Strategy and Targeting Prospects from the Expert!

By on October 29, 2010

Ask the Expert!

Consider this your advice column, covering all things social media marketing.  Got a question for the Expert?  Drop a comment at the end of the post, send us a tweet, or stop by our Facebook page and leave a comment!

Dear Expert;

I’ve spent the past few months building up my networks across all my social media profiles.  I’ve got a large following on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin – now what?

Sincerely,
What’s My Next Step


Dear What’s My Next Step;

While it’s great that you’ve got a large following built up across these three networks, the problem is that you’ve hit the road in a Chevy for a road trip, with no map, and no destination.

Every social media marketing endeavor needs to start with a solid strategy in place.  Not only should you know where you want to go and how you’re going to try to get there, but you also need to know where you started.  This is especially important when it comes to measuring how successful your social media endeavors have been for you.

Sincerely,
The Expert


Dear Expert;

I’m intrigued by the possibilities that social media marketing has to offer for businesses, but I’m wondering, how do we go about reaching potential clients, and not just peers in the industry?

Sincerely,
Looking for the Right Ones


Dear Looking for the Right Ones;

It’s tempting, when first starting out in social media, to simply run and join every industry network there is, only to discover that you end up preaching to the choir instead of converting the lost.

I’m assuming you’ve got your target market nailed down, and that you know them inside and out – and if you haven’t done that, then you need to sit down before going any further, and figure it out.  Knowing who your target market is includes knowing their pain points,  where they’re most likely to hang out, or what activities and products they are into, lifestyle choices they make, etc.  Once you’ve got a handle on your target market, it’s simply a matter of reaching out to your prospects through those channels (networks, groups, etc.).

Having said that, there’s one big thing to avoid doing – spamming.  The minute you open your mouth, and your audience thinks you’re simply there to sell something, you’ve lost.  Instead, go in as a contributor – someone with knowledge to freely share, and once they’ve embraced you, then you can start to build a potentially profitable relationship.

Sincerely,
The Expert

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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