October 26, 2009 – If you are thinking about entering the realm of social networking, it’s important to create a strategy, set goals, and get at least a decent understanding of the social network before diving in.
Social networking takes a lot of time, but the end results are worth it if you use your time and resources effectively. Just like any online marketing campaign, there will be some testing involved, but there are certain decisions you need to make before posting anything on Twitter or Facebook. This includes:
Outlining Your Strategy – including who will be posting on the networks, how many daily/weekly posts to aim for, the purpose of your social networking profile (are you expanding your web presence, using your profile as a customer service tool, connecting your profile to your blog, etc.)
Setting Goals – such as your ideal growth rate, how social media will be integrated with other online marketing campaigns, and what you aim to accomplish through your social media usage (more traffic to your website, increased conversions, link building, etc)
After you have finished outlining your strategy and identifying your goals, you need to learn the ropes. This means creating a profile on a social network and then LISTENING. Before you start typing away and telling everyone how great you are, see what other people are writing, what your target audience is asking questions about, how they are phrasing those questions, what messages get the most responses, and so on. By actively listening to how other people are using the network, you can get a clearer picture of what to do (and what not to do).
Remember, social networking is about sharing information. When you can look at a specific network and see just how people are effectively sharing information, you can structure your social networking strategy accordingly instead of wasting your time typing messages no one will read.
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