So… you’ve decided to embrace social media for your business — good for you! Before you do, however, be sure you are ready to ‘Walk the Talk’. The only thing worse than not having a social media program is having a poorly maintained program. Nothing says out-of-the-loop like stale, information. The key to success used to be location, location, location — now it’s content, content, content. Fresh inviting content is the engine that drives social media marketing and in order to keep driving your online presence forward, your content needs to be meaningful, engaging, and position you as an expert in your field. Sounds easy right? Sorry, this is where ‘Walking the Talk’ gets challenging. You can’t put up a few pithy posts and expect the masses to gather waiting on your next missive.
Before plunging in, take a step back and focus on first developing a content strategy. This will be the roadmap to your social media strategy, enabling you to be proactive rather than reactive with your audience. According to Susan Cato, Senior Director of Web and New Media Strategies at CompTIA (comptia.org), there are three key elements to developing an effective content strategy.
:: Know what your customers, audience or community wants to talk about and be willing to engage in those conversations.
:: Know where your audience wants to have these conversations; in other words, where they “hang out” online.
:: Measure the results of your conversations to see which ones catch fire.
Once you’ve identified these elements you are in a better position to develop a social media strategy around your goals, but you don’t get move to cruise control. Social media isn’t a pit stop on the way to success; it’s an on-going journey that needs constant refueling. Have an experience you’d like to share? We’d love to hear it!