Back in Social Media 101 (Step 1 of 3), we talked about re-evaluating your social media assets and how doing so should be done with your customers in mind. That is to say, add value to your customers by interacting with them via social media, make it easy for them to talk about problems or issues they have, and take care of business by taking care of your customers!
In Step 2, we are going to talk about devising (or editing) your social media marketing plan.
Social Media 101: Your Plan
We have all heard this: "Failure to plan is planning to fail." While I don't necessarily agree with that statement 100%, it is important to note that without a social media marketing plan, you could very well fall into the trap of spending a TON of time "doing" social media without really accomplishing much.
Therefore, at the very least, you should put a social media marketing plan in place; it need not be elaborate. In fact, the simpler the plan, the better because you will most likely follow through, stay focused, and see some success.
Too many people–small businesses especially–try to do too much and wind up being totally ineffective. Their business begins to suffer, too (remember, as a business owner, you are responsible for everything! Time wastefully spent on social media is time you could have used to improve your business.)
Let's set up an example plan. I like phased approaches–the gradual increases in complexity are easy to swallow and give you time to learn a social media site extensively before you move onto the next one.
- Month 1. Get a Facebook account. Set it up as yourself. Poke around. Learn Facebook. Understand the terminology. Build up a friends list by–get this!–contacting your real friends already on Facebook and asking them to "friend you." Learn how the system works from an individual user's perspective. After all, the people who will be interacting with you in a little while are individuals and you should understand things from their perspective.
- Month 2. Set up a Facebook fanpage for your business. It's fairly easy to set up a basic fanpage that you can use to promote your business and build a following. If you don't know how, check out this special ebook over at LivermoreFanPages.com. It tells you all about Facebook from a business / marketing perspective. Highly recommended.
- Month 3. Customize your Fanpage. There are a ton of ways to enhance the user experience of your fanpage. Get the ebook mentioned in bullet #2 to learn more. Along with that ebook comes a very special offer that you really don't want to miss. Trust me when I say this.
Learn all you can about what gets people to your page, what they talk about when they're there, and what methods you can employ to get more participation.
- Set up accounts at Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. You can accelerate through the steps above because you've already moved through the first (and most important), Facebook. Simply "get good" at using each system but don't try to "blast through it."
I suggest you do all of the above manually. Don't even think of automating any of this just yet. That comes in Social Media 101 Step 3 of 3. Don't miss it!