It’s a good idea to start by developing a plan that takes into account the social trends that characterize social media interaction today and organize a framework that will help make your conversations popular and relevant. But with all this mass of social networking sites and tools available today, how does one navigate through it all to set up a strategy that works? Here are ten steps to get you started:

1. Set up goals. Think about what you hope to achieve from the social
interaction. Are you doing it to generate direct sales, offer better
customer service, or better yet, develop stronger relationships with
your clients? Your answers to these questions will determine how you
go about setting goals.

2. Consider your resources. It’s going to take more than a clever idea
to set up a marketing plan that works: you need people working for
you. Someone has to set up the social media accounts, engage with
customers and respond to questions, create compelling content, etc.

3. Know your audience well. Find out where your audience spends
time, what conversations they are involved with, who influences them,
and what kind of information they’re looking from you. In order to
provide your audience what they want, you first have to understand
who they are, how they think, and what they want from you.

4. Come up with good content. Once you find out what your audience
is into, you can then work on giving them something to talk about and
possibly share. Conversations have to keep going and this means
creating lots of good content for the audience. Try to create a variety
of different types of content that can be shared.

5. Consider quality. While the pressure of creating content is certainly
understandable, you cannot resolve to create a bunch of pointless
topics for the sake of interaction; people will tire of it. The goal here is
to build actual customers and that won’t happen if you’re not offering
useful information and products/services.

6. It’s tempting to promote your products every two minutes on every
social platform available to you but you may need to do something
not self-promotional so that you don’t come off overly self-absorbed
or too salesy.

7. Find time every day to look up what’s going on in social circles and
engage with your customers to find out what the general vibe is about
your brand.

8. Learn the culture of social networks. What are your competitors doing
and what does that teach you? Learn more about social trends and
find out where companies or brands have gone wrong with marketing
strategies so that you don’t make similar mistakes.

9. Acquire brand ambassadors by observing the most active people in
the social networks and encourage them to sell your brand.

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