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There Is More to Social Media Than Meets The Eye

This post will introduce various elements of social media that can help you manage your own social media more effectively.  Your social media strategy should lead most of your online activity.

Having a social media strategy helps social media strategists figure out where they are, where they want to be and how to get there efficiently.  When creating your social media strategy you first want to have a good understanding of your core business objectives and then set your social media objectives.

Developing an audience persona can help you understand where your audience are online and what kind of content will impact them the most. Also, get to know your competitors brand by researching the industry and competition.  Take some time to go out and figure out what social networks your competitors are using and how effective they to drive that brands business.  If you discover specific networks that are working better for that company, take advantage of that knowledge and apply a similar approach to your own company.  These strategy will allow you to recognize what opportunities your competition is not taking advantage of and jump on them.  In addition, you also want to gain insight as to how the industry influencers are managing their social media presence.

The next part in developing you social media strategy is creating a content strategy that attracts an audience.  Hootsuite can assist you in this process.  But first, you need to figure out where your audience likes to engage on the internet.  Whether it be Instagram or YouTube you will need to create specific content that is most relevant for that channel.  Although this can be a laborious process, do not panic, because there are other ways to help you win your audience’s attention.

Instead of always creating brand new content, why not take advantage of the tools available online?  Tools like trendspottr or Nexalogy can help you understand what type of brand relevant content is trending online.  Hootsuite has a system that searches for content that is relevant to you and suggests items you can post to your networks.  This has worked for me because I often run out of new and creative ways to entertain and encourage audience engagement.  After social media strategy development you are ready to grow your community.

While social media strategy is important, you also need to know how to grow a community that will listen. When seeking to grow an online community around your brand you must first establish a guiding philosophy. This philosophy creates a base for all of your social media content and engagement. With an established philosophy it allows the brand to develop a relatable personality that makes it easier for the community to converse and engage with you. You want to keep in mind that in order to build a successful online community you will want to incorporate elements of your brands shared values, ideas and topics, instead of simply promoting your products or services. An online brand presence is more than just having audience members come to your social media site and engage. It also requires that you actively seek out relatable online groups and blogs and engage with them to display a commitment to your brands true values.

Professional networks such as LinkedIn offer countless benefits you may not know exist. LinkedIn is all about business. This social media site allows you to leverage your personal experiences and professional experiences to promote your personal and business brand.

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One of the most important aspects of LinkedIn is the area of networking and building connections. This is a practice that requires a great deal of attention. You may have hear from others is that you need to “network, network, network.” Now that does not mean you should go out and try to connect with everyone you know or want to get to know. That is not a good idea. As Koka Sexton mentioned in his presentation on LinkedIn “you need to be very aware of your connection philosophy.” Instead you want to reach out and connect with anyone who can you can add to or get value from. Additionally, you really only want to connect to individuals who you have already met before. When you follow this approach you will have more success with making more connections rather than being ignored.

If there is an individual who you have not met before but would like to network and build a connection with them you are not out of luck. This is where you can leverage you existing connects to help branch out to new professionals and get to know new people.

LinkedIn is more than just a place to build connections and further expand your network, it also provides a space where you can engage with other likeminded business professionals about articles, events and topics that you are both interested in.

After you have developed a solid base in social media then its time to manage all of these activities effectively. The presentation on effective social media management on Hootsuite, provides excellent tips on how to manage your social media more efficiently. Because social media has active users 24/7 it is easy to get caught up in the chaos.  If it is completely controlling your life, you might want to assess you current social media management strategy and decide if this is the most effective approach.

Susan Murphy had few steps that can help. The first step is to have a plan. This is a plan based on the goals you seek to achieve for your brand. It is best not to go into social media looking to get the most “likes” or “favorites”. That approach will not help drive your company. Once you have defined your goals you then need to establish your strategy and tactics. Before now I never even though to develop a plan for my social media interactions.  I would create a social media account with the goals of getting the most engagement an attention. With my social media goals as my only focus, I limited my ability to effectively manage my accounts.  The next recommendation is to take advantage of the available online tools. There are many sites like Hootsuite that offer assistance with social media management. These sites allow you to schedule posts so that you can deliver content during times where you cannot be physically present. It also serves the purpose of aligning posts with the times of relevant events or activities. If you are able to schedule them ahead you can guarantee that the content will be released when needed. Her last step is to break up you social media activities throughout the day. Writing and engaging in short blocks of time during the day can help spread out the intensity.

The world of social media is ever changing and growing at a tremendous rate.  Stay active and engaged and go get yourself known.

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