Back to Basics – Small Business MUST Adopt Social Media Marketing – Part 2 of 2

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    Integrate Social Media Marketing – Brand Advocates

    When companies engage their audience and develop online relationships with real authenticity and trust, they have an exciting opportunity to make those individuals volunteer advocates of their brand!

    Business has never had a bigger vehicle for positive word-of-mouth advertising. Fun campaigns can go ‘viral’ and trigger momentum like never before. This takes some strategic planning by management, and some genuine understanding of social networks. It’s a new culture that MUST be embraced by the entire organization, from the top down.

    7 Steps to Start Strategizing – Target and Engage Your Online Audience

    1. Gather together a company team to strategize social media marketing. Include a cross-section of top management, sales, marketing, customer service, and a knowledgeable social media marketing individual (bring in a consultant if you don’t have this expertise on staff.)
    2. Convene this group for a minimum of four hours. Bring the current marketing plan. Ask everyone, “Does our (product or service) delivery match our marketing message?” If not, STOP. You must solve these problems before you can mount a successful social media marketing strategy/plan/campaign.
    3. Discuss and decide on your marketing and advertising goals. Do your current marketing and advertising efforts achieve them? If so, challenge the team to set higher goals, and brainstorm ways that social media marketing can be implemented.
    4. Identify online communities where your ideal customer congregates or searches. For example, if you are a local business, Google: “(your city) directories” to find local directories in which you should be listed.
    5. Make sure that you have searched and settled on specific keywords and keyword phrases that you use consistently in all of your online content.
    6. Establish 2-6 online “properties” (all optimized for your keywords) such as; at least one website, blog, social network site, and directory. The more places you exist online, the greater your chances of being found!
    7. Brainstorm online campaigns that help you achieve your goals. Remember, social media is effective ONLY if you have an end in mind. Otherwise, it’s fun, but can be a waste of time and precious resources.

    Hundreds of creative possibilities exist, depending on your time, budget and goals. Have fun with this!

    What social media marketing goals work for your company?

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    For more resources, see our Library topics Marketing and Social Networking.

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    ABOUT Lisa M. Chapman:

    Ms. Chapman’s new book, How to Make Money Online With Social Media: A Step-by-Step Guide for Entrepreneurs will be available in bookstores and online in January 2011. With offices in Nashville Tennessee, but working virtually with international clients, Lisa M. Chapman serves her clients as a business and marketing coach, business planning consultant and social media consultant. As a Founder of iBrand Masters, a social media consulting firm, Lisa Chapman helps clients to establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa @ LisaChapman.com