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Question: Are you a social media dilettante?
More precisely: are you spread so thin across the plethora of social media platforms and communities that your voice is lost in the din?
Confession: I was. I had so many social community groups, platforms, and content sharing networks going on that I actually managed to completely forget about several of them, until something popped up in my inbox or cropped up in my Twitter stream.
Then it was: Oh, right. That. Followed by: facepalm.
But let’s back up a moment. What is a dilettante, exactly? Well, according to my online New Oxford American Dictionary, a dilettante is “…a person who cultivates an area of interest…without real commitment or knowledge.”
Not flattering: “…without real commitment or knowledge.” And more to the point, not a smart investment of your time and effort, sporadically and randomly making little to zero impact with your social media content or input.
Worse yet, you end up looking like an individual or business without real commitment or knowledge. In this new age of internet marketing where authority and credibility are key, you actually may be spending your valuable resources on social media sabotaging yourself!
If you find yourself or your business in this condition, with your social media efforts scattered and half-baked all over the web and delivering no results, then this post is for you.
Streamlining your Social Media Strategy: Define your Business Goals
Ask yourself what your end business goal is when devising your social media plan. Is it to:
- Acquire new business/lead generation?
- Establish yourself or your business as the go-to authority in a specific area?
- Retain and/or reward your current customers?
Or 4. All of the above?
Simply articulating and prioritizing your business goals for social media will serve to weed out extraneous platforms and networks, allowing you to develop a coherent strategy focused on those that best support them.
Business Goal #1: Lead Generation
If you’re focused mostly on lead generation, then you’ll need to figure out who your ideal customer is and where s/he is likely to be found on social media.
Seems like a “duh” proposition, until you actually think about it. For instance:
- Are you marketing primarily to other businesses (B2B)? Or to consumers (B2C)?
- Drilling down deeper, what are the specific attributes of your target market? Have you defined a clear customer persona?
- Where would you most likely find your ideal customers on social media, and what content would compel them to visit your site?
Business Goal #2: Establishing Authority
If you’re a solopreneur or business more concerned with personalized branding and establishing yourself as the recognized go-to authority in a specific area, then besides the lead generation questions outlined above, you’ll want to consider:
- Blogging on a consistent basis, not only to demonstrate your expertise in a manner that engages the business or community you are trying to impact, but also to drive your visitors deeper into your site.
- Selecting those social media groups and content-sharing communities where your voice is most likely to be heard. And then listening to your readers’ feedback, and responding to it, i.e., engaging them!
- Expanding your digital footprint beyond your own site to include guest blogging on authority sites, and perhaps actively participating on a quality Q & A site (such as Quora) – given you have the time to do so!
Business Goal #3: Retaining & Rewarding Customers
This is the perhaps the most tricky of the three goals to tackle. You’re acquiring new customers/clients, you’re establishing yourself as the real deal as an authority or thought leader on some such subject, but keeping your customers/following/what-have-you? How do you manage that?
Much flak’s been dished out to companies that offer deals solely to their prospects/new customers while their current customers subsidize the price breaks. Think Comcast – they’re notorious for this bad policy.
This means it is time to get creative in expressing your gratitude to your loyal customers and social media followers! A few ideas for you:
- Offer them a month of free service, or some sort of price break, simply as a “thank you”. You’d be surprised by how much this is appreciated by customers.
- Run a contest on your blog or established social media platform. Make it fun, and offer genuinely valuable gifts or freebies as your budget will allow.
- Feature one of your customer’s experiences with your product or service, making them “famous” for a day!
Do you have any tips to add for creating a streamlined social media presence and strategy? Please share them with us in the comments below!
Photo Credit: Mark Stozier via Flickr Creative Commons