Many people who are just getting started on social media want to start with creating the account and posting. Why not? That is the fun part. The reality is that you aren’t likely to be successful if you just jump in.
To launch an effective social media account you’ll want to take some time to do it properly. Many businesses don’t get results from social media because they haven’t approached it strategically.
The conversation is “We should be on Facebook. Who here is good at Facebook? Hey you – young marketing person. Get us on Facebook!” An account is created and content is posted.
“I don’t think social media works. We aren’t really getting results.”
The problem is that the approach wasn’t strategic to begin with. If you want to be successful with social media, follow these steps.
1) Education and Landscape Assessment
Before you launch that Facebook Page or Twitter account, spend some time educating yourself and learning about social media. Assess the landscape to determine what the real opportunity is and how others are using it.
- Take some webinars or sign up for a formal social media training program to get a solid understanding of how the tool works and best practices.
- Check out what your competitors are doing – what works and doesn’t work.
- Find your audience online – what are they up to? What do they like? What do they talk about?
- Learn best practices, tips and tricks to optimize your implementation.
Don’t just do it. Create a strategy. Strategy is the most important thing to your success. What do you want to achieve and who is your audience. This should guide your implementation.
Create a solid social media strategy and build a clear social media plan.
Next, build your social media channels. When you get started you’ll need to create your account and build your audience.
Building naturally takes more time than maintenance because you are getting started. You need to build audience and promote your account plus create content.
- Create social media assets
- Launch assets
- Promote assets
- Start posting relevant content using best practices
- Build audience
Maintaining is about content optimization and community management. Post content regularly and participate and engage with your followers.
5) Analyze and Optimize
Once you’ve launched and are posting you aren’t finished (you never really are). Social networks change and you need to constantly improve and stay on top of what works.
Analyze your performance and optimize your execution. Continue to improve.