Using experience, advice and techniques learned from researching Social Media trends and inbound marketing strategies, I have developed a 20 step list of tasks that a small business owner can undertake with a commitment of a half hour a day. Check back for blog posts that elaborate on each step!
20 steps to Social Media Success
After you have established your marketing objectives and how you will measure success, use these 20 steps to implement your plan:
- Pick a name that will work on all of your social networking sites.
- If you don’t already have one, create a website.
- Write down a list of 30 ideas for blog topics, based on conversations you have over and over again with your clients or questions you are asked all the time. Take a few weeks if you have to, but build your list to at least 30 topics.
- Create a Twitter account with your chosen name and link to it from your website.
- Find a nice head shot or photo of you to use on all of your networking sites as an avatar.
- Create a Facebook personal page, then add a Facebook fan page.
- Sign up for a Facebook simple URL to make it easy for people to type in your Facebook address. Keep it consistent with what you chose in step 1.
- Create a blog with your unique name using an online site like WordPress or Blogspot. If possible, keep it hosted in a database on your own server. (GoDaddy is great at making this easy to set up and integrate.)
- Sign up for Google Alerts for your company name and relevant industry terms. This will help you track new information as it happens. Start receiving alerts for keywords that will keep you in touch with your industry.
- Find good bloggers who are writing about your field or trade and who have ideas and information that interests you. Subscribe to their feed. Leave thoughtful comments and participate in the conversation. Ask questions, or answer questions from others. Don’t sell and don’t market. Just let them know how great you think they are!
- Search the web and identify your competitors who are getting found online, narrow them down to only the best few, and add them to your Google Alerts. Keep track of what they are doing, what they are saying and what is working for them so you can do it better.
- Using your list from step 3, as well as new ideas you’ve been jotting down, create Blog content that is thoughtful, unique and informative. This is an important step! Don’t try to market and sell, write like you would be talking to your customers about something that excites you. Don’t make the posts too long, and you don’t have to do them all at once. Just a few each week is a good start!
- Re-broadcast posts from other bloggers whose content is relevant to your industry by discussing why you agree (or disagree) with what they said and posting it to your own blog. Include a link to the original post.
- Create a StumbleUpon account and spend a few minutes each day stumbling and voting on topics relative to your industry. Befriend those who are submitting interesting and relevant sites.
- Create a YouTube account with your unique name, even if you won’t be using it right away or ever.
- Consider creating a YouTube how-to video. It can be just a few minutes long. People love videos!
- Pay attention to your own blog comments (they will come!) and engage those who took the time to write. Answer a question, or leave a comment about something that was said.
- Promote other bloggers. Just as in Miracle on 34th Street when the Macy’s Santa promoted the competition, Gimble’s Department Store, you can promote the people who you find helpful or those who link to you. Stumble them, Digg them, re-Tweet their ideas. It will all come back around to you.
- Add your blog’s RSS feed to your website to share your information with site visitors.
- Have fun!
This list can be expanded, of course, but these 20 tasks will set you on your way to being a functioning part of the world of online social media. I’d love to hear your feedback!
Special thanks to Brian Halligan, Dharmesh Shah and Gary Vaynerchuk. Their books provided fresh, insightful and useful information that stood out from the same messages being repeated over and over in different ways.