Five Steps to a Successful Social Media Campaign
The biggest and most common mistake with social media marketing is the lack of a strategic plan and clearly defined approach. The reality is that it takes a lot more than setting up a profile and waiting for business to come to you. The good news is that you have more control with this form of marketing than any other because you have the power to reach your ideal client directly.
Step One: Identifying Your Ideal Client
Before you can begin looking for new potential clients, you need to be sure you understand exactly who they are so you can have a better idea of where to find them.
Some businesses will commonly make the assumption that everyone is their target market. Even if your product or service could be used by anyone, it is not in your best interest to target the entire general population.
Your target market is comprised of those who want, need and are willing to pay for what you have to offer.
Step Two: Social Network Prioritization
Whether or not you plan to outsource your social media marketing or handle it internally, it’s necessary to determine how much of your resources you plan to dedicate to it so you can plan accordingly.
This might come as a relief but you don’t have to be on every single social network to be effective. In fact, that could easily have a negative effect unless you plan to dedicate an entire social media team to the job.
The networks you select will differ whether you are a B2B or B2C company. I will show an example of what it may look like for a B2B company in terms of the best networks to focus on (in order):
Blogging – You must maintain a strong blogging presence that provides value to your target market and positions you as the authority in your industry. A blog is also critical for maintaining good SEO (search engine optimization) and gives your target market a reason to keep coming back to your website.
LinkedIn – Being the world’s largest online professional network, LinkedIn is impossible to ignore. Once your profile is complete and optimized to get you found, you can begin taking advantage of LinkedIn’s passive lead generation. The best results however are generated through engaging actively in LinkedIn groups that attract your specific target market.
Twitter – The main benefit of using Twitter is that it can easily connect you with potential prospects and give you a platform where it is common to share links to drive traffic back to your website.
Google+ – Google+ may not have your ideal clients there but it’s still has benefit because of its inherent SEO advantages. If you are in the tech industry, this could potentially be a top focus for you but most still struggle to see the relevance of Google+ in the fiercely competitive landscape of the social networking world.
Facebook – Facebook is often ineffective for many B2B organizations and for many of my clients we have decided to leave Facebook completely out of the strategy. It’s a constant battle to get exposure in the News Feed without constant advertising dollars being spent with severely questionable ROI for B2B professionals.
Step 3: Complete, Optimize & Brand All Profiles
Once you’ve clearly identified your ideal clients and the best networks to be on, the next step is to make sure you set up your profiles properly. You won’t have any chance at getting found by prospects on social media if you have not done both of the following:
Completely filled out all social media profiles
Optimized with relevant keywords that your target market uses to find services that you offer
The combination of these two is fundamental to organic success online and works especially well for SEO-friendly social sites such as LinkedIn and Google+. If profile optimization sounds confusing, this article lays out the complete guide to optimizing your LinkedIn profile, one step at a time.
It is also important to note that your profiles must be branded (Facebook cover photo, Twitter background etc) with custom graphic design.
Step 4: Create Content
You need to be careful about how you direct potential clients to your website from social networking sites. Anything perceived as spam will get you ignored or even banned.
The absolute best way to attract new clients online is by using an education-based marketing strategy. This means you will need to create content (blog posts, articles, videos, etc.) that helps educate your ideal clients by helping them find the solutions to the problems they have.
To learn more about how to create great content that will enhance your online presence and position you as the go-to authority in your industry, read this article.
Step 5: Solidify Follow Up Process & Start Connecting
You can get each of the previous steps right but completely fail with your social media marketing strategy if you miss this step. The reason why is because this step is focused on action.
If you want to get results on social media, you need to be strategic and put that strategy into action. When things aren’t working well, you tweak it and try a different approach to compare results.
When creating your follow up process with new connections, ask yourself a few questions:
Where are you engaging with people? How often?
What do you say when you reach out to make new connections?
What do you do after they have accepted your connection request?
How do you keep in touch and sustain your new relationships?
And most importantly, how do you move the conversation offline?
Actively think about how you are connecting with people, what you are saying and how that connection can be taken offline. Be authentic and lead with what’s interesting to the people you are reaching out to.
Don’t ever send someone a message just because you want them to check out your new product/event/widget. Personalize everything and start presenting people with solutions and you will be remembered online.
By Melonie Dodaro
Melonie Dodaro, founder of Top Dog Social Media helps business owners, sales teams and professionals use social media marketing to boost their visibility, attract new customers and increase their revenue. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, she’s also a highly sought after social media speaker and trainer. To learn more about Melonie visit TopDogSocialMedia.com