After many years of working in the field of social media marketing, I believe it is important to outline some of the most critical aspects of any social media marketing strategy. The first and most critical consideration is where the marketing is conducted. The business must determine how it intends to engage in marketing on a specific platform, and for what purpose. This is a critical decision that must be analyzed.

Should the business attempt to engage with the online community through the social media platform or should it devote its resources to promote the services, products or property of a business on the Internet? With all of the different types of communication available today on the Internet, are there individuals who would be a great fit for your target audience? This is an important consideration to keep in mind.

When implementing a social media marketing strategy, always keep in mind the primary focus of the social media site. If the goal is to market a product or service, there is a good chance it will be done on a Web 2.0 site, such as Twitter. However, if the primary focus is to expand on relationships with family and friends, a more traditional marketing strategy might be the most appropriate.

As with any other digital media, the use of social networking can be abused. Therefore, when using social media, make sure you have a plan for who to trust and how to filter. For example, I once had a friend post an incorrect business contact on her Facebook wall. My client ended up blocking her, but now my client has yet another client to deal with.

The next key consideration for social media marketing is the choice of the social network you will choose. Social media platforms range from LinkedIn to Facebook to Twitter, and many others are available on the Internet.

Another key point to consider is the goals of the business. Depending on the nature of the business, the goal of social media might not be the same as that of traditional marketing. For example, the social media platform might be focused on connecting with clients to offer personalized customer service. While these services are of particular importance, the business might be searching for something else, such as “buy baby clothes online.”

The last key consideration is the company brand image, which includes how the business defines itself. This is something that should never be compromised in any way, because it is vital for any marketing plan.

There are many different social media platforms available, which makes it difficult to provide a solid definition of what each platform means. In some cases, certain platforms are more appropriate than others, depending on the type of marketing the business has in mind. For example, a business that is trying to sell products that are more intellectual and technologically advanced might prefer a more conventional platform, while a company that markets to the younger crowd may find that more casual social media platforms are the best option.