If you are like most business people online, you are probably bombarded with sales pitches by SEO and social media experts all claiming that they can get you tons of traffic in no time. But like all things that are truly worthwhile, there are no quick fixes to being successful at either search engine optimization or social media. Both take effort and time to be effective and successful in the short and long term. The nice thing is that there are a lot of tools available on-line to help you find success.
I’ve spent the past two years developing a process which outlines the major steps of any social media strategy. The following series of articles are designed to provide you with a structure for focusing your social media efforts.
There are four key phases of social media strategy based on the acronym L.E.A.D. ™ , which stands for Listen, Engage, Articulate, and Demonstrate. Each phase of the strategy has its own set of objectives and its own measures of success. The benefit of this phased approach is that you have the choice of participating at different levels and seeing success without having to complete all phases.
In addition to outlining the four phase social media approach, we will build a social media calendar with action items that will help you tackle the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that will form part of your social media habits. My objectives over the course of these articles will be to help you:
- Increase social media mentions of your company, brand, or destination
- Increase customer engagement
- Identify where customers are congregating on-line
- Identify and engage with potential customers in their preferred environment
- Increasing referrals to your website through social media
You DO social media already… you just don’t know it
The best way to approach social media is to imagine yourself entering a room filled with people. What would you do first? Most likely, you would wander around a bit and listen to the conversations happening around you. You would listen for things that have meaning for you or that may be topics you have some experience with. You might also look for people that you know. If you find someone or hear a conversation that you know about, you might wait for an opportunity to insert yourself into the conversation by asking a question. Once the conversation gets going, it will proceed as conversations often do in any number of directions. At some point however, if you have been asking questions and interacting, the opportunity for you to introduce yourself and your business might come up. Almost everyone has had an experience like this in the “real world”. The thing that most people don’t realize is that social networks work the same way.
The L.E.A.D. ™ approach will guide you through this simple and straightforward process of listening, engaging in conversations, articulating what you know, and demonstrating your expertise or experience in a way that builds your reputation, credibility, and trust with your customers.