2010 is nearly over—have you given any thought to your social media strategy for the New Year?

Whether you have an existing strategy that just needs a little polishing or you’ve never given much thought to having one before, here are what I consider the four most important pieces you need to include in your 2011 Social Media “Game Plan.”

1) Content

I.e., “What should I tweet about?” or “What should I post on Facebook about or blog about?” Are there websites with relevant content you’ll visit on a regular basis to “mine” for information to share? How often will you share your own content? Will you incorporate different formats, such as audio or video?

2) Knowing who you’re targeting

Are you crystal clear on who your target market is? Can you describe your ideal client or customer down to the finest details? Before you can help them—and most certainly before you can find them—you must know exactly who they are.

3) Engagement

You may be great at what you do and people may even see you as the expert. But why should they care? Remember, if given the option, most people would prefer to buy from someone they know, like and trust. Give people the opportunity to get to know you by reaching out, expressing interest and having conversations with the people most likely to be interested in what you have to offer—as well as the people who are centers of influence in your industry.

4) Participation and long-term commitment

Relationships online take time, just as they do offline. You need to participate regularly in order to gain traction and build momentum. Too many people give up too soon—so keep showing up even though your progress may feel slow. Seeds planted today can pay off in big ways down the road.

Now, with these elements in mind, consider your own game plan. What is YOUR specific purpose for using social media? How do you want to show up? What results do you want from it? Where is your target market hanging out?

Once you’ve thought about these aspects, consider the commitment it will take to achieve the results you want. How many platforms will you use? How will you keep up with the most important people in your world? Will you develop a marketing plan so you can focus the content you share across these platforms? When will you participate?

It may seem like a lot of questions to think about, but by putting some careful thought into your game plan up front, you’ll be setting yourself up for success for 2011—and beyond.

Photo credit: TheDigeratiLife.com

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