Social Media Strategy for 2012 – 7 Things to Consider

http://platform.twitter.com/widgets/hub.1324331373.htmlI have been doing a lot of research in my new career as Social Media Director and I realize the importance for a business to have a social media strategy.  The problem is that most of the time, a business does what we all do as individuals with our New Year’s resolutions – a month or so into the new year we lose our focus, we start slacking on our enthusiasm and our motivationdrops to nothing.  We go right back to our old ways and what we’re comfortable doing.  As the world changes around us, and as we go into 2012, it is imperative that we create a strategy and a business plan for keeping those resolutions alive and moving forward.  That can be pretty uncomfortable for some of us.

My husband and I had lunch recently with someone who’s been in sales for over 40 years.  He was complaining about the “young kid” in the office who is trying to change the way of doing sales.  He said “I’ve been doing this for over 40 years and I know what works!  He doesn’t know more than I do!”  And while that’s true, it’s also true that the “young kid” just might know about a new way of communicating and if they would work together, they just might be a pretty great team!

Moving ahead in 2012,

1.  Social Media must be a part of the plan.  But why?  What is the objective?  Without a clear objective of what you want to accomplish, you can go through the motions and tweet your little heart out without getting the results you’re working so hard to achieve.    “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”  Albert Einstein.  Social media is a whole new way of thinking for some of us and we need to understand that .  We must change with the times or get left behind.  Social Media is how your prospective customers communicate now.  If you don’t communicate on-line, you won’t be communicating with your prospective customers.

2.  you need a social media strategy.  What exactly does that mean?  Dictionary.com says “Strategy” is a plan, method, or series of maneuvers or stratagems for obtaining a specific goal or result.  I especially like the “series of maneuvers or stratagems”.  It seems to define social media pretty well.  You need more than one social media venue.  Be sure you choose the ones that will help you meet your objectives and only those you can manage well.  A twitter account with no tweets isn’t helping you accomplish anything.

3.  identify your audience.  You cannot be all things to all people.  Determine who your target audience is and work toward communicating to them.  Join groups, make connections, reply to posts, but be sure they are your target audience and not just people who do what you do.  (althought that’s ok too to some degree)

4.  you need to build relationships with people, it’s just done on-line.  Instead of picking up the phone or going to an office building to meet someone, you connect with and communicate on-line.  But never forget that “putting a face with a name” is just as important with social media as it has always been.  Be sure to put your photo on your website, your blog, your twitter account, your facebook account, your LinkedIn account.  People want to “see” your face.

5.  doing business is no longer about me pushing my products and my services onto potential customers.  Doing business in 2012 will be about how I can help others to help others, who will in return refer those “others” back to me when the need arises.

6.  customer service must be a staple of your business.  The customer is back in charge!  You need them more than they need you.

7.  use different tools for communicating.  Use videos, powerpoint presentations, emails, YOU CAN EVEN USE THE PHONE if they have provided you with their information.  People are different, and they communicate and learn differently.  A good way to determine how a potential customer communicates is to go to their website or blog and look for hints.  If their website has their email address everywhere, chances are they are comfortable communicating through email.

We are becoming more and more global in our thinking, and in our way of life, and the internet is here to stay.    We can fight it and try to do things “the way we’ve always done them” and get left behind, or we can embrace the future and the new way of communication, referring, connecting, and working together for a brighter future.  As you create your social media strategy for the new year, consider these seven things and then put them into an action plan that will work for you and your business.  Be consistent with your posts and get your presence out there!  Happy New Year!

 

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About vondadashley

Wife, step-mom, sister, daughter, Author of The CFO Tool, and Virtual Profile Strategist working to Life and Health Agents create a strong online profile through social media and web design.

Posted on December 30, 2011, in Legal Shield, The CFO Tool and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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