Latest great guest post by Robert Alexander Founder/CEO – | Video Journalist |Content Marketing Journalist | PeaceLoveUnity | ® ??

Have you ever wondered what steps lead to successful social media marketing? Or why one business will succeed on social media while another staggers along? In this article, I share seven steps you can take today. These are critical elements that will help shape and form your successful social media future.

Step 1 Have a social media plan

It has always been said that “ those who fail to plan, fail to succeed”. These words are the foundation for success in social media. Having a social media plan is important because it outlines what you will measure as success, and  how you will measure failure. In this age of fast pace and low attention span, planning ahead means you need to figure out what you are posting several days ahead and have that in the back of your mind. Another crucial element is to remember the “95% -5% RULE,” you should think about sharing more of others content relevant to your niche in-order to build your networking community.

Step 2 Define your “why”?

Have you taken the time to define how social media will support your marketing goals? Until you know what you’re looking to achieve, social media will feel difficult. Not sure where to get started? Here’s how to find your WHY and use it as a differentiating factor. Ask yourself 3 questions
· What was your number one reason? (e.g to reach a targeted audience, cheap advertising, better connections )

· Will social media help you build trust and rapport?

· Does the purpose of your social media align to your business objectives?

posting-dead-zones-header The Dead Zones: When Not to Post on Social Media, read more here

Step 3 Know when to post on Social Media, and when NOT to post on social media

There is a great infographic from the social media tool SUMALL I have hung on my wall showing the worst times to post on social media, these are:

Twitter 8pm to 8am. With the worst days being Saturday and Sunday
Facebook Midnight to 8am. Worst days being Saturday and Sunday
LinkedIn 9am to 5pm. Monday and Friday being the worst days
Tumblr Midnight to 12pm
Instagram Midnight to 8am
Pinterest 1am to 7am and 5pm to 7pm
Google+ 6pm to 8am

Remember at all times to share others content in your community building process too.

Step 4 Define clearly “who” you are speaking with on social media

What you really want isn’t just clicks and retweets, it’s genuine engagement with what you have to say. You want people to read your post, yes, but you’re also going for an emotional response too. You want them to feel something.

You’ve got to incite people to share their feelings and opinions. Martin Pratt, founder of Unidad Solutions for Media and Marketing @unidadsmm, says that one way to do this is to engage them with the way you write. “The easiest way to connect emotionally and drive more engagement among your audience is to question them,” Pratt explains: “Ask them about their experiences with your company, your products or your service. Is there a trending topic that you know your audience wants to hear your opinion on? Give it to them with your viewpoint and then ask them if they agree and why or why not. Encourage debate.”

Step 5. Be You and Brand Yourself

Are you clearly articulating what sets your business apart from your competition? Is this spelled out in your social media branding? Have you heard of the concept “me-too marketing?” I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s on display across social media everywhere you look. It’s a term that means those folks look at their competition and say, “hey, I like what they’re doing. I can do that to.” But instead of using that knowledge to create and separate their brand, they mimic every aspect. Right down to a revised version of their logo. Blaze your own trail. Be YOU. I personally make sure that my Brand is ahead of the curve not by looking at what others are doing, instead challenging our own efforts not to fit inside of one box.

Step 6. Be Social and Give.

@Oprah has millions of followers on Twitter, however she didn’t start actively tweeting until @MCHammer showed her the value and potential of Twitter when he appeared on her show. He showed her how to extend and leverage her influence to the world of social media. MC Hammer is a big-time social media influencer and even owns several companies that deal with aspects of social media. @Oprah definitely had potential, but so does every single person in the world of Social Media. Remember, potential unrealized is just potential. MC Hammer helped Oprah to reach her potential.

5 Ways To Be Recognized as A Social Media Influencer

Step 7. Always analyze the data.

This is critical if you’re looking to continuously improve. It also requires you look at previous goals. Were they attained? If so, it’s time to crank them up. Set bigger and bolder goals. Find out what content resonated with your audience and what flopped. Look at how many hearts or retweets or shares or reposts that content received Adjust your strategy and your content when appropriate to keep your social media content fresh and your information relevant.

Take these 7 steps to succeed in social media and have fun on the journey. Please leave a comment on how your journey is going and what is working and what is NOT working.

#UnLockYourWorld ~ 360Wise

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