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Getting your head around Social Media shouldn't leave you with a headache.......

As marketers, we all hear the buzz and the importance of using Social Media as part of our integrated marketing mix.

We are flooded with daily updates about how we should be creating our social media strategies, adopting complex monitoring tools and measuring ROI of our efforts.

We know we need to do it, but how do you get started? With so much information out there, it can feel overwhelming.

Intergage don’t want you to feel like you’re drowning in a sea of information, so we’ve stripped through the masses of blogs, RSS  feeds, articles and seminars, coupled with our experience, to bring you a set of recommendations to get you started:

(1) First and foremost, ask yourself what goals do you hope to achieve from your Social Media Marketing. List your business goals; are you looking for increased sales, increased bookings, increased brand awareness, better conversion rates or more visitors to your website?

(2) Secondly, identify your own Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); define the metrics that will measure the performance of your social media marketing efforts based upon the goals you set out in Step 1. Each goal needs its own KPI.

For example, if you were looking for more visitors to your site, the KPI would be the percentage of incoming traffic from social media networks etc…

(3) Set performance targets based on the KPIs that you’ve identified – that way you will remain razor focused you will be able to see if your Social Media Marketing efforts are reaping results or not.

(4) Evaluate! Make sure you evaluate these performance targets on a regular basis.
Based upon the above you can then easily identify how much resource is justified to spend on Social Media Marketing and you will be able to determine in black and white whether you are getting an ROI on your efforts.

Simple!

So you’ve defined your goals and know how to measure them, what do you do next?
If you’ve not participated in social media marketing yet, before you start banging out hundreds of tweets/status updates, you need to LISTEN. Where are your potential customers? What are they talking about?

There are a myriad of social tools out there, but my top three ‘social tools’ to get you started would be:

(1)    Google Reader, this is a great Listening Tool. Subscribe to the RSS feeds and one step ahead of the competition.

(2)    Twitter – fantastic search functionality and by keeping a breast of the social conversations your customers are having, you can generate true consumer in sights.

(3)    Technorati and Google Blogsearch – keep abreast of the blogosphere!

So, you’ve identified where your audience are and what they are talking about – it’s time for you to JOIN THE CONVERSATION.

Enjoy………. Dani xx

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