Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Time to Revise Your Social Media Strategy

If you are not new to the Internet, if you have a website or a presence on any Social Media Platform then it is long past time to revise your Social Media Strategy.

How do I know this? Because I've read the job descriptions for Social Media positions out there. Everyone is looking for someone with years of proven experience (translation: You made a lot of money for your client) through Social Media campaigns (translation: Online advertising that had a little traction through Word of Mouth.)

It is very hard for large companies to understand Social Media. They hand it off to their Marketing people who are used to buying space and time for a projected (translation: made up) return on investment. The formulas are all mathematic, but the results are as fictitious as any narrative might be.

But you don't run a large company. You are not a CEO crowing about your company "leveraging new technologies." You are a small- or medium-sized business owner and you don't want to "leverage" just want to grow your business in a sustainable manner.

Whether you are a Social Media novice, or are current on all the most popular platforms, it might be time to rethink your Social Media strategy. At any level of use, it may be time to revisit what you're doing to step up or step back, and use your time wisely.

Current Strategy: You are not on Social Media at all

Do you have customers and vendors asking if you have a Twitter feed or if you are on Facebook? If you are answering "No" more than two times a day, it is definitely time to consider being where your customers want you to be.

It's true you don't have a lot of free time, but Social Media doesn't have to take much time. A logo and your name will give you a presence. Take 5 minutes in the morning and evening to mention a special, comment on someone's thought, answer a question, thank people for being supportive. Then...log off. It's not as much of a time drain as you think, as long as you budget your time.

Current Strategy: You have a profile, but don't really know why or what to do with it

Before you do another thing, back up and decide *why* you want to be on a Social Media site. Of course you want to "grow your business" but what, specifically does that mean to you? Do you want more people in the door? You can use Social Media to promote "bring a friend" campaign. Do you want more book sales on Amazon? Then a Social Media promotion is a good way to encourage others to get the word out for you.

Before you post that status update know why you are posting it, who you're talking to and what the outcome needs to be. Craft that update to support all of those qualities to move your Social Media Strategy forward.

Current Strategy: You're everywhere. You've got three specials, a new ad campaign and coupons going out weekly

Your sandwich shop can be followed on Facebook and Twitter and reviewed on Yelp and Patch. Is it...useful to you? Is your star rating on Yelp maintaining that high quality, or are the reviews slipping slowly down? How about those coupons and specials? Are they going out into the black hole of the Internet and never coming back? Now may be the time to read those reviews and revise what's going on internally, or maybe those constant coupons are getting you unliked as fast as you're being liked. Taking a few minutes to re-prioritize where you are and why could make a big difference in your bottom line.

Current Strategy: It's about saturation

You are on *everything*. You've got twelve icons on your store door, telling people they can, follow, friend, connect, check-in and review just about anywhere they are online.

Now it's time to take a deep breath and review and revise. How many of those sites are getting any traction? If only one person ever reviewed you on Yelp, is it worth promoting that? Take the cream of that crop - the profiles that have traffic and conversation and conversion and throw more resources into them, letting the others fall to the bottom of the pile. No need to spend all day keeping all the plates spinning when five of them are hidden from view.

Maximize your time and effort, by keeping your Social Media Strategy fresh and relevant to your customers.
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