social media how toDo you need help getting started with your social media marketing strategy?

Do you know what to include?

Goals and objectives guide your social media strategy to help you successfully connect with your customers.

In this article I’ll share what you need to include in your social media marketing strategy so it works from day one.

#1: Identify Business Goals

Every piece of your social media strategy serves the goals you set. You simply can’t move forward without knowing what you’re working toward.

Look closely at your company’s overall needs and decide how you want to use social media to contribute to reaching them.

You’ll undoubtedly come up with several personalized goals, but there are a few that all companies should include in their strategy—increasing brand awareness, retaining customers and reducing marketing costs are relevant to everyone.

shutterstock goals image 201979426

First, set your goals and objectives. Image: Shutterstock.

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social media how toDoes your company have a social media policy?

Are employees confused about what they can and can’t post?

Social media policies must meet company and legal requirements, but should include open opportunities for employees to support your social media efforts.

In this article you’ll discover how to create a social media policy that unleashes employee participation.

Why a Social Media Policy?

Research shows that a majority of employees are willing to share company information—they’re just not sure what to share because they don’t want to get in trouble.

write a social media policy

Find out what you need to know about writing a social media policy for your employees.

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social media how to Do you want to quickly find and meet contacts related to your industry?

Are you looking for ways to establish a long-term relationship with those connections?

It can be tough to make first contact without coming on too strong.

But if you engage with someone before you pitch and let them get to know you a little bit, you have a better chance of creating a solid relationship.

In this article I’ll show you four ways you can use social media to meet market influencers and expand your network.

Why Social Networking?

Even if you live in the middle of nowhere (like me) you can build a network of influential colleagues. How great is it that we live in a time where you can meet anyone from anywhere without leaving the comfort of your office?

The usual networking methods still apply, of course: attending conferences, joining or starting mastermind groups and meeting friends of friends.

But social media opens a larger sphere of opportunity.

Below I show you how Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn—and a combination thereof—ensure your first interaction with a potential connection is a lasting one.

#1: Leverage Your Facebook Connections

Given that half a billion people use Facebook, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to find networking opportunities there.

To start your search, use Facebook’s graph search to find potential friends by using the People I May Know option. This works best if you already have business contacts on Facebook.

facebook open graph

Search for influencers in your market with Facebook’s Open Graph.

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social media reviewsAre you looking for rich and insightful blog posts to boost your social media marketing?

We asked our writers to share their favorite social media blog posts.

What follows is a gold mine of content you can apply to your marketing in 2014.

#1: Enlarge Your Digital Footprint for More Effective Online Marketing

andy-crestodina

Andy Crestodina

I love this post by Barry Feldman because it emphasizes content promotion (which is all-important) and includes a comprehensive list of specific actions.

It’s a great overview for beginners. But the pros may also find a few tactics they aren’t using.

enlarge-your-digital-footprint

Enlarge Your Digital Footprint for More Effective Online Marketing.

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social media how toAre you struggling to get your social media activities off the ground?

Do you want to get more people inside your organization to support your social media activities?

If so, you’re not alone. Small businesses to Fortune 500 companies find themselves facing these challenges.

In this article, I’ll show you how to create an internal social media structure that will help you develop an effective long-term social media presence.

#1: Define the End Goal

First, identify how and why social media will be used to meet specific business and brand goals.

For example, a business goal is to increase revenue by 10%, whereas a brand goal is to create deeper relationships with your existing clients.

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***UPDATE*** Congrats to our winners: Andie Shaw (blog post winner) and Melyum (Twitter winner).

Want to win a free ticket to the largest online social media marketing event of the year?

Social Media Examiner has worked hard to bring you our fifth-annual Social Media Success Summit. This is our biggest event ever!

And we’ve come up with a fun way to get you involved.

First, what is this event?

Social Media Success Summit 2013 is a large online conference dedicated to helping marketers and business owners master social media marketing.

More than 1900 businesses have already signed up! Hundreds of small businesses and well-known brands such as Wells Fargo, Motorola, AT&T, 3M, World Vision, United Way, US Chamber of Commerce, Dell, Dow Jones, Penn State, US Air Force and PBS will be attending this year’s summit.

Forty-five of the world’s most respected social media experts will share their strategies with you.

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social media how toDo you need a strategy to reach your ideal prospects with social media?

Are you overwhelmed by all the social media options?

If so, you’re not alone. Social media overwhelm is one of the biggest challenges businesses face.

In this article, I’m going to show you three social media strategies so you can focus your efforts on the channels that best align with your business objective and target audience.

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social media reviewsCould your social media marketing efforts use a boost?

Are you looking to improve your professional development when it comes to social media?

Do you feel overwhelmed by endless social media platform changes?

If so, Social Media Examiner has just the event for you.

The Social World is Changing

One of the biggest challenges marketers face these days is keeping up with the dizzying rate of change in social media marketing.

This year alone, Facebook has introduced Graph Search, Hashtags, Power Editor and recently, new Facebook Insights.

YouTube is another example. In March 2013, they significantly changed the layout for brand channels, forcing marketers to go back to the drawing board and rethink their strategies.

It can be unsettling trying to keep up with all of these changes, not to mention how much time it takes to learn and make the necessary adjustments.

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social media how toDo you use social media to generate inbound leads for your business?

Are you unsure about where and how to focus your efforts to meet your lead generation goals?

According to HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Annual Report, social media produces almost double the marketing leads of trade shows, telemarketing, direct mail or PPC.

If you’re starting a lead generation campaign, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are all excellent places to begin, but knowing how to pull leads from the conversations that happen on these platforms takes some knowledge and practice.

In this article, I’ll share 4 ways you can use social media to generate inbound marketing leads for your business.

#1: Twitter Chats

Twitter chats are frequently scheduled discussions hosted by a Twitter account. Each chat uses a particular hashtag so that other Twitter users can follow the conversation even though topics change with each discussion.

Because of the focused audience communities that participate in Twitter chats, they are a great place to generate leads for your business.

small biz chat

The #SmallBizChat is an example of a Twitter chat that successfully engages its community every week.

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