A good social media strategy starts before you log onto your business social media profile.
The first step is to clearly identify EXACTLY who you want to engage with via social media. Create a new Word document (or grab a pen and paper if you’re feeling old-school) and make 6 lists of the different people and groups you want to connect with on social media. Just remember, if you are connecting with individuals, it is important to know them well enough that you think they’ll actually respond positively to your offer to connect via social media. On your list, include:
- Customers and clients. Connect with happy people who have experienced your products or services firsthand and love what you’re all about! They’ll be happy to share you with their friends and family because you made such a good impression on them.
- Prospects. You’ve done some research and figured out your demographics, or you’ve done some networking at shows and events. You know these guys are interested, so reach out and connect with them!
- Personal and professional advocates. You’ve done business together before, you play golf together, your kids go to the same school. Maybe you’ve sent each other referrals before. You’re comfortable talking to these people, and they’re a valuable asset on social media.
- Organizations/Centers of influence. This is industry-specific stuff. If you’re a social media company like us, you’re looking to connect with people like Jeff Bullas and organizations like Social Media Examiner and HubSpot. You share their stuff and, hopefully, they share yours.
- Friends and family. The people you already know and love (and those that know and love you right back) are your BEST allies, so why WOULDN’T you connect with them via social media? They’ll be the first and best resource to share your message across their social network.
- Networking groups. Get in front of your community by joining people FROM the community. This could be a neighborhood association, church group or gang of moms and dads in your city that meet weekly just to hang out and swap stories. This is what social media is all about: REAL and PERSONAL connections!
Remember: to be effective with social media, you have to BE SOCIAL.
Don’t just gather a list of groups, but go out of your way to correspond with these groups on a regular basis on Facebook, Twitter and (importantly), LinkedIn. Share their content, comment and Like their posts on Facebook, Retweet them on Twitter and create professional groups on LinkedIn. You don’t have to know how to be a social media guru to get good results, just put yourself out there and see what happens!