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Social Media For A New Startup

When you launch a new website for a new business or a startup you might have a lot of questions, and it can be overwhelming when you’re getting involved with social media.  There is so much information out there, some good, some bad and some just downright stupid; it’s often hard to determine what will actually work for you.

It’s important to do your own research and speak to the experts that can give you accurate and proven strategies to launch your social media campaign.

Usually, offerings include 3 “products”, or steps:

The 1st step with any marketing/social media campaign is research.  You need to speak to your target audience and ask them a whole host of questions to find out their interests, motivations, aspirations, and hopes.  You can then leverage this knowledge and incorporate it into your marketing.

Find out where they hang out online, how much time they spend on social media, what blogs they read etc.  This will really help determine what social networks to best focus your efforts.

The 2nd step is to create a plan.  You’ve heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”  Well, the same applies with your social media.  You need to think about what social networks you’re launching on, how you’re going to launch – are you running a competition or giveaway, who’s going to help spread the word etc.

There’s a lot that needs to be considered.

The 3rd step is to implement. In this stage, you will have everything in place – all your content, social media profiles, branding etc.  Now you will have to make sure you follow through with all the plans you made and consistently manage your activity on a daily basis. Collecting e-mail addresses should be one of your top priorities so you can drip market to them on an ongoing basis.  Create some free content that you can offer in exchange for their e-mail address.

Evaluation

Businesses are struggling with how to evaluate their social media campaigns to determine whether all the work they are putting in has actually had a beneficial effect and achieved the goals set out in their strategy

Evaluate your campaign every 6-12 months to keep on top of your progress.

Your social media return on investment will relate to your goals.  If you set out to drive traffic to your website to generate sales, this is easily measurable and we can determine your ROI based on your profit vs marketing cost.

If you were looking at increasing conversation and sentiment around your brand, we can look at certain metrics such as reach, people talking about, RT’s and @mentions but it’s much harder to pinpoint a numerical figure for ROI.  We can look at sales before and after the campaign but other marketing and advertising could affect the numbers.

The only sure-fire way of finding out if your audience would be more inclined to make a purchase or perceive your brand differently would be to send a questionnaire out to customers and others in your target market, before and after your campaign.

Please remember to generate social media ROI careful planning, resources and time are needed; don’t give up if you aren’t seeing results after just one month!

When developing your social strategy, constant optimization will help you find out what is and what isn’t working on a daily basis.  But looking at your campaign as a whole, you need to assess other areas of your marketing that have an effect of your social media.   Below are areas that will need attention:

E-mail marketing – Track all click from your e-mail campaign to find out the click-through rate for your social links.  Then test placing your links in different positions in your e-mail to see if you can increase your CTR.  Also, you will find including a strong call-to-action to like your fan page or follow you on Twitter will have an effect on your CTR.

Website/Blog – Ensure all social icons are visible above the fold and to draw extra attention, add a call to action next to them.  Social sharing is a great way to expand the reach of your content so if you’re on WordPress there are tons of great plug-ins to choose from.  This is my favorite from my blog – Get Social.

Offline Advertising – If you place ads in a print publication the same rules apply.  Make your social icons visible and include a relevant call-to-action to introduce your readers into your online environment.

Online Advertising – Again, the same applies.  Use a strong call-to-action to inspire users to take the next step in your sales cycle.

To really achieve a plausible social ROI you need to apply a social media strategy over an extended period of time, usually at least 6-12 months before you can really start accumulating some interesting data and seeing a good return.

Your audience needs to know, like, and trust you before they part with their cash.  This sometimes is a long process of education, gathering opinion and audience interaction.  Value your audience and they will value you.