Once you have your content strategy for the Social Web together you should know what you want to say, who you are trying to reach, and where your content needs to show up in order to reach your audiences (on your blog and other social media as well as on specific social networks).
The best content strategy in the world can’t help you until you put it into practice. Success on the Social Web takes time, effort, and energy. You’re going to have to adjust your daily, weekly, and monthly workflow as you incorporate blogging, social networking, or other social media. Assess your current knowledge and patterns of work to see where you can create space for learning and consistent, long-term participation on the Social Web.
Many small business owners and solopreneurs already struggle to position ongoing marketing in their workflow while meeting the challenges of running their businesses from day to day. Establishing a successful web presence is crucial for your marketing plan but it’s also bigger than that. Your daily activities on the Social Web should not always feel marketing-related–if they feel like you are getting involved in a bigger conversation and becoming part of a larger community that’s a good thing!
Approaching your content strategy and implementation as a long-term business-building effort or as ongoing professional development works well for many of our clients. We encourage them to move past their existing ideas about “marketing” and focus instead on how incorporating the Social Web into their workflow can help them achieve their long-term business and professional goals. This approach often brings their efforts into a more relevant and personal frame (unless of course they already are marketing professionals who get it).
Creating a plan to implement your content strategy over the long term is much easier when you clearly understand how it will fit into your business or professional workflow and life. Your strategy prep should leave you confident that you:
- Know yourself and your business capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses
- Know your situation and target audiences on the Social Web
- Know what you’re trying to accomplish
- Know your priorities
- Have identified your available resources
- Know what kind of networks you want to build, and
- Know which social networks and social media sites to use
Making the leap from strategy to implementation is much easier when you take the time to plan out the necessary steps, both large and small. Begin by managing your own resistance to the additional work your project will require. Keep your business or professional goals in mind whenever you need motivation, and then create a concrete, realistic plan that you or your people can follow. If you’re not realistic about your current workflow demands and limits it will be very difficult to incorporate and sustain an active presence on the Social Web.
As you plan, keep in mind that it’s very important not to bite off more than you can chew. Success on the Social Web will take time and it’s better to be consistent than to throw yourself into a flurry of activity every now and then. You may have some intermittent results that way—but you’ll quickly lose any benefits one you disappear off your audience’s radar. Attention is a hot commodity in today’s high-speed, information-loaded marketplace. Make sure that your business doesn’t squander hard earned gains by dropping out of site when your day-to-day gets hectic.
Solopreneurs and business owners also need to balance (in terms of time and energy spent) their personal participation on the Social Web with their business goals. Your personal participation can support your professional goals or you can maintain strong boundaries between the two–it’s entirely up to you. The line between personal and business is easily blurred on the Web these days, but from a workflow planning perspective it is vital that you think about implementing your content strategy separately. It must be a regular and consistent business task even on the days when you’ve already spent all your free time on Facebook.