Social Media Marketing Tips for Beginners and Small Business
“Fail to plan, plan to fail”
Social Media Marketing Tips – Brand Building and Reputation Management.
Many organizations/businesses have jumped into the bandwagon to reap the rewards offered Social Media Platforms especially Twitter and Facebook. One could not but notice how grossly social media marketing is being used by 80% of them, thanks to SEOs. But fact of the matter is posting links after links is as spammy as sending emails after emails for link exchange. Whereas latter could result in suspension of domain, the former doesn’t have any visible impact on the domain.
The impact of spamming on Facebook or Twitter is on the brand/reputation of a business which could have a rather significant impact. Social media is an extension of brand building and reputation management. Most of the organizations/businesses just keep posting links of various product/packages and services which they offer. Does it help? Not at all!
Social media is about engagement, just like we do in real life. Just because you don’t have to invest money in the effort doesn’t mean that you can keep posting links after links. It annoys those who do engage in conversation and those who do matter on Twitter or Facebook and other Social Media platforms. A proper strategy and mission/vision is a must for an effective, measurable social media marketing endeavor or it will get you nowhere but ah1 it will take you exactly where you don’t want to be. To plan and execute effective marketing strategy is the biggest challenge, especially for small businesses. Always remember the golden words that any tool or technique without a reasonable strategy is a missed opportunity. A few clearly predefined metrics to monitor marketing campaign impact is vital for success. Your goal could be:
•Geographical territory and ad exposure/impact
Listed below are some dos and don’ts of Social Media Marketing (SMM) which is not just the beginners guide for SMM but also long term tips and social media strategies which will get your social media campaign going effectively.
Listen and assist
Remember social media platform is not about you, it’s about “them”. Stop talking about yourself incessantly if that’s what you do. The most important aspect of effective social media campaign is to become a good listener. Limit talking about yourself, at least initially – provide ways to help others instead.
Connect with right people
Identifying who to listen to and connect with is very important. You must reach out to the influencers in your niche who are opinion leader. Listen to them, talk with them, be polite, honest and offer authentic and interesting content. You’d be amazed what brand advocates can do for you.
Engagement and getting Social
Share other people’s posts. Engage and demonstrate that you value content and opinions from others, too. It’s just like socializing in real life. The more engaging and interesting content that you make available online – be it yours or others – through your social media profiles, the more people will want to share it with their audiences. Post content that provides value to your target audience, but also add some fun stuff, too.
Focus: Pareto Principle
One of the basic rules of Management is Pareto principle which is applicable in almost every thing which has an impact on you not just from sales and marketing point of view but on life in general too. According to the principle – also referred to as the law of vital few – roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Similarly, it’s true of Twitter that less than 25% of users contribute to and engage in 95% of information interchange. It is a common rule of thumb in business; e.g., “80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients“. Target right people; try to reach to atleast 20% of that 25% of 100% of users on Twitter – that’s 5 out of 100 and then 20% of that 5 are your potential customers which makes it 1 out of 100 :-) YOu may also experiment at mixing your 80% relevant content with 20% fun content etc to break the obvious monotony of business tweets and posts.
Mention and #tag
To engage with right people and make yourself heard amidst information avalanche of Twitter, Facebook , you need to be more forthcoming. While replying or making sure that right person gets the message, mention users on Twitter using @ before user id for example @chandra81 if you want to reply to me. Add #tag to highlight/optimize your keyword for search engines. For example #SEO for posts related to search engine optimization or you my even target whole list on Twitter by using #SocialMedia for related/relevant post. Make your own list and curate them so that you can target everyone in your particular niche or specific subject – like photography, travel, humor etc – every time you tweet.
While sharing interesting content of other users make sure you don’t just click retweet. Use RT @chandra81 followed by my post you wanted to retweet so that I know directly (or through the email registered with twitter) that you have retweeted my content. Another important thing is to leave space for others to retweetyour post. While posting make it a habit to convey your message in 110-120 words as opposed to 140 words. The remaining spaces increase the probability that your post get retweeted and the person retweeting may also add a #tag to it if he feels like it.
Be the one to create (quality) content. Community may be the knight in shining armor in Social Media, but content is still the King, and always will be. Make sure that you offer quality content which could be engaging and interesting enough. The bottom line in any form of marketing is value creation. Offer that value and you’ll be amazed at the benefits Social Media Marketing could ensure to your niche/campaigns.
Make sure you have setup a blog. Use your blog as a platform to offer useful and sharable content for your niche. Also make sure you come up with offbeat articles once in a while to keep your reader interested. Make lists and provide resources and share your blog post through social media platforms like twitter and Facebook. Networked Blog is one such platform to connect your blog with your social networking sites.
So you do have a blog. Rite? One of the best ways to expose it to millions of readers is to claim your blog at Technorati. You’ll just have to copy paste the claim token in one of your latest post so that Technorati crawls it and accept your claim as author/owner. This will ensure you are indexed in their search engines for blogs and updates are broadcast automatically across the network. Further you also get to know authority of your blog in your targeted niche and categories. Also search for local but powerful blog directories where you can submit your blog and also post articles on vines. It does help to make your interesting posts viral.
Feeds and comments
Subscribe to feeds, Google Webmaster blogs, My Yahoo Web or other favorite RSS readers. Leave comments on the websites/blogs that you visit if there’s an option. Bookmark the pages you find really informative and useful. Review sites/products/services. Watch for changes and be the first to comment and engage in your topic. Being on the top of comment list often gets you more visibility and traction. Also retweeting after reading or seeing the short link is more effective way to engage by adding a short note in your retweet which only a visitor could make. Impresses the person whose post get retweeted just like personal contact do
If you submit content, make sure it’s useful, unique and that the title of your post stands out. Don’t bookmark/share/tweet only your own content, since doing so is considered spam. Always be on the lookout for additional content to share, tweet and bookmark frequently enough that fellow members can get to know you butdon’t overdo it.