Photo: This is an article about advice. This sign is not one of Robin’s recommendations. But it should be.
Final installment of a three-part interview with Robin Frank, who manages social media strategies for The Gap Outlet, Banana Republic Factory Store, and other leading brands.
Many of {grow} readers work for small businesses. What is the best advice you could give to a small company or a regional brand establishing a foothold in social media marketing?

I love lists. Here are my Six Strategies for Success:

1) It’s all about your audience: If you only remember one thing, remember this point. This is where social media is no different than traditional marketing. Ask yourself these questions: who are your customers, where are they living online, what communities do they participate in, what do they like to talk about there? Now go play in that field.

2) Stay focused. You absolutely must set clear goals and objectives for your social media program AND you must align these with your marketing and business objectives, AND you must stick with them.
3) Everyone on board. Get buy-in throughout your organization. Social media touches all aspects of an organization, so get everyone paddling the same direction here.
4) Create an excellent communication strategy. Develop measurable campaigns and a communication strategy that reflects your brand, creates engagement and two-way communication, provides useful information, and sometimes talks about your business.
5) Measure your results and fine-tune your strategy. Set up a system for monitoring your progress, then adjust your strategy. Repeat often. See my answer earlier on ROI.
6) Get an expert. If at all possible, hire an expert to get you up and running or to give you a tune-up. Seriously, Social media is not rocket science, but who has the hours to invest in learning the ins and outs and ups and downs, thousands of apps and best practices? This will save you money in the long run. With your strategy in hand and several months of implementation under your belt, you can run with this baby or hire someone cheaper to run it for you.
Robin, thank you so much for doing this interview. Here is my final question. Do you ever wash children in the sinks?
Robin Frank consults with a wide range of companies – retail, banking, clean/greentech, and B2B – helping them establish cost-effective Social Media programs that increase marketing ROI and foster broader and deeper customer engagement and education. You can reach her at @robeen,, or
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