7 Steps to Social Success

In October 2008 I launched my firm Strategic Communications, LLC.  Not the best timing for such a move given the bad economy at the time, but it’s all worked out for the best; 12 years later and still going strong! One big benefit of starting a communication firm during a recession is that I had plenty of time to learn about social media which was rapidly emerging as an important channel for marketing communications. I jumped on board early, primarily with LinkedIn and Twitter, and since that time I have managed social media accounts to help my company and my clients’ companies drive awareness, website traffic—and business. I have a good following on my social channels and people often ask me to share my tips for building a solid following. I’m happy to share! Here I share “7 Steps to Social Success.”

The Steps to Social Success

1) Clearly identify your target audience and focus on the social media channels they’re most likely to participate in—and participate in while they’re in the right frame-of-mind to hear/see your messages. For instance, my clients are primarily business-to-business (B2B) clients in marketing/digital marketing roles, as well as business consultants interested in building their thought leadership. For them, and for me, LinkedIn and Twitter are two good social media channels to connect with our target audiences. Even though I might be able to connect with some of these people on Facebook, Facebook is a very social channel where people are likely not in the right frame of mind to hear messages from someone trying to sell them marketing services.

2) Evaluate what your competition is doing and consider how you might position yourself differently. Effective marketing of any kind requires “positioning”—the process of presenting yourself, or your products and services, relative to other options your target market may have. You don’t want to just be “the same as” you want to be “different from” in meaningful ways based on your target audience’s needs, interests, and pain points.

3) Determine your goals. What specific outcomes are you looking for? For instance, initially you may simply want to grow your audience. To how many followers? Or, you may want to generate engagement which you might measure by likes, retweets, shares, comments, etc. Or, ultimately, you may want to generate leads, visits to landing pages, requests for information, sales, etc. Be as specific as possible.

4) Develop your “content pillars”—3-4 general topic areas that are of interest to your audience and aligned with your business goals and objectives.

5) Considering the channels you have selected (if just starting out, it may be a good idea to just select one), determine how often and when you will post. For example, to reach my B2B audience, I post M-F, a minimum of once/day on LinkedIn, 3x/day on Twitter.

6) Determine your mix of content, keeping in mind that it is important to be as non blatantly self-promotional as possible. I generally use a 1/3 – 1/3 – 1/3 ratio – 1/3 of my posts are “gently” promoting my business and services, 1/3 general comments/perspectives on issues related to my content pillars, 1/3 curated from credible and relevant (to my business/brand) third party sources. Part of this step will involve considering where your content will come from. Will you create it yourself? Hire a contractor or agency to help you? Whatever direction  you take, it’s important to commit to producing and posting content regularly to gain, and maintain, momentum.

7) Measure, learn, improve, and repeat!

These are the steps that we’ve taken over and over again for a variety of clients and other organizations. They work.

About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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