Social media marketing is a form of internet marketing that uses social networks to communicate and assist in branding a business or user. Social media describes online platforms that allow for activities such as social interaction, content upload, pictures and videos and audio such as podcasts etc.
When you are first entering the world of technology and online, people forget that like any other business activity it requires goals, process and strategy. Without a proper plan, your social media can fail to provide any real return from the time and energy you have put into it through set up and usage. Using social media as a marketing tool is great for:
· Increased website traffic
· Conversion and sales tracking
· Increasing brand awareness and branding
· Reaching more customers for free
· Increasing exposure to your brand
Web 2.0 and social media allows you to interact with other users and create content that gets links which are great for search engine optimisation. Web 2.0 simply refers to the second generation of the internet that focuses more on content and sharing content online – social media. Through the medium of social media and the correct strategy, you can reach the right people that can influence your business and its users.
Social media, if used correctly, can be used in conjunction with your website and your search engine marketing. The three support one another. This is achieved with research around keywords etc and a social media and online marketing strategy.
Here are some tips on how to use your social media marketing to its fullest:
· Assistance – don’t talk about yourself/your business, provide help to customers and potential customers. If you are using bookmarking profiles such as del.icio.us, bookmark helpful articles etc for your customers so your focus is always on how you can assist them.
· Develop a pan – don’t just start using your social media with no objectives or goals, develop a strategy, goals and KPIS to increase the likelihood of success.
· Contribute – create great content, this is always one of the most important factor of online marketing.
· Connect with others – connect with other businesses that can help you, there is no harm is brand advocates.
· Position – use your social media to be in front of your customers and their needs/wants.
· Blog – these are great ways of creating fresh content and helpful articles for your customers at the click of a button as they are easily updated.
· Links – always link to other websites/blogs that may be helpful to your customers, search engines love links.
· Videos – “How To” videos etc are great content for customers, put them on YouTube and create your own profile and you can reach millions of users.
· Technorati – if you have a blog, claim it here and it will get indexed.
· Analytics – don’t be afraid to monitor how your website/social media is performing.
· Feeds/Research – subscribe to feeds and always be aware of changes so you can comment and engage in your preferred area.
· MicroCommunities – these are social communities that are relevant to your business, great for networking and positioning yourself.
· Submit – overtime build your social media presence and submit great, useful content to them.
· Hosting – make sure you have a good quality hosting provider.
· Advertising – look into it to see if it can be of value to your business.
Examples of Social Media sites are:
· And many more…