What’s the difference between businesses that grow and those that can’t get out of survival mode? It all comes down to this: All successful businesses have a clear social media marketing strategy that makes everything they do more effective. This article explains what you need to do to in order to prepare for promoting your product or service online.

Make your website the focal point

Firstly, make your website the main online focal point. Ensure all the important about your product/services is contained within it and that it is easy to navigate and locate information. Your social media marketing strategy needs a central hub to work from; this is really important as reliance on any one social network may cause problems further down the line.

Create accounts on social networks

The next part of your social media marketing strategy is to create accounts on the “Big 4” social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube). You can’t be everywhere at once and these four are the most important - focusing on the smaller ones will create a headache and won't give you the time to run your business that you need.

Therefore, you'll need to set up:

  • A Facebook page. This is the largest social network and you need a presence on it because its an outlet to millions of potential customers.
  • A Twitter account. Twitter is extremely powerful for attracting new visitors and keeping your current visitors informed.
  • A YouTube channel. Videos are now a big part of any business’ online presence and you really need your own branded channel to utilise YouTube properly.
  • A Google+ account. Google+ is not one of the biggest networks but using it gives you access to many of the Google related features that can work extremely well for your company.
  • Potentially another network. If a large portion of your audience uses a particular channel (e.g. Pinterest) then you may want to use this channel too.

Automate your social media

Instead of spending time, managing your social media accounts, use a social media broadcast app for all your updates. An app like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite is an important step in streamlining your social media promotion. This will save you lots of time and make your online promotion a lot more efficient.

Use social media as a channel to your own web site

Remember that your website is your main online presence, the only one that you can fully control. Your social media sites should feed into your website. Make your audience aware that you have a website and that its your organisations' main information source.

If you're swamped, ask for help

If you find it too time consuming to manage your social media marketing, then ask for help. If your social media promotions becomes succesful then it will become unmanageable for one person to maintain. Use a company that specialises in social media management and they will keep you up to date with the latest tools and techniques. Remember though, if you do outsource your social media marketing then make sure that you're the one thats driving it and making the strategic decisions. Social media promotions is too important a task to let it go completely to someone else.

Creating a solid social marketing strategy is important to succesful marketing and following the above points will put you well on the way to achieving this.