In today’s world of technology, social media has become a major tool for businesses, celebrities and high-profile persons. Social media helps companies and individuals influence and share information with their customers and followers. If you know how to deploy social media effectively, it can inure to your personal or company’s benefit. Unfortunately, just like the gold rush, people have jumped onto the social media bandwagon. This has left many businesses and entrepreneurs disappointed. They are not experiencing success with social media.
The social media space is now getting crowded
Presently, there are so many of them available that you can get confused as to which ones to adopt and use. The popular ones we know are Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Digg, YouTube, Reddit, StumbeUpon, Yahoo Buzz, Yelp, Technorati, SlideShare, Scribd, Del.icio.us, LinkedIn and more recently, Google+. There are also less popular ones like DeviantArt, Epinions, Kaboodle, IMBD, Fark, Adobe Showcase, etc. Compared to the number of social media sites and tools that are churned out almost on a daily basis, this is a very short list. It is therefore no wonder that people get frustrated in the social media space.
How then do you thrive in the social media space?
Here is a proven guideline that will help you thrive in the social media space:
1. Understand social media basics and which platforms to choose
You cannot thrive in a terrain you don’t understand or are not familiar with. You must know the purpose of social media and its significance to your business or personal brand. Additionally, you must choose which social media platforms to work with. It wouldn’t be productive on your part to have about twenty social media platforms. Usually, about two to five will be sufficient for your needs.
2. Have clear objectives with deadlines
It is not enough to set up accounts with different social media sites. You must have clear objectives such as the following:
- Add social media content to increase website traffic by 30% by the end of June 2012.
- Acquire 200 new donors through Facebook by August 2012.
- Increase email list sign-ups to 1000 through social media channels by October 2012.
3. Have a specific plan to achieve your objectives
Once there are clear objectives, you need to have specific plans to execute them. For example, what do you have to do on a daily or weekly basis to ensure that you increase your email-sign ups to 1000 by October 2012?
4. Adopt best practices for effective results
To thrive in the social media space, you do not need to re-invent the wheel. Learn from the experts and adopt their strategies. But this should be done advisedly. You do not need to apply everything hook, line and sinker. Adopt only what will apply to your audience or industry.
5. Produce relevant content on a consistent basis
If your content is not relevant, you can’t succeed in the social media space. Also, never run out of content since thriving in the social media space is a process and not an event.
6. Analyze and measure your results
If you are not analyzing and measuring your social media efforts, you may not know how your efforts are paying off. There are social media tools that will help in this direction. The right tools will help interpret your social media metrics. With this, you can adopt new strategies or continue with your existing social media strategy.
If you will consistently follow these guidelines, you will begin to see some results over time. Your dream to thrive in the social media space will then become a reality.
By Charity Case, a veteran blogger and a social media marketing expert. She contributes to several sites including Degree Jungle a resource site for college students.