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Reposted by Carie Statz, Marketing and Sales Instructor from http://www.inboundmarketingagents.com/inbound-marketing-agents-blog/bid/140064/How-To-Create-A-Social-Media-Strategy-for-Your-Business

The rapid growth of social media communities and sites has revolutionized the way businesses market themselves to the public. Any company that wishes to survive in the near future must embrace and include a viable social media strategy within its broad strategy. Lack of a clear social media strategy to guide the company can hamper its success in this arena to a larger extent. In fact, a study conducted by Smartblog on

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Social Media poll indicates that 77 percent of respondents view their companies as lacking in formal social media training process. Managers wishing to develop a successful social media strategy should follow the tips below.

Specify the Company’s Goals and Objectives

Managers should list down the company’s goals and objectives with regard to social media. Such goals and objectives include public relations, advertising or marketing. Having a clear and well-defined social media strategy eliminates confusion and prevents ambiguity. The goals and objectives should be SMART; specific, measurable, attainable, relevant/realistic and timely. Social media is a key element to drive visitors to your website and generate leads within your inbound marketing strategy.Lots of ResearchThe next step of an effective social media strategyis to carry out some research, rather than delving into the pool with both feet. This involves determining which social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or a few blogs and forums. Managers should then narrow down among the listed sites to determine which one confers to it the most benefits. This involves monitoring the trends, analyzing the users’ opinion of the company and its products and adjusting the content to address any feedback.Cultivating Relationships

To build a network of followers and influencers in its social media sites, those responsible for social media strategy in a company must also spare time to respond to comments and questions posted by other users. This involves replying to queries in Yahoo, blogs and forums and in social communities such as Twitter and Facebook.

Familiarizing the Employees

The success of your social media strategy is largely driven by the company’s employees. Teaching them the ropes of social media and the goals and objectives of the company is the best step forward. The training should go beyond giving them a basic overview of social media, but also its functions and how to best utilize it for the benefit of the organization and your inbound marketing strategy.

Setting the Tone

Those responsible for the development of the organization’s social media strategy should set a consistent tone when posting in the social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This ensures followers won’t find out if multiple employees are tasked with managing its various social media sites. If the standard tone is formal, employees should be aware that it is a no-no to post funny comments. Otherwise, if the tone is light and fun, then the employees should add some flair to their comments and posts.

Establishing a Clear Protocol

To ensure the success of a social media strategy, there should be a clear protocol indicating the part played by each employee as part of the organization’s social media strategy. This helps prevent double-posts and cultivate an air of professionalism in the social media sites. Either way, the roles can be rotated, but each employee should be aware of his or her role.

Measure the Results

Those tasked with ensuring the success of the organization’s social media strategy should make a point of measuring the results in this aspect. This involves analyzing whether the results are in line with the company’s goals and objectives. If the goal is popularity, this can be measured by the number of followers in its social media sites, the number of visitors to its website, or positive comments in its social media sites, but the real goal for your comapny should be the number of leads generated from your social strategy. To generate leads from social media be sure you are using Call to Action’s and linking to your website’s landing pages with compelling offers. If you think the number of subscribers is the key metric read this article – You Can’t Eat a Facebook “Like”.

Reposted by Carie Statz, Marketing and Sales Instructor from http://www.inboundmarketingagents.com/inbound-marketing-agents-blog/bid/140064/How-To-Create-A-Social-Media-Strategy-for-Your-Business