Here is your 10 Step Guide to Social Media Marketing
Social Media is a massive beast and it is easy to get lost in the jungle.
It’s a big and fast-growing revolution. So it is all too easy to get overwhelmed by information overload. Overwhelm can then lead to either inertia or frantic time-wasting which is why many businesses avoid it.
To be successful with it you need to focus only on what you want to achieve and keep your eyes on the destination.
If you spread yourself too thinly or do not have a strategy, you are wasting your time.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media is used to market in 6 ways:
2. spreading ideas or products
3. meeting the right people
4. raising awareness
5. direct marketing
6. getting people to take action
Some people confuse it with internet marketing, but it is more about relationships and is less automated. This is why you need to be very careful about who is appointed to communicate on behalf of your business with your customers and clients. The growth of social media has completely changed the way businesses communicate with their customers and your reputation is at stake.
Social media marketing strategies focus on creating content that attracts attention, generates online conversations, and encourages people to share it with their own social networks. This works best when the information comes from a trusted source, as opposed to coming from the brand or company.
Social media has become a platform that is easily accessible to anyone with internet access, and opens doors to anyone who can get online.
So How Do You Start?
First of all you need to work out what you want to achieve. For most people it will be about growing their networks, broadcasting their message and connecting with the right people.
Write down a list of what you want your social marketing efforts to do for you. Brainstorming works well here and it is good to include as much information as you can as it will come in handy later on.
Don’t rush this stage, the more detail you get down, the better your strategy will be.
Branding….when you are using social media to market yourself, you need to brand not just your business… but also yourself. You need to come across as someone who knows about your niche, an expert or a leader. Other qualities that will help are honesty, reliability, helpfulness and kindness.
People connect with you not your product. Make sure that the way that you communicate online is in keeping with your business otherwise you could damage your reputation.
Another key thing to remember is to make sure that your branding is consistent between the various platforms that you use, especially if one of your goals is to build brand recognition. This is an important element of building trust.
Write down a list of words that describe how you want people to perceive you online and leave them for later too.
Understand the golden rules of social networking: this is really important to your success. Get this bit right and the rest will follow.
use your manners and be polite
offer useful information
add value wherever you can
interact with people which includes listening
build individual relationships
get as personal as you can without disclosing too much
bad mouthing a competitor
banging out links on first meeting
being negative or rude
If you get your relationships right you will be amazed at how easy it is to achieve your goals.
Now you are ready to go!
As we have already said, there is too much information out there so you need to keep disciplined. The basic programme that we recommend for most people is this:
Personal Strategy – Manage and Measure
Your blog is the place where people go to find out more information, keep updated and see what you are all about. Some people have their blog attached to their website, some people have them separate. That is down to personal choice. Remember your blog is NOT the place where you close a sale- you do that on your website. Use your blog to give great information, invite conversations, establish credibility and get lots of good keywords and content in. In internet marketing, they say that content is king and it is very very important.
I recommend that you use WordPress or Blogger, both of which are free. There are pros and cons to each of these platforms. WordPress is probably better suited for people with more technical ability and is better for SEO and has more flexibility. Blogger is run by Google and is a bit easier to use. Most professional bloggers would recommend WordPress. Have a look at them both and you decide.
If you need help getting started with your blog or website, we can help you. Just give me a shout. I also offer residential trainings in the Lake District. Message me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are a few tips to creating a success with your blog:
1. Use good keywords, this is how most people will find you. Use Google Keyword Analyser to find keywords in your niche. Remember to include them in your posts and list them as tags on your blog.
2. Invite feedback or questions to engage with your readers.
3. Find the people that leave comments on Facebook and thank them there on their wall. Crossing platforms is a great way to make people feel valued and also draw attention to your blog from the people in their network.
4. Post a link to your blog every time you post on it and tell people what your new post is all about. Post it on each of the other social networking sites. This is a faster way for people to find your blog than just relying on searches.
5. Have a free offer on your blog that people have to opt in to. Collect their email addresses for your mailing list and thank them for opting in. You might even send them another bonus at this stage.
6. Ask people who you know in related industries to put your offer on their thank you page in return for a commission of any sales that you make.
7. Use images where you can and don’t have big blocks of text. Short paragraphs are good and keep the tone conversational rather than too formal. People scan, they don’t read so make sure you keep it snappy and easy on the eye. You might only get a few seconds of your reader’s attention before they decide that they can’t be bothered reading any further.
8. Make it easy for people to find you on other platforms, have share and like buttons on your blog and encourage your readers to share your posts.
9. Think back to your list of what you want to achieve and ask yourself whether your blog is helping you do that.
Facebook is being used by businesses, organisations, charities, groups, individuals from everywhere in the world. It is a great platform for finding people, interacting and checking out what is going on. It is the site that has turned social networking into what it is today. However, please be careful to keep business and personal pages separate.
