Did you know that more than 65% of business owners plan to use social media even more in 2012 to help grow their business?

Every business will have a different social media strategy. While the basics remain the same, there are different methods that can be used depending on what your niche is. When you develop your social media strategy, always remember to:

1.     Create and understand your goals
It is important to pre determine what you want to get out of your social media efforts. Your first step is to always engage the user and work on building your following. The end result should always be to either increase sales, increase branding, or build your database.

2.     Stay engaged in the conversation
Before investing a lot of time and resources into social media, it’s a mandatory to engage and stay engaged with your followers. Relationships will build and your brand will spread.

3.     Design a Content Plan
Pre-determine what your content and what your aim will be, and design alike. How many messages do you want to send out every day? These are the types of details that should be outlined in your social media strategy. You never want to bombard the user with messages, so it is recommended to keep it limited and always put thought into your posts.

4.     Employ the “free give-away” tactic
This is a great technique for brand awareness and to build your following quickly. Everyone wants something for free, and they are willing to “follow” you or “like” your content to have a chance to win something. You can also use the free giveaway in other advertising you may do.

5.     Use an Analytics program
As you build followings on the various social networks, you will also see an increase in traffic to your website. If you are doing other forms of advertising like Pay Per Click (PPC), it can become more difficult to determine what’s bringing you the results and what’s dead in the water. Using an analytics program will streamline the process and make it tons easier to see where your traffic is coming from…it will show you what is working and what is not. Analytics can save you time as well as money.

As you can see, there is a lot that can go into ones social media strategy. Developing your strategy should not be taken lightly. You need to take everything into account here and the number one recommendation is to do research!

Even a simple Google search can give you insight and help you develop your marketing strategy and plan. It is also recommended to employ some type of A/B Split Testing so that you can see what pages and graphics give you the best conversions.

The most important thing to remember when you’re developing your social media strategy is your goal. If your goal is to build your following, employ relationship building techniques and if you’re trying to sell a product, run a promotion!

Hot Tip:
If you use Facebook, the Events feature is great to broadcast a promotion! You can send out an event invitation to all of your fans with your promotion simply by clicking Event!

Good Luck!