It sounds simple, but before you implement a new marketing strategy in your business, you need to first know what your objectives are. That is, what is it that you are trying to accomplish? Social media is no different. It's not enough to want to add it to your marketing mix because "everyone else is doing it."
Luckily, Forrester Research came up with a handy little acronym, which my colleague Amy Miyamoto and I also included in our Social Media Made Simple webinar series. It's called the POST Method, and it's a really easy way to frame your social media strategy. Here's how it breaks down:
P: Who are the PEOPLE you would most like to attract via your social media presence on sites such as Twitter and Facebook? For example--mentors, colleagues, strategic alliance partners, raving fans, potential clients, local connections? Or a combination of these?
O: What are your primary OBJECTIVES for your Social Media presence? For example, is it to get found by those who are looking for your services or products, finding and interacting with current and potential clients and customers, building a community around your business, creating awareness of your content and offerings, building relationships with potential strategic alliance and referral partners, learning from mentors?
S: What Social Media STRATEGIES do you plan to implement? Will you have a Twitter profile, a Facebook Fan Page, a LinkedIn profile, join a Facebook Group, start a blog? Which ones have priority over others?
T: What TECHNOLOGIES will you use? For example--Hootsuite, Twellow, Ping.fm, Twitpic, YouTube, Bit.ly for link shortening? (The ones you determine to be of highest priority to you will influence the kinds of actions you take on the social media sites you have a presence on.)
Finally, for bonus points, you could also include "M" as in "how will you MEASURE your results?" Understandably, businesspeople still want to know the ROI of their activities--and although this is not as cut and dry to measure in social media, there are still certain numbers that you can look to: your number of newsletter or blog subscribers, number of followers and fans, your website traffic, the amount of comments on your blog, how many purchases made, etc.
The POST method is a good basic structure for starting to define your social media plan, objectives, and priorities. By identifying all the relevant parts of the structure you are creating a clearer vision and purpose--as well as implementing goals, strategies, and tools that will best enable you to effectively reach the ideal people you are looking to connect with through social media.
Christine Gallagher is founder of ShesGotClients.com, a company dedicated to teaching women entrepreneurs all over the world how to use authentic relationship marketing and online strategies to attract raving fans, enroll more clients, and enjoy more income and freedom in their business, all while sharing their gifts and their message in a much bigger way.
Christine created The 6 Simple Steps to Kick Start Your Social Media Success System(TM), a real-world, step-by-step "roadmap" that teaches entrepreneurs how to consistently bring in new clients and customers using the Internet.
Through her coaching and training business, Christine helps entrepreneurs maximize their profits using an integrated social media and online marketing strategy, and teaches them how to stop trading dollars for hours by using online information marketing techniques.
Christine was recently featured as a social media marketing expert in the book Get Scrappy: A Small Business Owner's Guide to Marketing On Less, as well as profiled as one of "16 Brilliant Business Minds on Twitter" by The Huffington Post. Her blog was also recently chosen as one of the top 50 small business blogs by Konector.com, and her newsletters, products, and online reach now educate and inspire over 18,000 people every month.
Learn more about Christine, her products, programs and courses at ShesGotClients.com
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