The 3 Stages of Social Media

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by Edison Guzman

Today, social media platforms have become an integral part of day to day routines and an indispensable communication tool for people to keep in contact. Consumers are using social media as a way to measure a company’s legitimacy, reliability and viability. Businesses today are not only judged based on their website, but also on their social media presence.

Needless to say, social media has managed to radically detour businesses away from traditional marketing methods. If your business does not employ modern marketing strategies (digital marketing) today, it will be much more difficult to reach your business goals.

Like any marketing strategy, you want to have a good idea on the return of your investment (ROI) in social media before jumping in.

Here’s the 3 stage cycle of social media marketing.

Stage 1: Setting Up Your Presence

At this stage, you must focus on setting up accounts on the top 5 Social Platforms: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. While there are many other platforms, such as Pinterest, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, Tumblr, etc, you should at least have a presence in the initial top 5.

Stage 2: Development

During this stage, you’ll create the ideal audience you wish to target. Ask yourself (then research), what’s my ideal client’s age, gender, income, relationship status, interests, location? Which social media platform do they frequent most? Who do they follow? Which pages have they liked? Which channels do they subscribe? Which blogs do they read?

The more you know about your target audience, the better.

Quick tip: If you want to know about your target market, simply find your biggest competitor’s Facebook page, and look them up with Facebook’s Insight tool.

Stage 3: Implementation

Now’s the time to implement your social media strategy. Create content for all platforms. Before creating your content, first ask yourself…what problem is your product or service solving for your prospective customer? Why do they need your product or service? What benefits will they get by using your product or service?

Keep all these questions in mind when creating content in text, images, audio and video.

Create as much unique, educational, controversial, funny or shocking content that does NOT sell you or your company.

You should reserve promoting your company for paid advertising. Even then, you should simply guide your prospective customer to your web site in a natural progression.

For example:

You can share a survey you’ve created that asks very simple questions that are of interest to your audience. You advertise the survey on the various platforms, and when people complete it (on your web site), the results are revealed to the survey taker. You may add a special offer on the results page, or ask them to download a white paper, or make them aware of an upcoming event. Your imagination is your limitation.

I once used a survey to have business owners tell us which workshop topics they were most interested in attending. Once they completed the survey, they were shown the results of how their peers voted, which was of value to them. We then asked them if they wanted to be notified of the next live workshop and invited them to give us their name and email address.

This strategy allowed us to learn the topics they were most interested in, and at the same time created an email list of interested attendees. We now use this list to sell out each workshop we host by simply alerting everyone about upcoming workshops of topics that they told us they wanted.

Now it’s your turn. Follow these three stages, and see how your ROI increases.

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