This is the final part of a four-part series on improving results with social media. If you haven’t seen the first three articles, or if you want a refresher, please see:
Throughout the first three weeks of this series we’ve taken a look at the process of setting your goals with social media, getting involved at some targeted sites, building a network of social media users, brainstorming ideas, and publishing your first content to target a social media audience. At this point hopefully you’ve had some success with social media, although it does take some time, so try to stay patient if things haven’t gone exactly as planned. Now our focus turns to refining the process and focusing on the big picture.
1. Continue to Visit Your Targeted Social Media Sites Each Day
If you’ve been reading through this series, you know that I feel it’s very important to be active at the social media sites that you’re specifically targeting. Being active is essential to understanding the users of the site and to build your own network. After you’ve been using the sites for a while and you’ve established some consistent success with social media marketing, you may want to cut back a little bit on your usage of the sites, but it’s important to still have an active presence.
2. Continue to Network
For those who are hoping to build a strong social media presence, the need for networking will never end. Keep meeting new people through social media sites and through blogs, and work on strengthening the connections you’ve already made. Everyone who is successful with social media marketing is well-connected.
3. Focus on the Details
Throughout this series, we’ve looked at the process of creating content specifically for the purpose of targeting social media users. We’ve focused on finding the right sites to target and on creating content that has a chance to do well with social media. At this point it’s helpful to look more at some of the specific details of the posts you’ve created with the purpose of targeting social media.
A lot of different factors can influence the success of a post with social media. In order to maximize your success you’ll need to focus on some specific details of the post, such as the time of publishing and submission, formatting of the post, headlines, etc. At this point you’ve probably published a few posts in the past month, so take a look at the posts and see how they could be improved to be more appealing to social media users.
In order to test things and see what works, try mixing things up in terms of when you publish and how you format the posts. Pay attention to the results to see what works best for you. In most cases you’ll find that publishing early in the week will work best, and formatting posts to be easily scannable is important.
4. Look Back at Your Goals from Week One
The very first step of this whole process was to decide specifically what you wanted to accomplish with social media. Maybe you wanted more subscribers to your blog, or maybe you wanted to gain exposure to a wider audience and work on developing a brand. At this point it’s helpful to go back and look at your original purpose. Has your work through the past four weeks helped you to get closer to achieving this?
It’s possible that through your first month of experience with social media marketing, you may have realized that your initial impressions and assumptions were off and what you set out to accomplish may not be the best approach to take. If this is the case, now is the time to re-evaluate your priorities with social media and focus on developing a sustainable plan to get you there. I’m sure you’ve learned a lot through being active for the past four weeks, so be sure that you allow yourself the flexibility to adjust your priorities and your goals as necessary.
5. Focus on Sustainability
Now that you have gone through the process of jumping in to social media marketing for the past month, you’ll need to develop a plan that you’ll be able to carry out successfully over a longer period of time. You’ll want to think about the social media sites that you have been targeting. Do you still feel that they are the best platforms to promote your site? If not, don’t be afraid to change things up and move your activity to other sites.
Think about your schedule and how much time you’ll realistically be able to spend on social media sites and developing content to target these users. There’s no right or wrong approach to posting schedules, but it’s important to have some sort of plan or schedule if you hope to be able to sustain the success on a longer term.
I hope this series has been helpful for those of you who were looking for some step-by-step content for getting started and improving results with social media. If you have questions or if you would like to see any part of the process covered in more detail, please leave a comment.