You must have a Social Media Process

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Today, if your brand isn't on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the like, you're going to be out of the loop and left behind. You're going to be left in the wake of other brands' success.

So maybe it's time for you to jump on the bandwagon. You need to create your Facebook page, start a blog, and create a video for YouTube right now…

Or wait a minute.

Is throwing yourself head on to the oncoming train that's social media really the best thing to do? Should you just start signing up for all these accounts without considering what's best for your small business brand?

Of course not.

This is why it's essential for you to have a social media process. As with any kind of marketing strategy or campaign you're planning to utilize, you must first understand why you're doing it and what your goals are in using it, before going ahead with implementation.

This is the reason why some brands fail in their social marketing strategy. It's because they never had a social media process to guide them. They simply decided to get in while ahead, but they didn't really have a clear goal on what they wanted to accomplish using these platforms.

So before you can start creating buzz in your social marketing, here are some things you should do:

Review your business goals

Before you can create a social media process, it's important that you review your business goals. What do you want to achieve in social media? Do you want to build brand awareness, create conversation, generate leads, or sell products?

Remember though that social media is primarily for connecting with your audience, and not for selling. If you do hard selling in different social media accounts, you just might drive people away.

Consider the platforms available 

Though you may think it would be better for your small business to utilize all the social media platforms available to you, this may become time-consuming and cost-ineffective in the long run.

Instead, it is far better for you to focus on one or two platforms where you think most of your audience are in. This enables you to really target your audience and connect with them.

For example, if you're a photographer, it may be more worthwhile for you to be on Flickr compared to YouTube or you might have concerns over copyright and want to review the platform terms of service.  Perhaps a site like Deviant Art suits you better? Or if you're a professional looking for clients, LinkedIn may be the better choice compared to Facebook.

Understand the platform you've chosen

You're not going to be successful in your social marketing if you don't understand the platform you've chosen. Once you've determined what platforms suit your brand best, you need to study them and understand how best to engage your audience using them.

One of the worst things you can do for your small business brand is to botch up your social marketing presence because you don't understand the platform you're using. So study it first before jumping in.

Remember to measure

Now that you're ready to start your social marketing campaign, it's also important to determine what you're going to measure. How are you going to measure the success of your campaign? If you aren't measuring it, then how will you know if your campaign is succeeding or not, if you're getting a return in your investment?

There are many tools that can help you measure the success of your campaign. Google Alerts and Social Mention are some of the more commonly used ones. Of course my personal favorite that I'm an affiliate with is Sprout Social.  So don't forget to measure, since this is going to determine if you should soldier on with what you're doing or if it's time to re-evaluate and re-assess your campaign.

Without a social media process, your social marketing campaign will be destined for failure. So make sure that you start right. Plan ahead, and plan well. Don't just jump into social media without reviewing your business goals, considering and understanding the platforms available to you, and having ways to measure your success.

Using social media is a great way to create buzz around your brand, but without a process, your small business brand isn't going to go far.

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