"I'm tweeting and blogging and facebooking and I'm spending a huge amount of time but I don't seem to be getting anywhere."
One of the most satisfying parts of my business is to work with business owners who are saying this and transform them into marketers with a focused strategic plan. It really is possible to reduce the time you're spending on social media and be more productive at the same time. It's not rocket science. I promise.
If you feel like you are on a hamster wheel it's probably because you don't have a clear strategy that is tailored to your business.
First, Know Your Customers
Go beyond the normal client profile and get to the point that you understand them on an emotional level. Understand the problems you solve for them on an emotional level. Understand why they buy from you and not your competitor. Understand why they choose to buy at all (instead of just living with the problem).
It's the Message
Remember that problem you solve for them? Be able to articulate it in your customer's words. Your goal is to be able to see their world through their lens and articulate their problem using their language structures.
Now that you know your customers well, it's time to switch gears. A little research combined with some right-brain intuitive thinking will reveal the right tools and the places you need to be online.
We've developed a fraamework that we work through with each client. The framework's purpose is to produce a social media marketing strategy that meets the client's goals and is tailored to the client's business.
Why Don't We Call it a Methodology?
Perhaps it's a matter of semantics. To me a methodology implies a set of defined specific steps. While our Framework does have steps, they are at a higher level - meta-steps, if you will.
For example, our framework entails developing "Buyer Personas" (A buyer persona is a detailed profile of an imaginary individual who is representative of a group of customers possessing the same characteristics.) We have several methods for developing buyer personas and we plugin the method that best fits you, your customers, and other specifics of the situation.
The beauty of this is that once you've learned our framework you can use it in any other business you decide to start in the future.