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"Your Social Media Marketing Plan Requires Your Attention!"

Posted on the 31 August 2011 by Wardknows
The web is a network like no other that allows your business to communicate with prospects and customers with lightning fast speed across a variety of channels. What many entrepreneurs don't know about social media marketing is that it requires a lot of attention. To get good results, your social media marketing efforts require a solid plan, that is consistently executed. The end goals are growing your network and list of prospects & customers, while minimizing your marketing expenses. Here's the information that you need to know to take the social media marketing for your small business to the next level and achieve these goals.What Is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is an online marketing approach that requires attention by a business owner, in order to be effective. It works like this: your customers indirectly promote and market your business online, through information sharing on the social media sites and product review sites that they subscribe to. Social media makes it possible to publish content once and have it distributed for free through a large number of social media marketing channels on the web. Your business needs to do several things to successfully market its products and services online using social media. Here's a short list of actionable steps, allowing you to quickly jump into social media marketing for your business:STEP 1 - DETERMINE WHO YOUR CUSTOMERS AREThis step should be easy, but it's often overlooked by business owners when they jump on the social media marketing bandwagon. The demographics of your intended customer audience should determine which social media networks your business gives the most attention to. Sure, everyone has heard of social media network giants like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and they deserve to be included in your social media marketing plan, but these networks are just a few of the social media marketing channels that can benefit your business. There are many other niche social media sites that can serve as good marketing channels for your business as well, that you may need to explore and pay attention to. STEP 2 - SET UP A PROFILE ON YOUR CHOSEN SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKSOnce you have determined which social media networks you want to give your attention to, you will need to set up profiles that explain your products and services to the subscribers on a given network. When someone becomes a member of a social network like Twitter, they are looking  to connect with people and businesses that cater to their personal interests and needs. You business profile needs to contain keywords that will allow your business to be easily found by prospective customers, when running a search on a given social media network site. Your profile should also provide a link to your company's homepage or blog, so someone viewing your profile can easily get more information about your business.STEP 3 - PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS ONLINE USING SOCIAL MEDIASomeone on your marketing team needs to decide what promotional information your business will publish on the social media networks your business subscribes to. Any content that your business chooses to broadcast should be interesting, informative and should set the stage for converting its consumers customers. Social media marketing is most successful when you maintain a written plan for online marketing communications. Your social media communications plan rests on the backbone of the overall marketing plan for your business. The overall marketing plan for your business provides the objectives and actions needed to market your products and services. Your social media communications plan defines the content, timing and channels of promotion of your products or services on the Internet. 

Once your business has established a social media communications plan, a task list needs to be created that allows the active management of the promotional content your business uses online. Content creation, content approval and content publish are the major tasks that you need to track, that can be assigned to your in-house personnel or outsourced to an individual or firm that offers content management services.The marketing content your business uses will usually differ to some degree depending on the social media network that is being targeted. Regardless of the format or social media network channels used, your promotional content should always entice the consumer to take some action, to spread the word about your business through their social network, even if they do not personally need or use the products or services that your business sells.
STEP 4 - MANAGE YOUR ONLINE REPUTATIONThere is a type of social media that doesn't get nearly as much attention as it deserves: Customer Review Sites. Sites like Angie's ListYelp and GarageFly allow prior customers to post positive or negative comments about a business and its products and services. These sites have the power to make or break the reputation of your business online and most of these sites puts customer reviews through a rigorous validation process, to make sure the comments are authentic.Customer review sites are not something that you can directly control the content on, but it is an important part of your social media marketing plan because it gives you the opportunity to capture negative feedback, counter it; and in some cases, have the negative feedback removed by the poster, once a customer complaint is resolved.  Someone at your business needs to monitor the content on customer review sites that pertain to your business, so any negative reviews can quickly be mitigated and possibly removed.  This is called reputation management, which is quickly becoming a "must do" item for any business and is something that you can outsource, as a small business owner.Contact Me Via Email for more information on creating a customized social media communication plan or content management task list for your business. 

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