IT, New Media & Software

Tuesday, 16 March 2010 16:14

Social media strategies and tools

Everyone seems to be jumping on the social media bandwagon, although not everyone understands the time investment needed to run a successful social media campaign.

Social media is not a once-off activity and interaction needs to be consistent and happen almost instantly.

As part of a business’ integrated marketing strategy, social media plays a valuable role. To make sure you get it right, you need to create a social media strategy. Determine where your target audience are spending their time on social networks, then create a social media strategy and action plan for these platforms. Merely determining which platforms to use does not constitute a social media strategy!

Decide what type of content you are going to publish on these social networks and how you are going to respond to comments and replies, both the good and bad ones. The initial social media strategy should cover at least the first three months of your campaign, but you will learn a lot during this initial period and can tweak the strategy as you go along. Determine how you are going to measure your social media efforts and what goals you want to achieve with your social media strategy.

Always aim to provide content that will encourage and create interaction. Don’t only talk about your own brand, think about your target audience’s interests and create content based on those. By adding value you will encourage people to talk to and about your business; and when other people talk about you, it adds credibility.

Social media thrives on conversations and unfortunately these conversations don’t only take place during office hours. For a successful social media campaign you need to be there and respond to questions and comments as soon as possible. In order to manage your conversations, decide which social media applications you’re going to use. Below are some of my favourites:

-  TweetDeck
-  Seesmic
-  Hootsuite

With all the above applications you can manage multiple Twitter accounts from one place and have columns for your friends’ updates, lists you have created, your direct messages and @replies. In Hootsuite and Tweetdeck you can create additional columns where you can run a permanent search for keywords or key-phrases. I really like Hootsuite as it is browser-based and allows you to schedule tweets.

With social media, there is no right or wrong way to do it. There are some basic unspoken rules to keep in mind, but as your campaign progresses you will learn from your mistakes. Have questions about social media? Ask the AlterSage team.

About AlterSage
AlterSage offers tailored online marketing solutions that achieve targeted exposure for your website. Goal focussed and driven by return on investment, services include search engine optimisation, pay per click advertising, web design and development, persuasive web copywriting, brand building, conversion analysis and many more.

Contact information:
18 Roeland Street
Cape Town

[0ffice] (+27 21] 462 0036
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