10 Steps to Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy

10 Steps to Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy

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10 Steps to Creating a Winning Social Media Strategy
10 Steps to Creating a Winning Social Media StrategySocial media has changed the way businesses market themselves online.

It has forever altered how they interact, respond and meet customer needs.

If you are in business, whether you are a large or small company, social networking is your online connection to customers and potential clients.

It’s an opportunity to turn your fans, followers, readers and subscribers into raving fans and ultimately, marketing evangelists. Social media offers visibility unlike any other marketing medium.

Given the power of social media, wouldn’t you agree that it is critically important for businesses to not only get social, but implement strategies and processes that support scalability, efficiency, and successful social engagement?

I would say YES!

Build a Winning Social Media Strategy

This last week I had the opportunity to join a weekly webinar committed to helping business professionals boost their personal brand visibility through the power of social media.

The turnout was overwhelming with over six hundred marketers logging in to listen as I shared social media strategy for business.

  1. Know Your Target Market

Social media usage varies from one demographic to the next. Take the time to research and understand exactly how, when and why your target audience is using social media.

It is also vital to identify a target demographics’ preferred social media platform so that your strategy can be focused and direct.

  2. Take the Time to Craft Your Content

Before diving in and creating content online, carefully think through the message and goal of each post.

Whether it is a Facebook post or blog article, every word you write should support your end goal.

Is your goal to drive traffic towards your latest product? Maybe you have a service that you are spotlighting this month. Whatever the case, do not lose sight of the end result you are working towards.

Hint: A content calendar is the key to a consistent strategy! Take a look at this awesome article from Peg Fitzpatrick  to help you design yours.

  3. Create a Cross-Platform Strategy

The most successful companies leveraging social media are expanding their influence to several platforms.

Apart from being on Facebook and Twitter they’re enriching their brand with Instagram, Pinterest, Google+ Tumblr, blogs, and LinkedIn.

  4. Keep Your Branding Consistent

When setting up accounts on different social media networks, make sure your logo, color scheme, fonts and graphics are consistent.

You want to ensure that no matter where people connect with you, your personal brand is easily identifiable.

  5. Mix it Up

Don’t just stick with the same old “picture with a caption” format.

The best social media strategies mix up tactics when it comes to posting, whether the content is a link, image or text only.

Try changing things up and incorporating Infographics, quotes from your latest post or answers to questions. The objective here is to generate content that people will interact with by clicking on it, commenting, or sharing it with their friends.

  6. Engage Your Audience

Once you being to catch the attention of your audience, make sure they feel special.

Respond to comments, soothe concerns and answer questions. It is important that you stay consistent in your messaging,and maintain a professional demeanor.

  7. Follow the 70-30 rule

The 70-30 rule follows this strategy: maintain seventy percent engaging content and thirty percent promotional.

The seventy percent should be fun, interesting and useful to the online user. Let your audience get involved in the conversation, rather than feeling as if they are being “sold” every time you post.

This keeps your audience interactive and engaged, so that way when you do promote, they are far more likely to value whatever information comes their way.

  8. Check Your Analytics

Research should be the backbone of any social media strategy.

Google Analytics offers a rich database of statistics and analytics that can (and should) guide your posting and strategy decisions.

Leverage this information to learn as much as possible about which content is making the biggest impact with your community. Evaluate how and why some content works and some falls short.

  9. Keep Up with Industry Trends

Maintaining a finger on the pulse of trending topics and stories relevant to your target market should always be at the top of your to-do list.

Keeping your posts timely is a sure way to improve the organic reach of any post.

  10. Reassess, Revise, and Rework

Take the information you cull from your analytics and adjust your strategy. Social media is fluid. This means your strategy must remain agile and flexible.r

Don’t be afraid to change things up!

Want to learn more? Watch the full webinar here:

Don’t want to go it alone? Find out how I can help you build a winning social media strategy for 2014!

