Create a social media marketing strategy

1. Organize the information on your website into categories.

For example, an online book, movie, and comic store could have a structure like: First level: Novels, Movies, and Comics. Second level: Most Popular, By Genre, etc. Third level: Drama, Detective Stories, etc.

2. Search Facebook groups, Subreddits, Tumblr blogs and Pinterest boards for each category to collect raw data.

Use a tool like Twubs to find Twitter hashtag chats. Match the content on your site to these groups as closely as possible.

3. Search Google for communities in forums and blog comments using the query operator inurl:forum.

For example, "Horror novels" inurl:forum. Use a tool like ubersuggest to generate a variety of keywords and select advanced search operators such as intitle: or related: to get the raw data necessary to build a database for where your social media marketing can take place.

4. Create a spreadsheet of social media groups and forums that includes the group name, names of admins and influential members, the total number of members, commonly discussed topics, and notes.

Use a different sheet for each category. Input every group, including the bad ones. Track people who are sharing your content, so you can give them priority access to new content later, or curate other people’s content to raise your own online street cred.

5. Evaluate and rate each group on Interaction, Conversation, and Knowledge on a scale of 1-10.

Interaction: Are group members actually talking to each other? Or are they just blasting links at the wall? Conversation: Are group members trying to help progress each other, or are conversations more along the lines of great post? Knowledge: Overall, how would you say your knowledge or taste stands up to the others’ in the room? Do you have more to offer them, or is there something you can learn? If you want to gather feedback on an idea, get it from the groups with a Conversation score of 6 or higher. You might also look at those with a Knowledge score 4 or lower for ways to create content that would develop these groups into customers. You can also use your spreadsheet for: Product development Unfiltered market feedback Partnerships with admins and influential members Idea validation Content distribution.

6. Read comments and discussions to collect info and interact with the groups.

Don’t spam links and content – you’ll end up ignored or banned.

7. Create content like tutorials specifically around the needs of these groups.

By participating in the groups your customers actively use, so you can anticipate and properly meet your customers needs, rather than relying on assumptions.

8. Be selective about what you’re publishing to your main branded channels.

If something you’ve posted in groups and forums hasn’t been received well, it probably isn’t worth sharing through your branded channels.