I received a number of requests asking for more information on my previously published post called So You’re Jumping into Social Media – 7 Tips to Get You Started, so here goes:
Step 1 was establishing goals for your social media campaign. This is important because your goals will largely drive the type of content you post, the types of behavior you want to drive and the places where you choose to have a presence. For instance, if your ultimate goal is to increase website sales, you might have the goal of driving more visitors to your site, or you may have the goal of increasing the number of positive comments about your product on Facebook or LinkedIn. On the other hand, if your ultimate goal is to drive awareness of your company, you may have goals around posting content that will be shared by others (especially influencers). Along with establishing goals, make sure you know how you will measure those goals. Google Analytics can help you understand web traffic and visitor behavior for instance.
Step 2 was figuring out where your audience is. This assumes that you already know who your audience is (in a general sense, as in their demographics and hopefully their interests). If you’re a small business, perhaps there is a site that others in your industry frequently visit for product reviews. If there’s a blog on that site, you might inquire about writing a guest post for them. Or perhaps your audience uses Facebook as a primary tool for connecting to each other. You’ll need to have a strong presence there as well, using helpful links to your own blog posts or useful product reviews.
Step 3 was to understand what success will look like for you. This is closely related to goals and means that you need to fully understand what it is you are after. Does success mean getting potential customers to engage with you one on one in social media, or does success mean making the phones ring. Either way, that success needs to support your goals.
Step 4 was establishing an editorial calendar. Not only does this help you organize, but it also will force you to remember that specific keywords are important in order for your posts to gain traction with the search engines. There are many templates that you can find on the Internet. Here are seven templates posted by Cedar Sage Marketing. What’s important is that the calendar has what you need. My calendar is very simple. I keep an Excel spreadsheet that has dates down the left hand side and the following categories across the top: Author, Title, Status (ie, written, published), 3-5 Keywords or Tags, Category, and Notes.
Step 5 was creating a social media policy. I’m not sure I can add to the original post on this one. You need to have an employee policy and it should be clear and support your company’s own mission. It can be brief and should be easy to understand.
Step 6 was monitoring your sites. When you first get started, this isn’t too difficult because you don’t have a lot to keep track of. But as you grow your viewer base, you’ll need to make sure you are keeping track of interactions in case someone wants to get in touch with you for instance, or in case someone has a bad experience. Here’s an example: I recently had an experience with Chobani Yogurt. I love this product and had bought a package of 12 cups. When I brought my package home, I noticed that one of the cups was very light and in fact turned out to be empty. I thought I should let Chobani know about this so I posted to their Facebook page and let them where I’d made the purchase. I heard back from them within an hour or so. Not only were they apologetic, but they asked for my email address so that they could send me a coupon for free product. It was immediate and made a great impression on me….and they now have my email address for future contact!
Step 7 was being prepared for negative comments. I’ve already posted about Handling Trolls here. Not only should you yourself have a plan for dealing with these comments but you should also make sure your management is forewarned. You don’t want an upset CEO calling you because they read something negative and want you to remove the comment immediately. Negative comments are to be expected. The trick is to handle them well and quickly, so that they will have little importance and visibility. And removing the comments is really a last resort option, as you don’t want your readers to doubt the honesty of the site.