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building your social media plan

Social-Media-IconsThere are hundreds of social media sites out there. And depending on your service you may need to sign up for them all!

Just kidding, but the myriad of sites that have sprung up over the last few years is mind-boggling and very frustrating. You want to provide the best service for your clients, but how do you decide which sites to support and how can you know they are the right sites?

Creating a social media plan to track what you are doing and it’s effectiveness is what this section is all about. People have gravitated to social media sites and you do have to manage them, just not all of them!

 

Social Media Plan

When you create you social media plan, make sure you cover the following topics:

    1. Goals for your Social Media campaign
    2. Selection of Social Media Sites
    3. Management of Topic Content & Scheduling per Site
    4. Measurement of Success Metrics

You goals can be very general to start with, but it will help you tremendously to try and drill down as far as your can.

For social media sites, include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (for professionals). Facebook is the “face” of social media sites and almost everyone and their uncle have an account. Twitter is the “water-cooler” of the Internet and it’s always nice to have your name mentioned (so long as it’s a good mention!) If you are  selling a service in a professional field, you must also have a LinkedIn account. Other social media sites need to be reviewed by you to determine if your service, clients or potentials benefit or joins those sites.

Content is king, and you need a lot! And it needs to be published on a regular basis to keep both your readership informed and for search engines to keep noticing you.

Measuring success is a delicate area. The primary goal of any web interaction is to entice readers to come back to your site and then convince them to buy your service. However, the secondary goal is to give back to the community at large, offering your advice and helping folks at large.

Sample media plans found on the web:

Social Media Sites

Here are the Top 15 Most Popular Social Networking Sites as of December 2012 according to eBizMBA.

As expected, Facebook ranks #1 with Twitter a very distant #2 (but it is growing). LinkedIn, the top “professional” site is ranks#3. These 3 sites are, at a minimum, the ones to join and create a web presence. You need to create your profiles on these sites and use your brand to integrate them tightly (as tightly as you can) with your website brand.

Each of these sites focus on different genre and personalities and, as such, you social media plan needs to address that. Twitter users are there for a quick update and then they’re gone; LinkedIn is for the “water-cooler” discussions; and Facebook is for… hmm… everything else!

You will find that many, many people (and definitely businesses) have a presence on all 3 sites, however the strategy they employ may be different. Plan your strategy and ensure that you provide daily (if possible) updates to twitter, and weekly updates to LinkedIn and Facebook.

In addition ti the top 3 sites, peruse all others (like Pinterest) to see whether you need to join those sites as well. Not sure what sites you may need? Then peruse some of your competitors websites and see where they are linked to and consider following them – remember, there’s plenty of fish in the pond, IF you are in the pond!

Profiles

Would it be great to have a “single sign-on” profile? I think that Facebook is heading in this direction (and it cannot be too soon!), but in the meantime you need to take the time and energy to start signing up to all the sites

Bummer! Your profile has been taken already on that other site? Or that site does not allow you to create the profile because it is too long (or has special characters)? Be ready to find alternative names to use but try to keep the profiles as near to your business as possible.

Most sites requires an email to sign up. If you are planning on keeping up with everyone yourself for the next 10-15 years – I wish you luck! I would suggest that you create new emails for your social media sites have emails forwarded to your primary account. That way, once you have hired your next employee, you can easily re-direct those emails to them!

Create “Sharing” Content

Nobody likes to be continually bombarded with “Buy! Buy! Buy!” When you are navigating around the social media communities, stop and listen and then respond to peoples comments and questions. There is NO need to say you can solve a problem – let the reader(s) link back to your website from your name to decide if they want to buy from.

You primary purpose when on community watch is to talk and say hello to every one, providing advice and direction where needed.

Share, Review & Respond

You are responsible for getting your name out in the community. This is where building a name for yourself can really help your business grow.

Twitter

Twitter comments are quick and to the point. Try not to go over the 140 character limit that makes people click on a link to see what you’ve said (takes way to much time). These are the people you are waving to on your way home, but not stopping the car for – so do this on a daily basis, if possible.

Facebook

Facebook can be a little more longer and more social (you can even have a beer in your hand when responding – they’re nice people out there!) You meet the neighbors a few times a week, mostly on weekends, and then every couple of months you attend the cul-de-sac reunion.

LinkedIn

When working the LinkedIn community then you need to respond as you would any professional – clear, to the point and ACCURATELY. No comments like “Just burned Xmas dinner” in this media… stick to business topics.

Always remember when you Follow or Like or Connect with people, then you are who your friends are! You find someone that is abusing the site’s goal, then YOU are also abusing them by passing their comments onto your connections. Having that neighbor that adheres to the “30 minute” update on each minute of their day is fine on Twitter, and even Facebook, but definitely not on LinkedIn. It is okay to have different contacts on each site.

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About Tom Joe Finnin

IT professional for over 20 years... currently working at a Fortune 100 company for last 15 years. Love to help people help themselves - let me help you create a web presence quickly and efficiently.

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