When social networking was all the rage and new about two years ago the only advice you where given was to get out there and start getting fans for you facebook fan page. It surprises me to this day two years later this is the same advice still given to people. With social networking and media a present everyday thing advancements have been made and your advertising and engagement on these types of networks needs to reflex these changes.
Here is an action plan you should take to heart when setting up your social networking accounts or start implementing into your existing marketing.
Set clear goals
By having a set goal you can start to build your social media marketing and understand what you need to do in order to accomplish those goals. These goals could be something like cutting costs of advertising via targeted social media branding or increasing your profits through social media by increased visibility.
Once you have an understanding of what your goals are that you want to achieve it’s time to build an action plan around it to get you there.
Figure out what you need to measure in order to paint a clear picture as to how productive your social media is going. Things like customer service reduced due to Facebook interaction (perhaps other members address their questions and help them out eliminating a need for a support ticket) Finding key things such as these will allow you to put a measure on your increase in revenue and lower operating costs.
Understanding your competition is also important. Are they currently using social media marketing? If so are there any gaps or things they are not doing that you could or perhaps improve upon to set you apart.
With so many different social media platforms out there Facebook, Google +, Linked in , Myspace to name a few, you need to figure out where your time is best spent in order to target those people.
Measuring your results
This is what it all comes down to. Figuring out how well what you are doing is impacting your overall business. While things like number of fans, comments and interactions can be a measurement it really does not paint a picture to your overall goal you first set up. Better metrics of seeing your results would be overall traffic to your sites or new member sign ups. Be sure to mark down when you started using a service so you can see if becoming active on it has increased your traffic flow. Other things you can measure are positive and negative feedback, time you invest into social media daily (if outsourced then amount of money spent).
Before you start to measure you will need to create a baseline of how your website is currently performing. This will allow you to graph out changes to things like traffic, new sign ups, profits etc.