A winning social media strategy in 10 simple steps

I recently delivered a workshop on social media.  I developed a handy step-by-step guide to making social media work for your small business.  Read on to follow my step-by-step 10 point guide:

  1. Visualise your target market. Who are you targeting? Be specific. Think about their gender, age, geographies and interests.
  2. Understand your customers. You know who you are targeting, now understand how they use social media. Which sites are they likely to use? Are they using social media as a consumer, or business-user or both?
  3. Choose your social media channels. Carefully select the social media sites where you will gain the greatest return. Those sites used most by your target market. If you have a strong business focus, Linked In and Twitter are likely to be better than Facebook, which is used by consumers.
  4. Set your objectives. What are you trying to achieve: gain new customers, keep customers engaged or maybe share your expertise?  What measurable results do you want to gain? Set your objectives for: website traffic, number of followers, the quantity of positive, negative and neutral comments on your sites, the number of leads or social media driven revenue?
  5. Look, listen and learn. Follow competitors, collaborators, content providers and trail-blazers (the ones to watch in social media). Watch and learn from them. How do they create engagement through social media?
  6. Choose your identity. What’s your name? Are you communicating as your business or you as an individual? Use knowem.com to secure your name across the various sites. Define your brand personality and write a great biog that really sells the benefits of following you.
  7. Start the dialogue. Think: How can I add value? How can I share my expertise? How can I be authentic and personal? How can I promote my companies benefits & why I’m different?  Write a content plan.
  8. Share. Share content from other sites and your own sites and blogs. Share ideas and products that inspire you. Share images, videos and written content. Ask questions of your followers.
  9. Communicate and keep posting.  Contribute to discussions. Set up your own group. Retweet, share and like discussions of interest to your target market.  Get in touch with people directly.  Keep your sites up-to-date (two posts per week minimum) but don’t over post (this will depend on your customers preferences, so keep an eye out. Are you losing people?)
  10. Measure and adjust. Good social media strategy is all about the ROI!  Are you achieving the objectives you set? Are you increasing traffic, boosting your SEO results, gaining good comments and increasing your followers? Can you map enquiries back to social media activity?