Develop a Social Media Strategy

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user Yoel Ben-Avraham

The two questions most people ask about social media are: “Where should I be … and what do I post?” With so many social media sites to consider (and more popping up all the time) selecting the right ones to put your marketing efforts into is important.

You want to receive a good return on investment for your time and effort. To get the best and fastest return, it’s important to know what each social media site can offer you and how to best utilize each one. Each one has a different format and a different group of followers. That’s why you must have a social media strategy in mind before jumping in.

When I first started using social media, it was really an experiment to see what kind of business opportunities I could find without spending too much of my marketing budget. Every time I went online I was looking for opportunities to connect with the right followers without trying to sell something. I began building valuable relationships with people who could either become a strong joint venture partner, hire me to speak or become a warm prospect. This strategy quickly started to pay off, and within a couple of months I had secured a few speaking engagements using mostly Facebook and LinkedIn and directing my new connections to my website.

Back in 2009 I received a speaking engagement in Dublin, Ireland from Facebook. I noted that I was a great fit for their conference and also that they had no female speakers on their platform. I used this to my advantage and softly promoted my expertise and website. After a few connections back and forth on Facebook, they had booked me to speak. Around the same time I was connecting with a possible joint venture partner – another female speaker who was speaking on large platforms around the world. I believed we had similar (but not competing) marketing skills and that we could refer one another to get on more stages.

Once I got booked to speak at the event in Dublin, I referred my new JV (joint venture) partner. She also got booked to speak. About three months later we were both traveling together on the same flight from Los Angeles to Dublin. While in Dublin we met another female speaker. We were the only three women to speak at the conference. Instantly we felt a connection; each of us was an expert on different topics of marketing, including branding, internet, and media. We decided to join forces and do a speaking tour together which led to a three-year world tour of nearly 20 countries. And this is just one example of the opportunities that have come my way by using social media. So you can understand why I believe so strongly in having a social media strategy. It really pays off!

The time you spend on social media should have one main goal: To eventually get your social media followers to your website. Once they take action and move to your website you can convert more followers into warm leads. As you gain experience with your own social media you will be able to uncover what works and doesn’t work for your business.

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