Sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees due to an almost infinite number of options for online social media activities. The most important thing to understand is that you cannot be all things to all people and neither should you want to. Effective social media marketing pretty much turns conventional advertising methods upside down since quality trumps quantity online any day of the week. In other words, having high numbers of followers and fans does not equal success. Your goal must be to find the super-fans and influencers who will carry your brand’s torch to the end of the virtual universe. Here are five simple steps to help you get started with the design of your social media strategy:
- Define your psychographic target audience: Aside from the regular classifiers such as age and income level, try to put yourself in your perfect fans’ shoes. Narrow it down to psychographic factors that describe the most ready to purchase customer you can possibly imagine for your products or services. For example, a frustrated, middle-aged, overweight individual will be more ready to purchase a weight loss program than an 18-year-old college kid. Include possible attitudes and values.
- List other possible interests: What are your perfect buyers most likely interested in besides your services or products? Referring to the previous example again, people who are trying to lose weight might be already be fans of brands like Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig, or the popular reality TV show The Biggest Loser.
- Go where your super-fans are: Create accounts on all the web sites and forums where your super-fans spend time. In addition to the social media giants Facebook and Twitter there are plenty of highly specialized sites such as the weight loss community sites SparkPeople.com and FitDay.com.
- Connect all your accounts: Now that you have accounts on various social media sites you should connect them to simplify your update activities. At a minimum you should be able to link everything to Twitter and Facebook with the option for automatic posts to either site. This will not only save you a ton of time, but also help you cross-promote your different accounts to increase your reach.
- Timing is everything: Do your homework and tailor your social media updates to the specific sites. As micro-blogging tool Twitter can be used for your online communication with followers and potential customers pretty much all day long, every single day of the week. Facebook, on the other hand, requires only a few updates a day or per week. Every other site has its own user dynamics that you need to be aware of to avoid alienating your potential target audience. Schedule your updates accordingly.
Needless to say, there is no one-size-fits-all social media strategy that will work for everyone. Rather it needs to be tailored to your optimal buyer persona since gaining lots of followers and fans who are not even remotely interested in your services or products will be absolutely useless. Watch the video on the left for more useful tips!