8 Steps in Developing a Social Media Marketing Strategy

Making sure your business has a presence on social media is just a normal part of business as usual these days. If you want to be successful, you have to market yourself on social media. That’s a given.

But the way you go about marketing online can have just as much of an effect on your business. In fact, make the wrong moves, and your online marketing efforts can actually impact your bottom line in a negative way! For this reason, it’s vitally important to develop – and then stick to – a social media marketing strategy. Here are the 8 steps you should take in creating that strategy.

1. Clarify your goals.

What is it exactly that you’re trying to accomplish with your presence on social media? To drive awareness? Increase website traffic? Improve conversion rates? You won’t be able to create a useful game plan unless you know what it is you’re trying to do – simply throwing random content up on a blog or Twitter feed without a specific purpose in mind will not lead to results.

2. Define your audience.

Who is your ideal customer? Defining your audience is crucial to your online marketing efforts. If you are trying to reach women between the ages of 18 and 29, you’d be smart to focus most of your attention on Facebook. If, on the other hand, you’re aiming your marketing at men with graduate-level education, you’d be better off using LinkedIn. Your audience determines not only where you spend your time marketing, but also the type of content you will be providing, as well.

3. Consider your resources.

Be realistic. If you’ll be implementing this marketing strategy on your own, keep your time limitations in mind as you plan. If, however, you have an entire marketing department at your disposal, take full advantage of it!

4. Analyze your competition.

Before you jump in headfirst, take some time to see what sort of online marketing your competitors are doing. Check out their strengths and weaknesses, and the use that information to craft your own unique strategy that fills in the holes they’ve left wide open.

5. Determine tone and frequency.

You can’t just write a blog “every once in a while,” or it’ll never get done. Plan in advance to write two blog posts a week, every Monday and Wednesday…or to post three Facebook updates per week…or to contribute to two LinkedIn discussions each week. You’ll also need to decide what your official voice or tone will be in all these posts. Funny? Conversational? Formal and businesslike? Choose a tone that will appeal to your audience.

6. Identify core topics.

Decide in advance what sorts of things you’ll write or post about, so that you’re not faced with the challenge of coming up with new material out of the blue each day. You can even plan out an editorial calendar to help in the generation of ideas.

7. Engage your audience.

Now that you’ve completed the first six steps, you’re ready to get started. Share that content, but don’t stop there. Be sure to engage your audience in conversations, to build those relationships.

8. Use analytics.

Finally, check your stats frequently to see what’s working and what isn’t. Analyze your performance based on the goals you set out in Step One, and then make changes as necessary.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to using social media to its full business potential. If you’d rather not go it alone, though, Marketing Zen is always here to help! Just give us a call to see what we can do for your business today. 


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  • http://surrounds.me/site/category/blog/ social media marketing

    Very nice and informative post regarding website promoting tips. However, it is also important to follow through. When a reader comes to your site, they should come back. This means the site must be optimized properly. There are many resources on how to check and analyze the websites stats – some of the free ones is the Colibri tool, Google Analytics, etc…

  • http://www.ssprosvcs.com/ Steve

    Thank you Angela. Very good article. We will be using some of your ideas to further enhance our social media process.

  • http://www.mohinipuranik.com/ Mohini Puranik

    Very important steps Angela explained very well. Clarifying goals and the focusing on targeted audience, their interests is very important.

  • http://www.microcoo.com Bill Combes

    Some great information here. Some companies do not have the time or the expertise to stay on top of social. I have found some great consulting opportunities helping these business owners out with the implementation and management of social.

  • http://www.northcutt.com/blog Nicky Helmkamp

    Hey Angela- We enjoyed your article so much we included it in our Monthly Resource Roundup: http://www.northcutt.com/blog/2013/09/august-best-seo-social-media-content-marketing/.