The social media business platform, its growth and effectiveness is an evolution. A process. It does not happen overnight. It takes the right mindset and commitment. It takes understanding your online community and environment. It takes creativity to build great content and attract fans.
So don’t get frustrated that you don’t have 1000 fans on Facebook or a huge number on the rest of your sites… in the first month. You are new to this type of marketing and just learning how to “execute” the strategy.
So here is a process someone very smart and close to me likes to call “crawl, walk and run.” A 3 step process that really makes sense when starting anything new with a big end goal to reach. I am going to apply it to your new social media marketing strategy. Hopefully you can wipe the sweat off your brow or stop biting your nails after you read this. You are not alone so keep it all in perspective. Success is just three steps away.
Step 1: Crawl
You have identified that you need to move in the direction of social media marketing. You and your business cannot be in the world without it. Your competition is doing it. Your marketing budget has shrunk and you are looking for ways to create brand awareness without the cost. You have news and information to share, so you start crawling:
Get comfortable with the concept
Define your brand – what do you want to say to your audience?
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Develop the right mindset and commit to the idea
Step 2: Walk
You have made a commitment to try something different by ways of marketing and need to set up a platform of various pages that will work for you. Now that you have figured out what you want to do, you need to start getting to where you want to go. There is technology involved as well as defining a new strategy in an online environment. You need a “springboard” to reach people with this information so you start walking:
Open accounts with social sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, WordPress (blog), etc.
Start building your audience through your own social network
Choose and email marketing system (Constant Contact) and create a template
Tie in and link this new media to your website and email marketing template
Make a plan and set goals for managing your time weekly for execution
Step 3: Run
You now have an “online community” platform built and are ready to deliver messages supporting your business and what you want people to know, so you start running:
Suggest your pages to friends, connections, followers
Create and post relevant content to engage your audience
Be creative to keep your page attractive.
Broadcast and promote your social media sites everywhere (links on all social media sites, website, email signature, business cards, fliers, brochures, etc.)
The running stage is where the expectations come into play. It is best not expect too much too soon. It takes time for an audience to accept or “opt in” to your pages and receive and digest your messages.
Keep a steady pace. The running phase is a marathon, not a sprint. Stick to your plan. Stay consistent. Stay passionate.
And also, so you don’t run out of breath: keep it real! Put it into action and go viral!