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You probably have begun to wonder how to have a successful social media presence for your business. You hear it works great; plus, it’s free! So let’s do it! Ok. It’s likely that you’ve developed a blog, a Twitter account, and/or a Facebook page. But now what? Well, answer three questions: What are your goals? What are your objectives? What about your strategy?

Step 1—Goals for Social Media Presence: Do you want to increase online sales? Do you want to get more sales leads? Are you an expert in your field? Do you want to write articles to educate your customers? If you’re nodding your head to each of these questions, then this is a good beginning!

Step 2—Business Objectives: You can use social media to accomplish the following business objectives (for instance): Build relationships, increase awareness of your brand, build customer loyalty by offering information or coupons, share information that shows you have expertise that people can use, and so on.

Step 3—Develop Your Strategy: Strategic examples include making sure that your blog addresses YOUR people. According to, a website with a blog can get up to 55% more traffic than one without a blog. Your “action items” may include designating a date on your weekly calendar for writing a post for your blog, determining which are the keywords people use to find you in search engines, and including those keywords into your blog posts. has it right: Selfish promotions are shot down; meaningful promotions that provide value are rewarded. To be successful in social media marketing, businesses need to be interesting and in many cases—selfless.

As for that Facebook page, keep a high-quality, simple landing page—“Walls” are cluttered and don’t give your readers a reason to get in touch with you.

The last thing to remember is that, even though it is “free,” social media marketing takes time, and time is money. Make it a great strategy so that it will be worth every minute of your human resources.

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