Throwing a post or two up on your social media sites is not going to get you the business results you desire. You must have a social marketing command center to feed you information and allow you to listen in on conversations that are going on with people on the social web, so you can be responsive and provide the help they are looking for.
Just last week, Cathy on our team, saw that someone was looking for a rental property in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. She saw this through a specific search feed she had set up. With this information, she was able to jump in and provide the woman a list of homes for rent in her desired area, along with the contact information for our realtor client and in turn, they secured the business.
So whether you are just getting started putting together a social marketing strategy, or you have been using a few social media sites for awhile and you want to now apply a more focused strategy, this check list can help you build a foundation that will help you get better results from the work that you are doing.
Set up your listening command center.
Create alerts and notifications on Mention, Talkwalker and in your social dashboard (SproutSocial or Hootsuite are both great monitoring tool that we recommend). Pull in notifications whenever someone mentions your brand, your keyword and then create alerts for questions or phrases like, “Looking for a great _______” “Homes for sale/rent in ____________area” “Recommend a great _________.” If your business is focused on a geographic area, set up searches for that are mentioned in that area.
Create your social dashboard on SproutSocial or Hootsuite.
We like the reporting better on Sprout and the way it allows you to read your important notifications in one stream, versus Hootsuite that is a bit more complex but great if you are managing many accounts and has a lower price point when you are working alone. You will want to pull in the social media accounts you are using and add any team members who will be managing the accounts with you.
Set up your content curation stream.
In order for you to stay up on the latest information in your industry, you need to find and subscribe to content that will feed you this information daily. Who blogs about your industry? What news sources are important for you to follow? Once you have identified the sources, pull them into a Feedly account and then pull that Feedly stream into your SproutSocial or Hootsuite dashboard so you can read and share right from your account.
Set up your image repository.
You may want to subscribe to a photo site like Shutterstock or iStockphoto to ensure you will have high quality photos that are legal to use. Add in as many of your own personalized photos of your team, your products, and anything you can think of that might make for great visual social content. You will need more photos than you think. (Read this post)
Get your social media sites and accounts looking ready to invite people in.
Load a few posts that provide tips or resources for the guests you are about to connect with. You want your pages and profiles looking great before you start following, liking and circling people. Be sure you have images loaded with your posts for great visual appeal.
Like other business pages on Facebook.
There are three reasons to like other pages from your business page: One, it feeds interesting posts into your page’s home stream that you may want to share with your community, two, it allows you to be active in the social community of Facebook in places other than your own page, and three it allows you to build and nurture relationships with other businesses that you can cross-promote with. Connect with your local chambers, the businesses that you partner with, vendors you use, customers you serve and those you don’t YET.
Follow people on Twitter.
You will continue to do this on a regular basis, but to jump start your Twitter followers, you need to get following. Find businesses, news sources, favorite business bloggers in your industry, customers, prospective customers, anyone following a specific hashtag that is used in your industry or from a conference you have attended or that others in your target market would have attended.
Join a couple groups on LinkedIn.
Find groups that will allow you and your brand to be a resource as well as groups where you can learn about the latest news in your industry.
Join a community or two on Google Plus.
Similar to LinkedIn, find communities where you can provide value or where you can learn.
Now you should be all set up and ready to start doing the real work…connecting, building and nurturing relationships on these social sites.
Are there any steps that you take to get set up that I have missed? Do you have questions on any of these steps? Share them with us in the comments–we'd love to know.
Connect with me on Twitter – @GinaSchreck