It’s been like a few weeks since I did my Search Marketing blog post and I would have loved to be back earlier with my post on Social Media Marketing, but unfortunately I have been very busy with work. Anyway I’m back now so let’s get down with some Social stuff! 😀
2. Social Media Marketing
Over the past few years, social media marketing has grown to become a familiar and a somewhat vaguely understood term in the marketing industry. With Facebook boasting over 300 million users, and presidential campaigns going onto Twitter, it is understandable that marketers want to get a share of the pie, and somehow monetize this ever growing media.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) is simply using social networks such as blogs to promote a company’s brand, products and services, as well as build relationship with customers and possibly the general public.
The most common SMM tools are Twitter, company blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube. As a small business owner, these are a good place to start promoting your business.
Unlike most traditional and online marketing mediums where you can directly measure performance, and track revenue generated, SMM is more likely to impact your business indirectly. For instance relevant user content on your blog can generate a surge in traffic to your website, which could in turn lead to a boost in sales.
Regular tweets on Twitter or posts on Facebook could get you good inbound links to your website which could help with your site’s search engine optimisation. Running a product how-to video on YouTube or sharing product photos on Flickr could build more awareness of your business and brand which can only be a good thing.
How do you start?
The beauty of it all is – it’s usually free and you don’t need to be a marketing guru to be a fantastic Social Media Marketeer! More than likely, you are already one the 300 million users on Facebook (if my dad can get on Facebook, then everybody else can. 😉 ), have posted a video on YouTube before, and currently have a profile on LinkedIn. So you are already half way there. 🙂
There are a few things to note though when using social media networks for your business and not personal use.
Like all other marketing efforts, you need a strategy. What exactly are you trying to achieve?
Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Then you’ll need to regularly attract users back to your site by providing a link on your Twitter and Facebook posts, showing your website url at the end of your YouTube video, and for blogs making it easy for users to share your content on sites like Digg and del.icio.us which could generate clicks back to your site.
Social Media’s are all about me-to-you, forget all the corporate talk and try to relate with your customers on a personal level without sounding ridiculous. Try and find the right tone that you and your customers are comfortable with and stick with that.
3) Listen and Learn
You can learn a great deal about your customers on social media networks. Listen to what they are saying, allow comments on your blog, and read your customers replies to your tweets and posts. Chances are there could be a gem lurking in there that could make your business a whole lot better.
4) Give more than you take
Provide your customers and users with content they will find useful, and they will keep coming back for more!
5) Be Nice!
I will expect that you are already polite and nice to your customers, so this is just to re-emphasise the fact that “customers are always right”. Most social media networks can be accessed by anyone, anywhere in the world, so if you put one foot wrong, you could pay the ultimate price!
Here’s a blog post I really like about Social Media Marketing. Enjoy!
I hope this blog has given you some useful tips to successful social media marketing! Good luck and see you next week for my final post on Top 5 Online Marketing Tips. Have a good weekend. 😀