Tuesday, 10 January 2012

A NEW New Years Resolution

As the 9th January is meant to be the day most people in the UK break their New Years resolution I thought that the 10th was a good day to suggest a fresh resolution. “Develop a sound social media strategy”.

Slowly but surely I am starting to understand how important it is for me to get involved with social media marketing. If you are like me and want to manage your online presence all by yourself, and you’re feeling overwhelmed, maybe this blog can help you stick to your shinny new resolution.

Start with the – “Why?”

Many people get into social media for the wrong reason and participate in the networks they joined too much or too little. Now’s a great time to really give some thought to why you are involved in the social networks you are involved in. Having clarity in the “Why?” is the first step in getting yourself organised and on track. Here’s a few ideas to help you answer the question.

  • Are you involved with social media to boost your ego? Do you collect followers, connections, and Likes solely so you can tell your friends about the numbers you’ve amassed?
  • Do you really want to engage with the people you’ve connected with, or do you just want to promote yourself or your product all the time?
  • Did you join a particular social network just because “Everyone I know is on …?”
  • Are you prepared to put in the time necessary to accomplish your social media marketing goals consistently throughout 2012?
The answers to these questions are important and will help you form your social media marketing strategy for 2012. Businesses and business people, wanting to succeed in the world as it is today, must WANT to connect. You must WANT to connect with you current clients, customers and prospects if you want to be a successful social marketer. These are the people who will help your business grow. Now, when I say “connect,” I mean really engaging in conversations with people instead of pummeling them with promotions for your product or service. I mean adding value to people’s lives on a regular basis with your posts ( like this one?! ). I mean working hard to build lasting online relationships with your connections so they trust and respect you.

If you don’t consistently provide your connections with valuable content you and your business will be forgotten. If you over do it and post too much people will get irritated and stop following you. The key to a successful social media strategy is the same key to a happy and healthy life: Balance.

Whether you are a small business or a BIG company your commitment to social networking should be consistent, compelling and engaging. The social community is a fickle one. They will follow someone who is consistent, compelling and engaging, but once you slip up, they’re gone, never to return.

Developing a social networking schedule you can handle, must also keep you accountable. Again, the goal is consistency. Build your schedule and stick with it for an entire month. At the end of the month, stop and evaluate your efforts to determine if you are still on goal. Do you need to tweak the schedule? Do you need to get involved in more social networks or less?

Here’s my New Years resolution social media marketing schedule. You can use my schedule to generate ideas that will help you create your own schedule to meet your needs and the needs of your social communities, accomplish your goals, and fit your particular business and work style.

I will…

Two times a day

  • Check my Twitter feed. Reply when required and check the keywords I am looking for. Join a conversation or two.
  • Check my LinkedIn profile and visit some of the Groups I am in. I will engage with my LinkedIn network in some way twice a day, every day.
  • Check my Facebook Page and post something of value or respond to comments.
  • Check my Google Alerts for information on your competitors and mentions of your own brand. Actually I have not really got to grips with Google Alerts so this is more a must learn how to resolution!
Once A Week

  • Work on Twitter and Facebook Lists to be better organised so I am able to send targeted marketing messages when appropriate.
  • Really spend some time in LinkedIn Answers and discussions in the Groups I belong to.
  • Schedule tweets and status updates for the next week so I am consistently providing myr connections with “valuable” information.
  • Spend some time building relationships with other influencers.
  • Keep up to date on new products and social tools that may increase my efficiency and reach.
During the Week

Schedule tweets and status updates to provide meaningful content in addition to the content I scheduled in my once a week session.

Mondays and Wednesdays
Get involved in an industry specific conversation on Twitter.

Respond to blog comments on my blog and leave a comment or two on another blog. Remember what I said about building trust and credibility!

Check on the things I’ve been listening to. This would also be a good day to take a look at my analytics and analyse my website and blog traffic for the week.

I’m sure that your schedule is likely to be very different from this one. Consider your time commitments. Make the schedule something you will really do every week, stick to your NEW New Years resolution. Tweak the schedule along the way but remember that consistency is key.

Please share some of your own ideas in the comments.

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