Since I opened my own social media marketing consulting agency in January, I have been deeply immersed in launching and running some exciting (and successful:-) social media programs for my clients.
It’s been an tremendous ride, and I have finally surfaced to take a breath! I thought I would share some downright practical advice, tips and down-to-earth expectations on launching and running a social media campaign…yep, from the trenches!
Note: These tips apply to both B2B and B2C SM programs. In my opinion, there is little difference. Why? It’s all about talking to that INDIVIDUAL! That individual, no matter what environment, is actually a “consumer” and (1) is making the decision, (2) is recommending (3) is talking about your company, products, or services. And remember: Companies don’t buy, recommend or talk about products. People do!
An absolute MUST before taking on social media, is a Detailed Launch Plan. I am big on preparation and a detailed launch plan. Yes, I know, this takes a ton of upfront time, but it so worth it in the long run, it gives your social media campaign focus and is less work once you launch.
This Launch Plan should include:
- Researching on your target audience: who are they, where to find them, where do they play on social media
- Researching on social media channels: After you find out where your target audience is, what are the channels that best suite you and your business to attract your audience: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Linkedin, Blog, Flickr?
- Once you choose your SM channel, researching on what it takes to get an account up and running, to populate it, include ALL components of setting up that presence
TIP: I recommend starting with one or two social media channels. Focus on these, and be successful! And then add. If you try to be on three or four channels, you are spreading yourself too thin. The results: mediocre
- Define the boundary of your conversation: be very clear about how you will be using your SM channel: (a) branding (b) advertising products (c) sales leads (d) technical support (e) customer support
- Determine beforehand metrics for measuring the success of the campaign (more to follow on this in an upcoming post!)
- Set goals so you know what kind of work load you are looking at, like 5-7 Tweets per day, re-tweet high profile people, 3-5 posts on Facebook, comment on high profile pages, 2-3 blogs per week
For Twitter and Facebook
- Research and create a list of “first 200” people to follow before the account launches
- Create themes to tweet on and post
- Create at least 20-25 valuable tweets and posts before launching
- Define who is going to be tweeting or posting on behalf of your company(if necessary, create a Twitter Usage Policy)
- Create Twitter lists (very useful to following specific people) as you launch, and manage them from the start. To go back after wards and organize them is a TON of work
- Create Lists from the start in Facebook too for your Personal Page and Business Page
- Research contacts to reach out to before you launch, create a list
- Research groups you want to be affiliated with
- Think about a specific group you would like to open that makes sense for your business, and 10 content topics to populate it
For a Blog
- Compile a blogging calender for a month on themes and topics
- Write at least 5-7 blogs before launching the blog
- Define who will be writing the blogs and posting them
I am also big on setting real expectations for my clients. While everyone is excited about this a “free” (? that’s for another post…) and easy marketing channel, here’s what I remind them from the get-go:
- Social media is not a magic formula that will bring awareness, branding or leads overnight
- It takes TIME and consistent effort for you to build a true, valuable following
- You must engage with other users to build your following (Re-tweets, follow Fridays and conversation go a long way!)
- You need to be committed with a long-term steady time investment
- Yes, its takes time and resources to consistently tweet, post, blog; make sure these resources are in place before launching the program
- CONTENT IS KING: Valuable content is key to your success
- Don’t concentrate on quantity, but quality of your followers
- Social media is not an end unto itself, but compliments and works well in tandem with your other marketing and social media efforts.
This prep work has made it easy and smooth for me and my clients to launch successful and sustainable social media programs, and keep us all focused!
I hope this helps you too. I would love to hear from you – please comment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find me here