August 15th, 2012
Whether you want to increase awareness of your brand, improve brand loyalty or are interested in feedback from customers to improve your product and service offerings, social media marketing provides you the opportunity to reach out to a large audience. Given the diverse nature of social media, knowing where to start can be confusing. Here are a few guidelines that will help.
Set the Right Goals
Some businesses use social media marketing to increase website traffic and convert visitors into customers, while others track user behavior and aim at increasing awareness of their brand. Before you embark on a social media marketing campaign, you need to determine what exactly you wish to achieve through the process.
Choose the Right Media
Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, YouTube or a blog, each aspect of social media allows you access to a particular audience. Choose the ones that hold the greatest promise of helping you achieve your marketing goals by reaching your target audience.
Put someone in charge
Managing social media requires time and effort – it cannot be done by an employee who is already burdened with other tasks. Make sure you have someone dedicated to this job, preferably someone who knows the way around the maze of social media marketing. Have this person set out a clear plan of the activities you need to undertake, and pursue it with gusto.
Research shows that businesses that post consistently on social media report a greater benefit from social media marketing. Therefore, make sure you post relevant information at frequent intervals and keep providing a regular update. The keyword here is “relevant” – the material you post should be something that helps visitors even as it builds your brand identity.
Use SEO with Caution
When it comes to the Internet, search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to gaining exposure through the top search engines. Make sure your posts include specific keywords related to your area of business. However, it is important to avoid overdoing this – never compromise readability for SEO.
Besides, take care to use different text content every time you provide a link that reaches your site because this is something that search engines can identify and it counts as an attempt to manipulate results.
Social media marketing is not just about one-sided conversations – posting on social media sites yields the best results when you try to involve your target audience. Use your posts to create discussion and invite feedback from readers.
Provide your genuine opinion on the latest goings-on in your business area, and get people to contribute their thoughts. When someone comments on your post, reply to them, and take the conversation forward. Run enjoyable contests and offer rewards that help promote your business.
Use Blogs and Links
Set up a company blog to serve as your authentic voice. Posting quality information at regular intervals is an easy way of engaging readers. Reply to comments and build up communication through the blog. Provide links to relevant articles that provide useful information to your readers. Not only does this help improve your credibility, it could even fetch you some links back to your site.