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Social Media Strategy – Slow-Cooking in a Fast Food World

I love the fresh taste of slow-cooker salsa. Take a few basic organic ingredients, mix in some HOT jalapeños, slow-cook for a couple of hours, pulse in the blender to the right consistency, add a pinch of spice to taste, then serve it up with warm tortilla chips.

You may be thinking…social media…and salsa? Stay with me! Like a slow-cooked spicy salsa, social media strategy requires time, patience, and the right balance of ingredients to become a winning recipe; it is not a “heat and serve” dish.

Even talented cooks have a strategy and follow a recipe, using the right tools to create a prize winning recipe. Start with the basics: PREP time, add the RIGHT ingredients, TEST ADJUST RETEST, and finally SERVE it up.

Slow-Cooking Social Media Recipe:

 

Step 1:  PREP TIME

Do some prep work before assembling your social media ingredients. Start with your vision of the end result: what do you want to accomplish with your marketing strategy (recipe)?

Does it fit into your business goals? Do you want to educate your customers? Create customer engagement? Generate new leads and sales? Take care of customer complaints? Your answers will be the foundation of your social media formula and the key to blending the right ingredients for your recipe.

Step 2:  INGREDIENTS

It’s time to gather the ingredients for your social media salsa. Experiment! Don’t make your recipe overly complicated. Switch out ingredients, adjust amounts, and add an extra pinch of spice to your recipe.

Here are 4 basic starter ingredients. Adjust your ingredients until your recipe tastes good.

√  Website. Technology has changed, review your website. Incorporate or redesign with the latest website technology. A responsive, mobile friendly site is a “must have.” Keep your website content fresh and up-to-date. Refresh your content at least seasonally, including your major site Tabs (e.g., About page, Services page). Search engines love fresh content.

√  Search Marketing. Add Location-Based services. Submit a profile to places like Google My Business, Bing Places for Business,  Yahoo! FoursquareYelpTripAdvisor, and Yellow Pages.

√  Social Networks. Start with the most popular, which include Facebook and Twitter. Add Google+, an essential search engine optimizer. Blend in other social channels as time permits like Instagram (HOT HOT), Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Choose a platform that is suited to your business service or product and post consistently.

√  A Blog. Help your business to engage with customers on topics that pertain to your specific niche or areas of interest. Blogging helps drive traffic to your website and is another opportunity for potential leads to find you in search engines.

Step 3: TEST

Now that you have all the major ingredients, it’s time to test your recipe. Let your social media strategy simmer, tweak it, test it, add a pinch more of one ingredient or smidge of something else. The right mix takes time. Don’t be discouraged  if you don’t see the results you want the first time around. A good social media strategy like a good salsa recipe needs time to simmer.

Step 4: SERVE!

It’s time to serve it up! Pay attention to how people are responding on your social channels. Listening to your customers and their feedback is key to  fine-tuning your social media strategy.

SUMMARY

In this fast food world, you might be tempted to run out to the store and buy a jar of salsa (or followers, or likes), but the end result will not be the same as a slow-cooked, spicy salsa. The same is true with your social media strategy. A good social media strategy is not quick and easy.

Always serve it fresh, use organic ingredients, add some spice, and keep your eye on the results. Most of all have fun!

I would love to hear from you. As a small business, what are your biggest hurdles when creating a social media strategy? Share one of your favorite strategy ingredients that might help another small business create a winning recipe!