Monday, October 3, 2011

Starting Anew: Social Media Marketing Plan

It seems to me that most would be marketers using Social Media; yes even the big dogs have a major challenge in getting it right. Now right can be a very ambiguous term in talking about Social Media Marketing because what is right for you is not right for me or anyone else. Then you throw in the big dogs into the mix. They clog up the screen with banner ads, sponsored ads, pay for clicks etc. What the big dogs have that you might not have is money, time and people power to throw at it. But money and the amount of it you can throw at Social Media is not what it is about nor is it going to take you where you want to be. It’s not about the money but about the conversations and influence.

You need to get yourself in front of the right people looking for that edge in branching out to the channels where these people are.

When I start out a new plan for a customer I have them wipe the slate as clean as possible, most people have a Social Media presence of some kind so it is hard to start from scratch. I mean you don’t want to go losing all your current 4 F’s (family, friends, followers, fans) but what I do have is a 5 step plan.

1. As yourself why. Why do you want to do social media marketing? Why personally or as a company do you want to be suing this channel? What is your motivation for it? What do you expect to get? What are you willing to put into it, be it time or money?

2. Then ask who in your customer base is now out there using social media. A survey of engineers and industrial professionals showed that only 15% of those people had a twitter account and that those that didn’t, did not don’t plan on creating one. That being said, if your market is engineers, twitter is a useless tool for you as well might be any social media. So think, maybe this is not where you should be putting in your time and energy.

3. Next, open your ears and shut your mouth. At least for a little while. Then when you open your companies twitter account run some searches on key words and key terms. Start with your company’s name. Do a search on your name. Read blogs in your industry and your clients or prospects industry, and don’t forget to read the comments.

4. Now sit back and take it slow. Small steps are best. Comment on the blogs. Join an existing community group and offer some thoughts and advice if you can. Find and follow some key people on twitter and retweet their posts Post your own tweets with links to articles and information your clients will find useful. Start to become a trusted resource.

5. Once you have a good sense of what is out there in your area both your industry and your client’s and prospect’s industry (‘s) get more active. Launch a LinkedIn group (our LinkedIn group is "The Sales Lead Funnel”) or ning site of very your own. Create a Facebook fan page and a blog for your view points to be made and commented on. The more relevant you are to your target the more you and your company start to become the industry expert.

Larson Notes & Satire: I’ve been working Social Media as a lead souse for over 5 years now. That makes me an old timer. Am I an expert? Hardly. I don’t believe there are experts in this field. I feel there are only people that are working it better, are a little more advanced in using the technology, and pushing harder, that is until something changes.

Now you ask, am I getting sales leads off of Social media? Yes, about 1 a day. Am I making sales off of those leads? You better believe it. If I wasn’t I would stop doing what I am doing. Now good is it for me? Let’s just say my currently my largest customer came off of Social Media Marketing.

Could I put a program or run a Social Media Marketing program for you? Probably.

“We don’t sell lists, we find customers.”

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Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

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