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January 31, 2014

What Baking Can Teach You About Social Media Strategy in 2014: Part 2

Social Media Strategies For Your Business

We’re back with more baking secrets for social media success in 2014. And we’re starting off with, you guessed it, silky, rich, possibly sprinkle-filled frosting (or do you call it icing?)

Here you go, the final steps in your cake baking lesson for social media strategizing, and if you missed Part 1 of our series, you can read it here.  

5. Frost it.

Of course, the frosting is the best part, the sumptuous finish. Without it, cake isn’t really cake. Whether it’s written, visual, or video, content is the frosting of social media strategy, the thing it really can’t live without.

Social media has given small businesses an unprecedented opportunity to build a platform, magnify their voice, and become an authority/influencer in their field. Cut through the Internet dross and create something that matters. Instead of bombarding prospective customers with product pushes and hard sells, try to inform, engage, and entertain them instead. Start a conversation. They’ll respond better.

Once you’ve drawn them in, they’ll start to buy—loyally. You may find with the “viral-ness” and crowd sourcing social media lends itself to, your marketing will take care of itself.

6. Cut it.

You cannot eat cake without cutting it into smaller pieces—at least not easily. Don’t neglect the small pieces of social media strategy: that is, mobile. Due to the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets, it’s becoming essential to design a “responsive website,” (there are Wordpress Templates you can use) which will automatically scale to fit the size of the screen a user is viewing it on. It will also adapt to the new environment, re-configuring images and allowing you, for instance, to touch and swipe.

Mobile is a vital pillar of social media strategy, especially since everyone knows how tantalizing just one bite can be.

7. Dish it out.

One of the most satisfying parts about baking a cake (besides eating it of course!) is sharing it with others—and receiving heaping praise. So, too, with social media strategy. As with anything else, you should know how you’re doing and measure your progress. Take advantage of the nearly infinite “big data” available to you and the numerous sites created to collect and digest that information.

First, set up Google Analytics for your blog or website, which will allow you to create customized reports to monitor things like impressions, click-throughs, content popularity, social referrals, and mobile traffic.

You can also measure and understand the results of your efforts across platforms (e.g. who’s following and retweeting you on Twitter) with Simply Measured, Crowdbooster, Sproutsocial, etc.

You may want to conduct “social listening,” identifying and assessing what people and other companies are saying about you, your competitors, or your brand keywords from around the web—on forums, customer feedback forms, and social media networks. You can use diverse tools ranging from free Google Alerts and Socialmention to Spredfast, Viralheat, and Salesforce’s Radian6.

8. Use baker’s equipment.

If you’re really serious about your cake baking enterprise, you’ll eventually need some mechanized assistance (e.g. electric stand or hand mixers) because doing the work by hand for hundreds of cakes is just not feasible. Similarly, crafting and curating hundreds of pieces of content and engaging with customers over multiple channels becomes impossible. That’s why social automation will become another necessity in 2014.

Whether you’re curating content with Automated Insights or Skyword, or managing campaigns and promotions across platforms with Hootsuite, Shortstack, or Wildfire, you’ll need to automate at least some parts of your social media process to keep up and stay above the noise of the Internet.

In the end, when it comes to social media strategy and your customers, we think you should just let them eat cake.

What practices will you integrate into your social media strategy this year? Are there any other trends you see on the horizon? Let us know in the comments thread!

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