1) Blogs are important:
One thing you need to consider is that blogs are the new form of thought leadership.
The ones leading the thoughts out there are also the ones in control of the market niche.
2) Conversation matters:
No matter what new mediums emerge, conversation still matters and it’s our human nature to want to have conversations and connect with people. Blogging is an incredible way of fulfilling this basic human need.
3) Learn blogging essentials:
Before you start blogging, you need to know the basics. Get to know who your audience will be, the fundamentals of a good blog post, heading/title, and cadence of posting. Valuable content, rhythm of posting, and projecting out your posts are key.
4) Learn Social media basics:
Start simple. Under 5 minutes you can get a WordPress or Tumblr blog going. Once that’s up, you can go to domainsinseconds.com to find a domain name for yourself. If you want, you can go to 99designs.com to get a hot logo. If you are not sure how to design your blog layout, don’t reinvent the wheel. Take a few hours out to gain inspiration from blogs you love. Replicate what you like and iterate as you go along.
5) Pitch key bloggers & influencers in your niche:
Get to know who the key influencers and bloggers are in your niche. Go to compete.com to see how many monthly uniques they are getting. Read their anchor posts and get to know them through their writing. Do constructive commenting on their blogs to build credibility. Commenting on other blogs is an important technique that improves your SEO as well as page rank. When ready pitch them to mention or link to your blog.
6) Plan a YouTube/Video marketing strategy:
Video is hot and YouTube is still the #1 video by a stretch. Mix up your content posts by doing a blog post or two so often on YouTube. Like your other channels, track the analytics and benchmark from other YouTube channels that have a lot of consistent traffic.
7) Create a Twitter strategy:
If you are going to blog, you need to be on Twitter and have a rhythm and theme to your posting, @ replies, and retweets. You can use Hootsuite.com to time your Twitter posts. Say your market is the US, ideal times for setting up tweet outs are noon and 4pm est (Tuesday’s and Thursday’s). Friday’s at 4pm est is also another key time.
8- Develop a Facebook Strategy:
Facebook is the #1 social network to be on. Tomorrow, it may be something like Google+, but for today, be on Facebook and links your blog posts to automatically post to Facebook. As you want to draw more likes to your Facebook page, you can eventually incorporate PPC through Facebook Ads. A great way to reach your target demographic.
9) Integrate a Social News/Booking strategy:
When you do blog post, you should post to sites like Reddit, Digg, and other niche social news sites.
Getting your followers to vote these stories up is important and will drive more traffic to your site.
10) Get on Flickr:
If you have a business that has creative outputs or events, put the pictures on Flickr and ensure these link back to your blog.
11) Use viral marketing to support your goals:
This is a whole blog post on its own… J
12) Leverage LinkedIn:
Great way to promote your business and network B2B. Hands down.
13) Create a social media & campaign scorecard and update
Without a goal, social media can consume you. Set firm goals (Ex. conversions, subscriptions, followers, etc). Ensure you update your results against your goals and devise plans to adjust.
14) Manage your online reputation:
Use a service like Klout.com to see how influential you are. Are you influencing your niche?
15) Tweak the above steps until you fine tune your social media strategy.
Like all things, if you have a clear goal with social media, realize its potential to augment your brand, and determine to devote time and energy to it, a social media strategy can be the most effective marketing channel for your brand.