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Comments

  1. Social media has evolved as the biggest game changer in the online marketing world. As you said, it has changed the way of interaction and communication between the brands and their consumers forever. Frankly, if you want to survive you have to be present on the social media ground, no matter the age and size of your business. But to emerge as a triumphant in this struggle for existence you have to be very strategic while planning each and every move. You have thrown light on some extremely important aspects here.
    Here are my 2 cents:
    1) First set your social media goals. This will help you align all your social media efforts towards achieving something tangible and give the whole process a certain direction. Not only that, when you have a particular goal in front of you, you can easily asses, analyze and alter the process as and when needed.
    2) Increase your social media posting frequency to become more and more visible to your audience. Try to find out the time when maximum of your audiences are online. Try to make important updates around that time.

    You can also take the help of social media automation tools to schedule your updates and post them time-to-time. But remember, be human.
    Disclaimer: Have shared my thoughts on this here: http://www.betaout.com/blog/tips-to-create-a-nailing-social-media-strategy/#.UsEnq1sW2l4 –would you’re your feedback.

  2. Great post and great video too. Social Media has indeed changed the way people have promoted and marketed their business. Social Media has created a new avenue of engaging people and knowing the right way to do it is the first step to social media strategy success.
    Lynne recently posted..How to Tell if Your Relationship Coach is Any GoodMy Profile

  3. What type of stuff do you recommend posting for the 70%? My blog tends to be a mix of personal and business writing, so I’ve tended to post articles and quotes that interest me rather then follow a set formula. I have just assumed it if was a well written article that I enjoyed then I should share it even if it doesn’t tie in with my current blog entry. Any thoughts on what content is best to share?
    Amy recently posted..How to get started with your 401K accountsMy Profile

  4. There is so much to learn about how to use social media for business purposes. I am definitely learning from you and your blog, Rebekah! I love the simplicity and colour scheme.

    I was taught years ago that I should use the same photo on all social media, and also use my real name rather than a user name. For personal branding purposes, I still think that is a good idea. Although I have a more recent photo for my FB profile now, which includes my husband as well.

    Willena Flewelling
    Willena Flewelling recently posted..When Life Gives You LemonsMy Profile

    • It’s all a process Willena, but it sounds like you were given great advice from the get-go. Half the challenge for many people is the branding aspect. You did it right which makes everything so much easier!

  5. For the momentI am like getting into this with little knowledge to work from so this article is very useful. I will start on my strategy and hopefully stick to it. I seldom visit Google Analytics because of fear what I’ll see which often I don’t understand. Courage!

  6. An awesome plan to create a winning social campaign. If anyone follows this plan, they’ll see an increase in revenue and customer loyalty.
    Adam Dukes recently posted..[Must Watch] WestJet Plays Santa, Gives 250 Passengers What They Asked Him ForMy Profile

  7. Quite insightful article! A great pool of information.”Follow the 70-30 rule” is particularly an interesting thing to talk about. Audience should get involved in the conversation, rather than feeling as if they are being “sold”. I totally agree with the above point.
    Thanks for sharing !

  8. Hello Rebekah! Once again you have given some great tips! I have a funny story for you, a few weeks ago I was just updating my profile on FB and I changed my single status to being in a relationship!

    Well I started getting Congrats, I forgot about changing this and didn’t know what everyone was talking about. Well a friend of mine asked me what was going o with Wade and I (He is my fiance’ of over 20 years.) When I told her nothing she pointed this out to me.

    I then went in and told everyone about what was going on. OMG This went on for days!! I had over 20 conversations going on.. So it just goes to show you that making a change does work!

    Thanks for the great post.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Can You Live Your Dream Lifestyle Playing By The Rules?My Profile

  9. Rebekah,

    What a insightful post! You are so right about needing to do all of these things in order to succeed online. I have been blogging for 2 years now and I have learned so much from following the advice of gurus like yourself. You are truly practicing what you preach and your site is a wealth of wonderful information which can help all of us! Thanks so much for sharing this post and giving all of us a great reminder of how to create a winning social media strategy.
    Shelley Alexander recently posted..12 Tips for Staying Healthy and Stress-Free during the Holiday SeasonMy Profile

  10. My favorite point you made was to always follow the 70/30 rule. I preach this a lot to clients and in articles I write myself. Don’t over kill on the promotion otherwise you come out spammy. But at the same time when you see an opportunity to promote i say go for it :)
    Kyle Nelson recently posted..5 Productivity Tips for EntrepreneursMy Profile

  11. One regret is that I did not set up consistent usernames early on over all of the main social media channels. I do however try to be recognizable when it comes to cover photos and my own picture.

