How to Create a Winning Social Media Presence – Part One

By on July 27, 2009

Congratulations.  You’ve convinced the powers that be (or maybe you are the power that be), to create a social media presence that will hopefully bring you into greater contact with your customers and drive up your sales.  So what do you do now?  Here are suggestions for creating a winning social media presence.

1) Define Your Social Media Goals

Before you can even decide what sites to use, or how you’re going to use them, you’ve got to know your end goal.  Oftentimes businesses are in such a rush to join in the frenzy that they don’t take time to evaluate what exactly they want to get out of this whole endeavor – and this can mark the difference between failure or only mediocre success, and success.  What do you want to achieve with a social media presence?  More traffic to your website?  Increased positive word-of-mouth? Establishment of brand identity?  Having a clearly defined target you’re shooting for will also help you stay focused when you’re tempted to wander off course.

2) Research Your Target Customer

The next question you’ve got to answer for yourself is: “Who are my target customers?”  Many businesses have a pretty good idea who their target customer is, but then fail to research them further.

It’s a good idea to get on some social sites and find your target customers, then listen in on the conversations going on around you.  Knowing what your customers think, and how they might possibly perceive you will be a big help in creating a strategy for engaging them.

3) Decide how You’re Going to Measure the Impact.

Social media metrics can take up a whole post in itself (and in fact, we’ve got one that goes into a little more detail here).  In short, you’ve got to figure out how to track progress towards your goals, and how this will translate to your bottom line (often a very hard thing to connect).  To do this, however, you’ve got to know where you stand right now…back to research…

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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