So do you need a strategy for social media? Or can you just wing it? Well it depends. Having a Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook fan page without knowing why is really pointless. I’ve been asked by friends and acquaintances if they need to be on a specific social networking site. And the answer is no. Pick what works for you and forget the rest. There isn’t time in the world to be on every network.
What are your goals and objectives
First understand why social media matters to you; what are your goals and objectives also how they tie into your overall career goals. Use S.M.A.R.T – (Keep it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, and Timely) goals as a starting point.
The next step for creating an effective social media strategy is research.
Make a note of which social media sites you would like to engage with people. The list will most likely consist of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and some select blogs and forums. Review each of the social media sites on your list and do additional research to determine how relevant looking for your competitors, your target keywords and people/businesses you’d like to work with.
They build relationships. Respond to blog posts. Answer questions on LinkedIn, Twitter or Quora. Start developing relationships by following and friending influencers and those in your industry. Quality not quantity is what matters. Tons of followers without a “real” connection isn’t going to enhance your life. Because ultimately it isn’t only about what you do but who you are.
Strictly Business or Personal?
Personal choice really. I know some people who only connect with friends and family on Facebook and keep networks like LinkedIn and Twitter for all other connections. I connect with 99% of the people who send me invites on LinkedIn. However, I don’t give recommendations to people I’ve never done business with.
Create stronger connections
Take the relationships offline. Have a tweetup – an in-person meeting of Twitter users. HOW TO: Organize a Successful Tweetup has some great tips and ideas on how to setup an event. Can’t meet in-person have an online meeting. Virtual options are only limited by your imagination – dinner, coffee, maybe even a movie night.
Measuring your success
Well increased site traffic, more true partners are all indications of success. More referrals from your network. Positive feedback from others.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Failure to adapt kills many an idea.
If you want to know what others are doing in social media then take a look at the Social Media Marketing Report from 2010.
It’s all about connection so reach out and touch someone in a way that works with your personality not against it.