are primarily two-way communication and idea-sharing platforms. If your primary goal is to push commercial messages, you’re likely going to find that social media marketing isn’t the best approach. It’s better to set a primary goal of lead-generating or similar, with sales generation as a secondary goal.
The final thing you need to consider is how you’re going to track your goals. In other words, each goal you set should be measurable. Of course goals such as building your mailing list are easy, as you can simply look to your subscriber logs to see if your list is growing. Goals such as building brand recognition require more work, as you’ll need to do things such as survey the market to determine if brand recognition is growing in the niche.
Step 2: Identify The Best Platforms For Your Business
Run a search for social media platforms, and you’ll quickly see there are dozens or even hundreds of possibilities, depending on your niche. Generally, you’ll want to choose from the top platforms, which include:
⇒ Facebook ⇒ Twitter ⇒ Instagram ⇒ Pinterest ⇒ Instagram ⇒ LinkedIn ⇒ YouTube
Now here’s the key…
You don’t want to engage on all of these platforms, as that would be spreading yourself too thin. What’s more, your goals and your audience might not be a good fit for all these platforms.
For example, if your business goals don’t include sharing a lot of photos, then Instagram and Pinterest aren’t good fits. Likewise, if you don’t intend to share videos, then YouTube isn’t a good fit.
So ask yourself:
⇒ On which platforms is your audience already congregating?
⇒ Which platforms will give you the biggest market reach?
⇒ Which platforms best serve your business goals?
⇒ What sort of content do you intend to share (primarily)?
Pick the top two or three platforms and then move onto the next step…
Step 3: Set Up Your Accounts
Once you decide which platforms to focus on, your next step is to set up your accounts.
Follow these steps:
⇒ Choose a recognizable, brandable name. In most cases, you should be using
your business name or, where applicable, your own name for your account.
⇒ Upload graphics. Different platforms let you design your page in different ways.
Be sure to upload graphics that fit your brand as well as personalize your account.
For example: if your business is built around you, then on Facebook you may use a photo of yourself as the profile pic, and then upload a brand-building cover photo.
⇒ Fill in the details. Be sure to complete the “About” section. But rather than
making it about you, let visitors know what your business can do for them. Include a link to your website.
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Step 4: Create An Overall Social Media Strategy
You know your goals and you know which platforms you intend to use to achieve these goals. Now it’s time to create a social media strategy that will best help you meet and exceed your goals.
- Answer these questions to help you create your overall strategy?
- How will you get visitors from your own site to your social media platforms?
E.G.: Direct calls to action on your blog, in your newsletter and on other platforms and properties you own? Embedding social media badges on your site? How will you drive social media visitors back to your site?
E.G.: Using apps, such as Aweber’s mailing list app for Facebook. Links and calls to action on your About page. Links embedded in posts and in viral content. (E.G., a link on a viral meme.)
- How will you cross-promote your social media platforms?
E.G., how will you get your Twitter followers to also follow you on Facebook? Direct calls to action in social media posts. Links to other social media on about pages. Using platform-specific apps to cross-promote. Links embedded in viral content.
- How often will you post on your chosen platform?
NOTE: Research your competitors on social media to see what they’re doing. At a bare minimum you should be posting weekly. In many cases, you’ll want to post daily.
- What types of content will you post?
NOTE: Post multiple types of content to test which gets the best response. Short? Long? Videos? Memes? Quotes? Infographics? Etc.
- How will you automate posting?
⇒ Use plugins that directly post your WordPress posts onto social media.
⇒ Use apps that let you post content across multiple platforms at once.
⇒ Use built-in “drip feed” features (such as uploading content today for future
posting on Facebook).
Wrapping Things Up
Social media is a great way to reach your prospects and customers, but it’s most effective when you carefully plan a social media strategy before you get started. Use this checklist today to start planning your strategy!
I hope that helps, let me know in the comments if you need any help with this and I will be glad to help.