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It is interesting to read some advice columns when it comes to social media marketing. Their first piece of advice often runs along the lines of creating a great profile, developing landing pages that will convert traffic, and general tips on how to interact with others. That advice is good advice – however, a successful social media campaign starts well before any of that.

While planning is crucial to the success of any business campaign, what is equally important in social media marketing is having very clearly defined objectives – and the smaller those objectives are, the easier it is to plan and the easier they are to plan. These objectives could be as simple as being able to interact with five new followers each day – in fact, your objective may be to collect five new followers each day.

Once you have a clearly defined set of objectives, you can then plan how you intend to achieve them.  Those plans of course will then include details such as putting together a profile, landing page, or even the design of pages such as your Twitter profile or a Facebook Fan Page – if you intend on having them.

In most cases, the general approach has been to create a profile, and to then accumulate as many followers as possible, irrespective of the quality of those followers. Once a business has accumulated a good number of followers, the question has been, ‘okay, now what do I do with them’. In other words, the planning starts well after the event. In the majority of cases, that approach is doomed to fail, often due to the poor quality of the followers.

By planning, you will know why people are following you, and if you know the why, the how in marketing becomes so much easier. Do your planning from the start, not down the track – that’s the most effective way to start a social media marketing campaign.

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