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Social media marketing: 4 steps to social media success

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social media marketing

Social media has changed our lives. How we communicate and collaborate at a fundamental level. How we buy, sell and market products and services. How we lead and how we learn. While it can seem daunting to break into the social media world, there are a few key steps that can grow your following, increase your engagement, and make your brand a success. Here are the first 4 steps for success in social media.

Have a plan

Whatever your reason for using social media it’s a good idea to have some aims and desired outcomes. Everything else flows from there. So, first, decide why you are doing it at all and what you want to achieve from it. Next, think about what success would look like for you. You can measure social media through likes, shares, comments and reach. You can measure it too in the sense of sales, referrals or brand recognition. There are some things that can’t easily be measured – the value of connections, learning or long-term relationships. It’s a matter for you as to whether you feel the need to measure your efforts or determine a return on your investment. If it’s right for you, then identify the most appropriate measures for you and build it into your plan. Review it accordingly on a regular basis and change your strategy depending on what those measures are telling you.

Create your personal policy

We’ve now got a ‘why’ so it’s time for a ‘how’. This will help you to best plan your use of social media – and create your personal policy. This step is when you decide how you will use your social media and how you won’t. We use social media to engage with other people in our profession, learn from others, share and collaborate. What’s important is to decide how much of your personal life will be shared on your professional social media and vice versa.

Decide on your message and audience

We’ve considered the overarching need to have a plan and some of the first elements that it should contain. Now it’s necessary to take that idea to a deeper level – not just your overall professional aim for social media, but what is it that you want to share – and with whom? What is your message and purpose? This is the step in which you should analyse the audience you hope to reach. How old are they? What do they do for work? What is their salary? Where in the world are they located? Once you have worked out who you plan on targeting, deciding what you want to say and how you want to say it will become clear. For example, if your social media is targeting HR professionals in the UK, posting about fitness centres in the US doesn’t make sense.

Get your image right

The modern world of social media is heavily image-based meaning the images you choose to share reflect both yourself and your brand as much as (and sometimes more than) the text-based messaging you share. There are some real dos and don’ts here. Firstly, you need a photograph on each platform you are using. Some people don’t bother but it looks unprofessional and will limit your interactions and therefore the number of people that will choose to connect with you. Social media images need to be tailored to the platform. If you are using a platform entirely for professional use, your chosen image needs to reflect that. Choose images that are both eye-catching and engaging while still representing your brand.

These are the first 4 steps to setting up a successful social media account. For the next 7 essential steps (including how to make the most money), check out our eBook 12 Steps for Social Media Success here.