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Are you suffering from social media overload? Too many choices? Too much to keep up with? Just too much? Yeah, we get that a lot but there is a solution and it starts with the usual suspects; data and a plan!

Who Cares?
First things first, who cares about your product or service? Who is your target audience?

You know your business best and you know what kind of people might be interested in your products or services. You’ve probably been collecting data on purchases and even if you haven’t gone that far, you can probably put together a profile of characteristics and interests that match your target audience.

Once you’ve got the target audience pinpointed you can figure out where they might be hanging out online. There is a plethora of social media sites out there ranging from large networks that everyone participates in, i.e. Facebook to smaller niche networks for specific interests, think

Your task is to figure out where your audience is hanging out and involve yourself in the conversation on that network.

How Do You Find The Conversation?

There are several different ways to find relevant conversations that you can involve yourself in to start building relationships on social networking sites. You can use social media monitoring tools to gather data about conversations already happening about your brand, product, or service and identify the networks that have a high volume of relevant conversation. There are many tools that can help you gather this data.

Basically you’re looking for a social media monitoring apparatus that will let you search for relevant keywords across multiple platforms. These tools range in price from free to thousands of dollars on a monthly subscription. Once you’ve exhausted all of the free options you may want to seek help from a social media agency who’s already subscribing to some of the more expensive enterprise tools that you may not have the budget for.

What If There Is No Conversation?

If you find there is no conversation centered on your brand, product, or service look for opportunities to start the conversation. Now that you know who is interested in your stuff, participate in the conversations that are happening and look for opportunities to add value that is relevant to your business. Answer questions, suggest solutions to problems, and provide interesting and engaging content.

Be cautious not to impose on other conversations and spend the time to build rapport with others. The conversations will spark.

What If The Conversation Spans Multiple Networks?

No one ever said you had to choose one and only one network to get involved with. You can participate in as many conversations as you can keep up with.

Keeping in mind that interaction and a high frequency of targeted, relevant activity is necessary to be successful in social media marketing. Not to mention, every social network has a different atmosphere, requiring a different content. Make sure you have enough resources to allocate to keeping up with all of the conversations with which you choose to engage.

Create A Plan

Now that you’ve identified the networks that make sense for your business and you’ve started to participate in the conversation it’s time to draft a plan of action to get what you want out of social media marketing.

Draft your goals and strategy, collect data, analyze data, and use it to continuously adjust your plan as you continue to your social media journey.