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Simply becoming a member of one or more social media groups does not constitute a social media strategy. A strategy involves joining these groups with a specific purpose in mind and taking precise actions for the purpose of promoting something. You may be promoting yourself or your online business. What you are promoting is not as important as how you are promoting it.

There are some who believe social media marketing is not for everyone and certainly not for every business. We do not necessarily think this is true. Consider the fact that just about every type of business from politicians, doctors and lawyers to artists and athletes is using social media – this is a good indication that there is a place for every business on social media websites. However, this does not mean there is a place for all businesses on every social media website and it does not mean businesses do not still have a responsibility to present themselves properly on these social media websites.

Start your social media strategy by taking a look at your business plan and determining which social media websites are right for you. There are social networking sites which enable users to interact freely with each other and meet others with similar interests. There are also wiki websites which allow community members to collaborate to create encyclopedia like entries. There are also social news websites where members take on a citizen journalist role and report the news around them. These are just a few of the social media options available to online business owners. Determine which of these work well with your business and carefully review the terms of service agreement to ensure you are able to promote your business without violating this agreement.

Now that you have selected one or more social media outlets, it is time to determine how you will interact with other members. Consider the type of image you wish to project and make sure everything from the look of your website to the tone of your interactions with other members conveys this image. Be careful not to allow yourself to become too relaxed in this type of environment because it can ruin your credibility. Also, always be careful not to respond in anger or post compromising photos or words because it can be extremely difficult to take back words or images from the internet.

Finally, remember that testing should still be an important part of your marketing strategy. You always want to track data relevant to your traffic and conversion rates. This information will help to determine your rate of success and can be used to help you implement changes which can improve your business. You do not want to spend weeks, months or even years on a social media website without improving your traffic. If you notice you are not converting well, make changes to attempt to improve sales. Likewise if you realise you are selling more than ever before, capitalise on this by incorporating successful elements of your website into other areas to try to promote even more sales.