    I do not spend enough time planning or analyzing my social media strategy but you have made me realize the importance of doing so. Thanks Rebekah
    Sue Bride recently posted..10 Ways to Get Into The Christmas Spirit.My Profile

  12. I’m always revising based off my analytics, my audience, and my peers/ competition. My site straddles over several competitive niche and its not always to keep a balance, but I do to some extent.

    Great advice.
    Nile recently posted..Graphic: Be Prepared For A Long Journey Toward SuccessMy Profile

  13. Great post. I really have to work on finding my Target Market. I have a vague idea but honestly think I need to start being proactive about cultivating the type of audience I want to play with. 2014 is my year to make blogging a business so I will be here often for your advice! I’ve signed up t get all your posts and look forward to using what you teach. Thank you!
    Kathy from Bliss Habits recently posted..Speaking of Service – How do you help?My Profile

  14. I think people can’t hear enough of the 70/30 rule – the clue is in the name after all, social media! Great tips here Rebekah – if you have a strong business plan – social media in my view is easy as a lot of what you share is about the core business – !
    Sarupa Shah recently posted..“Can meditation help heal my money story?”My Profile

  15. Rebekah

    Thanks for this post. As a marketing professor teaching a social media course, I have found limited coverage of social media strategies. Much more is needed on this subject. Perhaps you should write a book.
    Denny McCorkle recently posted..Lazy Content Curators & the Bugaboos of Social SharingMy Profile

  16. Rebekah:
    This great post you just offered here for all of us, is very helpful, it is great to have a strategy, wonderful idea. To bad I am new at this and setting up a strategy would create more obstacles to my learning./. BUT I had an idea as I was reading and I will implement it to combine a few things together and use all of them together and set up a strategic plan to implement the necessary steps along the way including Social media strategy..

    Thanks so much for the sharing and for the inspiration.

    _nickc
    nick catricala recently posted..Pay attention at the Message NOT at the MessengerMy Profile

  17. I’ve been neglecting this part of my business and I really need to be spending more time and make a plan on how to do this. Your strategies will give me some direction on how to do this. Thank you so much, Rebekah.
    Cherrie Bautista recently posted..Inspiring Kids to Have a More Meaningful ThanksgivingMy Profile

  18. Rebecca,

    Your web site – the layout, the content, the style, the engaging quality and the sheer quantity of valuable information is an inspiration to me. You are living what you are teaching to others – and it shows.

    I could certainly brush up on some of the items you mentioned, particularly setting up a social media calendar and being consistent (those 2 probably work together).

    Thanks for a wonderful article and a superb web site.

    Warmly,

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Your Heroes – How They Affect Your Relationships TodayMy Profile

  19. Rebekah: Very nice post offering a lot of helpful strategies. Changing things up is a cool idea. Now all I have to do is learn how to do infographics. Just kidding, but not really.
    I have not really done much with Analytics but I know I should be doing so.
    Thanks for the post.
    STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION) recently posted..Estate Planning 2013: Now What? A Must Read For EveryoneMy Profile

    • Infographics are hot on social media Steven, that’s for sure. Don’t get too caught up in learning how to do it though. They can be time consuming and you can find some very talented people to do them for you without having to learn the ins and outs.

  20. Hi Rebekah,

    Looks like I need to brush up on a few of these things. I pretty much know my target audience and they know me from branding.

    The one weak spot I have is my Google Analytics. I go over once in a while but NEED to make it part of a routine check-up!

    Most of all I found that #2 is one which I need to really pay attention to these days because soon I will be launching my own product. I just have to get “over myself” and focus more on this.

    This post came just in time for me and I thank you,

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Using An Avatar When BloggingMy Profile

  21. Thank you so very much for sharing. This post is a much needed reminder to dig much deeper and remember the basics of marketing.

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