In case there are any newbies out here that still aren’t quite sure about social media sites, once you’ve decided that it’s a possibility, it’s important to have a strategy. Many big companies jumped right into the social media rage and didn’t really have a plan. I have listed 5 simple steps below that can help you devise a plan and make the most of your time and effort spent with social media sites.

1. Define your Market and Listen: To measure the success of your social media marketing, you must first have the vision. You can’t join them all, you don’t have time, and believe me, there is a new one every day. Research where most of your customers are spending time online, then step back and observe.

2. Converse: Now that you know where to go, you have to engage too. You should speak to your customers and prospective customers. If you hear something negative about your company, don’t take defense, find a way to improve it and help those customers that feel negative towards your company. Everyone makes mistakes, smart people fix them.

3. Tweet! Post! Comment! Like!: Once you’ve taken the step to get involved, talk and engage a little, be sociable, you should also update, post, upload, and keep things current and rolling. The more “up-dated” you are, the better chance you have of new people seeing you.

4. Become a Master: Business and Marketing strategies should tie in together. Have your blog or website as your “home base” and then as you go along, take time to learn each site so that you can better interact with clients or customers. For example, Twitter will only allow 140 characters at one time, so you should make your comments short, sweet and informative. Facebook allows for you to see your friends or client’s friends, which is a great way to prospect. LinkedIn Answers is a great place to answer business questions and provide traffic to your site. Many of these sites have really great features, you just have to navigate around in them and learn it.

5. Use Analytics For Measuring Leads, Sales and Traffic: It is safe to say, at this point, that social media activity does affect the success of many marketing techniques, so it’s important to document their success or the lack there of. Some ways to measure these strategies is by:

RSS Subscriptions
Blog Comments
Search Engine Ranking
Social Network Connections
Social Bookmarking
Video/podcast views/listens
Leads and Customers

There are many analytic programs to choose from, and a good one in my opinion is Google Analytics. It’s free, and nothing is better than free.
Hopefully, you’re now ready to begin your social media planning! Be sure to add, follow or friend me on your way to social media success!

Author's Bio: 

Dawn Pigoni of Be Social Worldwide is a certified social marketing specialist and a social media virtual assistant. Dawn offers superb social networking, social marketing and social bookmarking to WAHMs, Small Business Owners, Internet Marketers, Affiliate Marketers, and Coaches who desire to bring stunning Internet presence through social networking to their businesses. Get Dawn’s free report, Social Networking Report (link to today and find out how she can assist you with being Social Worldwide!

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