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Effective social media strategy begins with self-reflection. Ask yourself:

  • What is the core of my business?
  • What differentiates my business?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • Once I get an audience, what messages do I plan on delivering?
  • (Most importantly) how can I turn my audience in revenues?

Once you have clear answers to these questions, you’ll be able to look at a variety of social media platforms and see which ones are best suited to deliver your message.

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There is no single social media platform or combination of platforms that will work for every business. When we work with clients on their social media strategy, we start with a detailed question-and-answer process. The objective of this process is to understand short-term and long-term business goals, to uncover other current marketing and advertising efforts, and to determine what results the client expects from the social media marketing campaign.

Some of the questions we typically ask are:

  • What is your commitment to the social media campaign (manpower, time investment, budget and duration)?
  • What are the goals of the campaign?
  • What are the criteria for measuring the success or failure of the program?
  • How do you plan on measuring the success or failure of the campaign?
  • Who will be at the “steering wheel” of your social media campaign?
  • Does anyone in your company have social media expertise?
  • More importantly, does that person(s) have the skills to deliver your key messaging through social media?
  • To what extent are you willing to outsource your social media campaigns?

Armed with the answers to these questions, you can build a better social media campaign, either in-house or through an agency such as ours.

Social Media is best described as a series of online conversations. Just like in normal life good conversationalists are great listeners. Listen to what the leading organisations in your field are doing, listen to what your customers are saying online, and keep up-to-date with industry blogs. Luckily there are a myriad of tools available to listen including Google Alerts, Socialmention.com, LinkedIn groups, Twitter search and Open Facebook Search.

As with any communication plan you need to know exactly who you are targeting. Where are they online? How do they communicate? What are they doing online? Why will they listen to and eventually buy from you? You will already know a lot of this about your existing customers. Often sending out a well-structured survey on surveymonkey.com will provide you with more clues as to where and what you should be communicating. Combine this with point 3 and you are on your way.

You’ve done the research, now dive in! Choose your tools and set up your initiatives. You will by now have a feel for which tools; initiatives and type of content best suit your customers. It could be blogs, discussion forums, linkedin, facebook, slideshare etc. Focus on spreading the content that adds the most value to your target market. Ask customers, partners and others that can add further value to contribute a guest post or video. This fosters community and adds value to the people who visit your online community.

Train your team to use the Social Media tools you decide best suit your target market. Train your partners and customers on these tools so they understand how to get the best from the information and value you provide. Oh and finally, train and educate them again, and again and again. – See more at: http://www.symphony3.com/Social-Media/Social-Media-approach#sthash.o8To3Cke.dpuf

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