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The four-step recipe to social media success

Social media is about engagement and building relationships; at its most basic level, it’s about communicating. For it to deliver long-term value to your business though, you should consider actioning these four simple steps.

Social provides a platform where people can converse, share and exchange information and ideas. For business, it delivers another channel to communicate with past and potential clients and partners. If businesses choose not to engage in the space, they could be missing out on vital opportunities held in this thriving dynamic environment.

At the same time though, social media can be overwhelming. Although it’s a free tool, it does require sustained time and effort to gain traction and a great deal of strategic thinking and planning to obtain results.

If you’re not sure how to get your social media strategy on track, the following four steps deliver a straightforward approach that will allow social to enhance your business’ value over a period of time.

1. Plan: You must set goals to provide a focus and manage expectations. Have targeted objectives in place so outcomes can more likely be achieved and make your social media strategy part of an overall marketing and business plan. Having such a structured goal-focused approach will allow for targeted development to be achieved – versus a disorganised and goalless approach.

2. Content: The internet is full of content – there are literally billions of pieces of information to be found online – so producing quality information is essential. Interesting and informative content that your target audience appreciates will ensure they keep coming back. Share news, opinions and articles relevant to your industry as well as provide information in different formats of text, clips, graphics and so on. It’s a good idead to avoid directly advertising or promoting your business, as this is a sure way to lose your base.

3. Consistency is the key: Posting irregular comments or leaving your site dormant will not encourage people to return on a regular basis. Posting on a weekly or even a daily basis (depending on the platform and target audience) is a good way to see opportunities come your way much faster. Having a publishing schedule that supports your goals is additionally useful as such a timetable means your approach will be well considered and targeted. The more you participate regularly, the more participation from your audience will increase.

4. Commitment: You can have all the plans and content locked down, but if you don’t make a commitment to your social media strategy it will fail. Before commencing, make a commitment to persist even when the results are not there. Results will not be immediate and if you believe they will be, you’ll be faced with frustration and disappointment. Be enthusiastic and enjoy the development as your audience response rates rise. If you treat it like a chore, no one will bother participating.

Social media is a long-term process. Going into it with an open mindset and a commitment to stick with the plan will allow flexibility particularly when results are not forthcoming. Keep working towards the goals by being active, consistent and engaging – eventually everything will fall into place!

 

Anna Cairo

Anna Cairo

Anna is a social media communications expert. She supports businesses to increase their online presence through social media. Additionally, she also educates businesses around the impacts social media creates in the workplace and how to minimise these risks. She is a writer, researcher and author writing for diverse audiences on a range of topics. Further, she conducts workshops, presentations and is regularly asked to speak to lawyers around social media risk. Anna was recently nominated for the Telstra Business Women’s Awards 2013. You can join Anna on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Anna-Cairo-Consulting/285887488090944">Facebook</a> or visit <a href="http://www.annacairo.com">www.annacairo.com</a>.

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