Here’s what I would suggest in five clear points when considering using social media for promoting a project.

1. Know your focus & plan

Social media objectives should always be about focus. You don’t directly sell using social media but with the right message and platforms , you should be able to promote an upcoming project effectively. Determine your target audience, your messages and what you offer to the audience while monitoring which goals are achieved.

2. Know your channels

There is a wide range of social media channels now available on line to promote your message and drive traffic. I have complied a list of some of the main ones.

Slideshare:This online collection of slides is fast becoming one of the best methods of driving traffic to your site. Create simple presentations about your project and use this platform to explain issues that your target audience to searching answers for online.

Facebook: Facebook can be challenging at the beginning but a great way to create interaction between your audience and communicate your message. Use tabs such as competitions to increase your fans, Facebook promotions which rewards your fans and survey tabs to ask your audience what they think about your project/services.

Twitter:If you want to communicate in real time and promote your project to opinion leaders, Twitter can’t be ignored. You will have instant access to the media who have embraced this platform as an essential tool for their business and you could generate press coverage if you tweet to the journalists who shares similar interests that your project addresses.

Blogging:This is still one of the best ways to generate traffic as long as quality and honest content is supplied and correctly optimised to appear in the search engines.

Survey Monkey:This might not be a platform but using surveys either with Survey Monkey or Google docs, you can gauge interest and provide valuable information that will help you adapt your message correctly. Surveys is also emerging as a PR tool to generate publicity on radio.

You Tube:Create short videos and upload them to Youtube and Vimeo. How to videos and short funnies seem to get the best hits on these channels.

Others: Digg, LinkedIn, Google + (New business profiles launched this week), Buzz are also ones to consider. See link for other  Social Media platforms.


3. Know who is responsible

For your social media plan to be successful, you need to know who is responsible for creating the content, coding if required, promotion and monitoring the results. This person should also create a list of the key people they need to approach as well as creating email messages , invitations to online events and marketing content which will explain your project to your different target segments.

4. Know when its time

A calendar like Google calendar will help you plan out when to post messages, videos and other content that is timely and that will generate the best response. This calendar should be viewed by the whole team and suggestions can be made to adapt as the plan is implemented.

5. Know to have fun

Social media is all about having fun and sharing content with your friends. Try to focus on the fun elements of the project when using Social Media to promote it and best of luck.