There are too many different combinations of social media tools to cover all of them with any real justice so I am going to use a specific client as an example and work through the steps of a business that wants to minimize advertizing costs by using social media. They have already made a start by creating facebook accounts and a fan site for their business. All of the workers were encouraged to use facebook and tell all their friends about the business. They had also created twitter accounts for their two locations but had no tweets posted. This is our starting point
The first step is to understand the media and how it can help you and the second is to form a step by step plan to grow your base of followers and readers. The plan we worked out for this client started week one with growing the twitter following. This meant searching for people that were talking about them already and either responding to them, re-tweeting them if it was helpful or making the decision to follow them. It is important not to just follow everyone that mentions you anywhere. This can quickly become unmanageable.
It is also important not to come across as an add agency. You should be personable and interesting. Post a variety of tweets about a variety of things that relate to your business, industry and area. The client in the example is a hotel group so they have an interest in tweeting about things to do in the area to keep customers there longer. Later on in the next step we plan to use twitter contests and trivia about the business and area to build more followers. First though we have to have more to offer them. That is where the next strategy comes in.
This first week of growing we are going to add a blog to the toolbox the business has. They have an active marketing director and manager that are used to sending our e-mail blasts and sales copy on a regular basis. They also have a food and beverage director that has an interest in fine wine and has written a column for the local paper. Their spa also puts out regular mailings and specials. If each of these departments can contribute a paragraph or two each week the blog can be active and keep readers coming back. The recommendation here is to put up each article separately instead of one big weekly post. For example if you post upcoming events on Monday, Spa specials on Wednesday, Wine information on Friday, and wedding news on the weekend you can track the number of hits and know exactly which articles are drawing the readers in. When each post is put up a tweet could be sent out mentioning the content of the new post with a link.
Finally for this first stage making sure that all these elements have links to the other elements will keep the reader in the clients sphere of information longer.
In the next post we will talk a bit about linking and twitter etiquette.
See you soon