Businesses everywhere are finding new opportunities to engage with consumers through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. It’s known that Twitter gets about 460,000 users to sign up per day, and Facebook is expected to reach 1 billion users by August, so it’s easy for businesses to realize that each and every one of these users have the potential to be a customer.

But social media marketing is more than just making an account and adding friends and followers. It is critical to have a well-established strategy and to do your research so you can develop the best social media plan for your company.

Follow these tips before you hit the social media highway.

1. Have A Plan

Too often Facebook becomes littered with inactive company pages. These pages are the result of marketers making a company page without a goal in mind.

It’s important to understand your objectives. State what it is you want to accomplish. This might be to create brand awareness, to provide a platform for consumers to give input and ask questions, or to build customer loyalty with promotions and specials.

Also, you’ll want to make a plan for measuring your ROI. It’s very helpful to be able to tell if your efforts are paying off. If your efforts aren’t getting results, then you can have a plan set to help you modify your marketing tactics.

It’s also wise to know you’re target audience. Define the demographics of who would be most interested in your products and services so you can send your brand message to those specific people.

Finally, make sure you have the time necessary to run your social media marketing plan. If you can’t make the time needed for your social media marketing, your attempts will not get very far. Consider hiring someone to help you so you can have the time to make a successful social media marketing campaign.

2. Keep It Simple

After you’ve got a basic plan set up, don’t go overboard and try to join every social network site out there. That will only end up fragmenting your efforts. What you should do is focus on creating one or two accounts on social media sites and grow your audience there.

3. Don’t Spam

With social media, it can be tempting to start promoting your products and services like crazy, but advertising should not be the main focus of social media marketing. Facebook users don’t go on the site to just look for something to purchase, so make sure you’re engaging with followers and fans on a level beyond advertising and promoting.

4. Communicate

Silence is not golden in the social media world. Communication is a must for any business, especially social media marketing. If you are not able to maintain ongoing communication with your customers, you will lose the value of having a social media presence. So be “social” and make contacts and boost your reputation.

5. Build Your Fan Base

It’s easy to gain customers by building your fan base. If you communicate well through your social media sites, your fan base will grow, and the potential for more customers will grow as well. Be sure to post interesting and unique information often, and follow people who are relevant to your brand, and they might just follow you back.

























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