It is highly likely that most of your customers already actively participate in, or at least read posts and articles on one or more of the social networking sites.  More people are using social media websites now than ever before and really there is no excuse for any business not to be part of it.  Every business hoping to achieve online success should be including social media marketing in their marketing mix.

Most business owners realise this but they are just not sure how to get started.  The aim of this post is to help you, in simple steps:

Set Goals and Objectives.  Before you set up any social profiles you need to define what the object of your social media marketing campaign is.  What do you want to achieve? 

Here are a few of the social media goals we have set in some of our client campaigns:

Typical Social Media Goals

  1. Measure and monitor the number of mentions of company name and brand online – setting up a Google Alert can help with this.
  2. Gain a better understanding of how your existing customers and prospects feel about your company and brand.
  3. Develop a minimum number of online relationships with your existing customers.
  4. Gain increased brand awareness.
  5. Improve your organic search engine results placings and also have more organic listings.
  6. Generate more quality sales leads.

Because we are talking about Goals rather than aspirations, you will need to put some definition around how much you want to achieve.  For example in goal 3 above the actual goal might be something like “Develop 20  new online relationships with existing customers and 10 new online relationships with non customers each month”.  Remember that all goals should be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-bound.

Understand the Social Media Marketing Opportunity.  Facebook now has nearly 600 million users.  If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world!  Millions of videos are watched each Month on YouTube and the 5 main social networking sites (Facebook, YouTube, Blogger, Wikipedia & Twitter) all feature in the ‘top 10’ visited websites in the world.  The opportunity for you to let the world know about your business, your products and services is huge.

So now we have given you a few goals to think about, what should you do next?

Starting you Social Media Marketing Campaign?

It is essential that are aware of what is being said about you already.  By listening to and reading the comments made about your company in the social networks you will be able to identify the key issues you need to address in your SMM campaign.  Knowing what is being said about you and where it is being said will also help you to know where your existing customers and prospects – the people you are looking to target – are spending their time when they are online.  This will help point you towards where you also need to be and therefore which of the social networks you need to create a profile on.

It will probably always be worthwhile creating a business profile on the main social sites, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but there may also be other social networks specific to your industry or niche that you should join.  Our advice is to just join a few networks to start, measure the results being achieved in terms of conversation, exchanges and even leads from those networks and use the results to tweak you profile as needed.  When you have gained confidence that your social media marketing is working for you then you can expand your campaign to cover other social networks.

If you would like more information about our Social Media Marketing services please visit WSI IMS or leave a comment below.  WSI IMS – WSI Internet Marketing Services for Business in Surrey, Sussex & throughout the UK.

Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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