It is important to get involved on the social Web, not only to present your business but also to develop and grow your reputation. Being invisible on the social Web means you’re not a part of the conversation, with no chance to grow your reputation. So it’s important to take action to grow your Web visibility.
Before you start, you must determine your general goals and approaches to keep you on track. You can always change things down the road, just as you may like to change conversational approaches on a personal level. But remember that, in social media marketing, your mode of talking and conversation is done through the keyboard and your audience is much larger. At any case, these eight steps will get you started on the right track:
- Know your goals.
Start by asking the right questions to determine the type of content you’ll be publishing and what type of activities you will choose to participate in. Why are you choosing to participate in the social Web ? Are you trying to get direct sales, or offer some customer service ? Do you want to build a relationship and boost the level of confidence with your customer ? The answers to these questions will determine your approach.
- Know your resources.
It is important to know whether you have the necessarily technical skills to join the online conversation. Determine who will be creating and maintaining your social media accounts and who is going to be the face of your business on social media. This person will be answering the questions and presenting your business in the best way possible. Can you be that person ? If not, are you willing to learn ?
- Know your audience.
Before you start, you need to determine your target audience and where do they spend their online time. You also need to determine what they are most vocal about and what informations they really want from you. You need to know what your audience wants and needs to provide the content they’ll find most interesting, while still being there to interact with them on a personal level.
- Create amazing content.
You need to present your audience with great content, preferably in the form of a conversation. This will help you build a loyal following of people who will trust you to meet their needs.
- Make a schedule.
It is preferable to create a schedule for your social media marketing activities. You can, for example, allocate ten minutes of Twitter each day before you check your e-mail and before you finish work. This will help you maintain your activities each day.
- Focus on quality, instead of quantity.
Don’t get caught up in numbers, it is better to have few loyal and highly engaging followers than have a larger number who never acknowledge your efforts.
- Give control to your audience.
It is your audience who must take control of the online conversation. This will help make them develop emotional attachment to you, your brand and your business.
- Keep learning.
Be flexible and never stop listening and learning. Don’t be afraid of change.