About Me

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Len focuses on helping small and new businesses succeed through developing appropriate marketing and sales strategies. Len enjoys mentoring, relishes in getting both arms and feet wet in addressing technology, marketing and sales issues. He understands the drivers impacting business results for today and tomorrow including time-to-market, time-to-revenue, marketing, sales channels and social media.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Creating a Plan for Implementing Social Media in your Marketing Strategy

From time to time I have the opportunity to read other bloggers columns and share them with you here. The following excerpts come from Taylor Ellwood, a social media coach and writer who resides in Portland, Oregon. Her recent posting on BizNik is entitled, The Five Elements of Basic Social Media Strategy.

Taylor's 5 elements include:

1. Define Your audience. She points out that audience is more than just existing clients. It includes prospects and partners. Your target audience may be a subset of your total audience because not all of your clients, prospects and partners may embrace social media. Consider age and other demographics in determining your social media audience.

2. Define your business model. Is your business model B2B or B2C? For example, B2C is a determining factor when considering Facebook whereas B2B may be LinkedIn, Biznik, Partnerpedia or similar social networking site.

3. Pick out your key words and phrases that define what you do. Match your key words and phrases with those that make your clients and prospects pay attention to you. These are the words and phrases clients use to describe what you do for them. This is a magnet to attract other members of a social network with similar needs, members that you have never met.

4. Define your goals for using social media, but keep them realistic. Taylor advocates that you need to go into the social media space with very specific goals. I'm a great believer that any action plan should have distinct and measurable goals and a social media strategy is no different.

In her article on this point Taylor states "It's important to define realistic goals for using social media. A realistic goal is publishing an article to be more visible to your social network. An unrealistic goal is expecting that the article will automatically help you convert readers into clients. It's unrealistic because it's not something you have much control over, and you will get frustrated if it doesn't happen. Recognize the technology for what it is and what it can do and plan accordingly with your goals."

5. Assess how much time and effort you will need to spend learning how to use social media sites, as well as what social media sites you need to be on. Also be mindful of using blogs, e-newsletters, internet radio, video, and other forms of social media and factor those into your assessment.

The last point stated above are Taylor's words not mine. It is very important that you recognize the time commitment you need to make in a social media strategy. Unlike investing dollars in advertising on web pages, or in a magazine, the cost of social media marketing is more a measure of the time you need to spend to create a successful, measurable outcome.

Finally, my additional two cents....it is important to continually test to see what works and what doesn't in social media. This is a brave new world for business to venture into. But as I have stated previously it is hard to ignore the number of people that are on social media sites. The Facebook nation is the fourth largest community in the world, almost equal in population to the United States. LinkedIn is better than one-and-a-half the size of Canada in population. To ignore these numbers in your business strategy is to miss a golden opportunity.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.