7 Steps to Social Media Success

Social Networking can be overwhelming.

I love it.  I get twitchy when I can’t do Twitter and forlorn when I can’t Facebook.

But it can be tough to figure out exactly how to get results from it (more traffic, more subscribers, more clients).

Where should you post?  When should you post?  What should you post?  How can you juggle more than one place to post?

It’s enough to make a small business owner or blogger want to hide under the computer desk and refuse to come out.

So how can we make it easier?

You need a plan! 

Here are the 7 steps I use:

1) Set Goals

You need to know why you’re on each network.  What do you hope to accomplish?  Is it connecting with your target market?  Driving traffic back to your site?  Reaching potential JV partners?  You may have more than one goal (I do) and that’s fine, just be sure you know what your goals are and have defined them so you know if you’re getting results or wasting time.  I’ll talk more about setting goals in a post soon.

2) Get Setup

Once you know your goals, you need to setup your profiles and website to help support your goals.  For Twitter, this would include your profile image, background, bio, etc.  For your Facebook fan page, this would include a welcome tab, perhaps a blog or YouTube tab, etc.  For your website, this would include adding a way for visitors to connect with you on the social networks and easy ways for your visitors to share your content on the social networks.

3) Get Connecting

Who do you want to connect with? Having 10,000 Twitter followers is completely useless if none of them are interested in what you’re tweeting about (or if you aren’t tweeting things that will help you reach your goals).  10,000 Facebook fans are of no value if they like you then never interact with your page or visit your website again.  So know who you want to connect with, what you want them to do next, and build your connection plans around those goals.  Don’t just randomly connect with anyone who can breathe.

4) Get Interacting

Once you’ve started connecting, you need to interact.  You aren’t a one-way radio station there to broadcast your favorite tunes all day.  Don’t post “buy my stuff!” “look what’s new!” “check out my blog!” and nothing else (especially on Twitter).  Think of yourself as a call-in show and get in the discussion!

5) Automate

Automation is not evil.  Unless you want to spend all day (and night) online, you need to learn to use automation to help you stay visible.  You can do this without being annoying, slimy, or robotic.  Again, it comes down to knowing your goals and working towards them consistently.

6) Be Consistent

Don’t spend 15 minutes on Twitter one day a week and expect results.  Don’t spend an hour playing farm games on Facebook and expect results (other than a blossoming farm).  You need to show up and stay consistent.  If you’ve got 20 minutes a day, then split that up into 10 minutes in the morning and 10 in the afternoon/evening and every day consistently show up and interact.  (Use your time wisely towards you goals and even a few minutes can go a long way!)

7) Track & Adapt

Be sure you’re watching for results and measuring them so you know if your strategies are working.  If they are, awesome!  If they aren’t, just adapt and adjust and keep going.

Having a plan is always better than winging it.  Unless you’re in improv.  But social networking results come much faster if you’ve got goals you’re working towards.

So how can you implement these steps?  Check out the blog posts I’ve shared right below some of the steps above.  I’ll be sharing more about each of these steps during the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Your Turn!

Which of these steps do you have mastered already?  Which ones do you need more help with?

Image Credit: iqoncept/StockFresh

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6 Comments

  1. Michelle:
    I’ve decided to tackle your 7 steps one at a time and make sure I have it down before moving on to the next. You mentioned that you would be sharing more about setting smart social networking goals in the next issue, but I wondered if you could provide a few examples here or maybe a good reference site that will help me jumpstart writing my goals?
    Thanks
    Angela
    http://www.insidethatheadofmine.com

    1. Hi Angela,

      I can share some of mine and maybe that will help. :) What I’ll be sharing in my ezine (and here on my blog) is some examples of setting the goals and then the steps to achieve them.

      Some goals might be:
      – get more traffic to my blog
      – get more people to subscribe to my ezine
      – connect with potential mentors/colleagues/jv partners
      – get more clients/sales
      – start discussions to get marketing or service ideas
      – learn what my clients/potential clients are looking for (market research)
      etc.

      Knowing what you want from social networking is key. For example, a lot of people say their goal with social networking is to get clients. But then they don’t promote their products/services/etc. and wonder why they aren’t getting clients when they spend a lot of time on the social networking sites.

      If my goal is to increase subscribers to my ezine, then I need to make it a point to tell my connections/friends about my ezine or whatever opt in gifts I offer.

      One of the biggest mistakes I see small businesses making is that they’re driving traffic to connect with them on social media (fan us on Facebook! follow us on Twitter!) but then they’re not effectively driving traffic the other way, back to their site from the social networks. They’ve got the part figured out that they need to be available and connect but they haven’t set goals that allow them to leverage those networks to accomplish something (beyond building some visibility, which itself may also be a legitimate goal if that’s one they’ve consciously set).
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Fainting, Sweating, and the Importance of ProofreadingMy Profile

  2. Great list, I struggle most with #6 – Be Consistent. The only one that I feel sure that I have conquered is #5 – Automate. I’m working on the others.

    I find that the primary key to getting stuff done is to be sure to be connected to the passion of the project. Then everything seems more like fun, instead of work.
    Hugh Kimura recently posted… Do You Make These 5 Mistakes When Trying To Make Money?My Profile

  3. […] to deal with my lists on Twitter for a while, but I finally started after being motivated by Michelle Shaeffer.  And I discovered a hidden benefit that I want to share with […]

  4. Hi Michelle,

    You mention that it is important to be consistent. That is one thing I have struggled with time and time again. My love for Twitter comes and goes in phases. I get into a phase where I like spending a lot of time on there interacting with people. Then eventually I get kind of tired of it and let things die down. I get sick of seeing the same people chatting back and forth about meaningless drivel when I am actually using it as a means to gain more education for myself. I get frustrated and then take a break from it. I don’t know if I will ever really get to a point where I can be really consistent.
    Ted recently posted… Do You UnFollow Twitter People Who Tweet Too MuchMy Profile

  5. Hi Michelle Shaeffer ,
    It is a very nice and informative post.Thanks for sharing 7 steps to social media success.These steps are simple and easy to follow.
    Pete Goumas recently posted… WestMarine Review – CouponMy Profile

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