by Will Burley
(Editor's Note: Will Burley is the owner and founder of Burley-Wilson & Associates, a virtual administrative, bookkeeping and paralegal firm. He has helped numerous clients with a social media strategy. Will is an active member of a number of ACB affiliates. To learn more about Will and his business, visit www.burley-wilson.com.)
Many business owners have a scattershot approach to social media. They may have a page on Facebook and a profile on Twitter, but their links and posts are random and disorganized. Social media can be an important marketing tactic. However, like any marketing tactic, it's more powerful when there's a plan in place. Here's how to build your social media plan so that you can, and will, follow through.
Step 1: Identify a Goal
What do you want to accomplish with social media? Do you want to drive more traffic to your web site? Do you want to build your e-mail list? Do you want to sell more products or services? Do you want to reach more prospective clients?
There are dozens of potential goals. Choose one goal to focus your attention on. It doesn't have to be an overwhelming or complicated one. Choose one that makes sense for you and be specific. If you want to reach more potential clients, how many? If you want to drive traffic to your site, how much do you want to increase your traffic by?
Step 2: Choose Your Tool
Which sites do you want to use to achieve your goal? Chances are you already have profiles on the big players in social media. You may want to start with the sites you already have a following on. However, take a look at your page or profile. Does it support your goal? Can you improve your page or profile? Take those steps now.
Step 3: Plan Your Interaction
This is a big step and it can take some time to complete. There are two parts to this step. You'll want to identify a time that you interact online each day. For example, maybe you want to spend 30 minutes on social media each day. These 30 minutes will be spent connecting with others, commenting on posts, sharing information, and building your following.
The second part of this plan is your content plan. What information will you share, how will you share it, and when will you share it? For example, maybe you'll share infographics once a week and links to your recent blog posts once a week too. Finally, you'll want to plan how and when you'll create your social media content.
The last step is to follow through. This means scheduling time to plan content, create content, interact and assess your progress. You can use a number of automated tools to help you with all of these steps. If social media is part of your business marketing strategy, make sure to plan it so that it's easy for you to follow through!