I could write a whole report about Facebook, but as promised I will keep it simple so that you can get started.
When you set up your profile, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Make your information useful and interesting. Add details that people will relate to.
Use a personal photograph. People like to know who they are talking to and are more likely to accept you as a friend. There are different streams of thought about profile photos and how to present yourself, some people think you should dress in business gear and others say be more casual.I say, be yourself!
Here are some tips about using Facebook:
- Engage with people and check out their profiles and make meaningful conversation.
- Communicate with people on their walls and in private messages.
- Network and follow contacts from long tail conversations in other networks.
- Ask questions, share valuable information and get conversations going.
- Connect with people and take an interestin them because you are genuinely interested.
- Listen to what is being said online.
This takes time and there are no short cuts, however you must decide how much time you can afford to spend and be strict with yourself! There is lots more to learn about Facebook but the most important thing to remember is to use it to find the right people, engage with them and then invite them to talk on the phone or meet up. There will always be things you don’t know, and things keep changing, but don’t worry, it is like running for a moving bus for everyone. You will never know everything, just get started.
Twitter: Asks what’s happening and makes the answer spread across the globe immediately.
Twitter CEO, Dick Costolo, reported as of June 2011, 100 million people use Twitter each day even though 40% of Twitter account owners have not logged into their accounts in the past 30 days.
ComScore.com reports that Twitter had closer to 150 million unique visitors during July 2011. More than half of all Twitter users are mobile users.
Twitter is a great place to meet people as it is so search friendly. Set up your profile with the same photo that you used on Facebook and your very short Bio….you don’tget much space here, so you need to make it good! You can customise your Twitter background using Twitbacks or something that you create yourself, this gives you more opportunity to brand it powerfully. You can’t create clickable links but you can add images that point to other platforms.
You can connect Twitter with other sites like Facebook and LinkedIn and your blog so that when you Tweet it goes everywhere at the same time. Add your location if that is important, for instance if you are looking for local work and connections.
Here are some tips for running a successful Twitter account:
- Do it manually, don’t use automated programmes to add people. Add very targeted users by using Twitter Search to find people in your niche. When you follow them send them a message to connect with them. Better to have a small following of targeted followers than a massive following just any one. Otherwise you will just end up with a big spam fest!
- If you want to send a message to someone that you want other people to read, type @followedbytheirname and then your message. For private information, send them a message. You can only do this if you are both following each other though.
- Take time to communicate properly and answer messages. When you have made a good connection with someone, invite them on to Facebook or email or phone to deepen the connection. You can only talk in sentences of 140 characters on Twitter.
- Use Twitter to find people (and get found) and keep up with what they are doing.
- If you are holding an event, you can create an invite with Twtvite it’s free and fun!
For many businesses LinkedIn is the most valuable social media platform yet so many people do not take advantage of it fully.
They leave out crucial information, forget to add the keywords that will help it to appear in a LinkedIn search and do not make it dynamic and interesting. We hear a lot of people saying that they don’t know how to use LinkedIn, or they don’t get it.
LinkedIn has more than 100 million users from around the world. It is a professional networking site used by people to find business contacts, search for jobs, and find potential partners and customers. Your professional profile can be viewed by others who join your network which is a highly targeted group of people in industries related to your own.
Here are a few tips to help you improve and spruce up your profile:
Get the right key words. Ask people what words they would search for if they were looking for someone like you. Don’t assume that people will type in the ones that you would. Make sure they appear in your description but also in your group of specialities. Also be mindful of using keywords when you are participating in discussions without sounding like a meta tag box. It is like having a brilliant website and no traffic if you don’t get your keywords right.
Make your profile compelling and make sure it is complete including your work history, groups, education, interests, specialties and contact information. Put keywords in to each section to optimise it. Keep testing it to see where you are ranking in searches until you know you have got the keywords right. If you optomise it like this, you are much more likely to be contacted by people who are able to find you in a search, otherwise you will miss opportunities.
Connect with people who will add value to your profile and interact with them on LinkedIn. Add your Twitter feed so that people can find you on Twitter or from Twitter. Put your LinkedIn address on your other social networking sites and at the bottom of emails that you send out. Join relevant groups and join in discussions. There are some amazing discussions on the go that carry on for months with hundreds of contributors. Link to your blogs so that your recent blog posts come up on your profile, this allows your contacts see what you are working on and your areas of interest. Connect with others on their other social networks too, that way you will meet more people.
Do get people to recommend you. Ask credible people who you have worked with to give you a glowing reference, this acts in the same way as a reference on a resume or cv.
Make regular updates so that people know that you are active on LinkedIn and will respond to their messages and requests. Of course use good netiquette and be courteous and respectful. Take an interest in what other people are doing and engage with them.
If you need help setting up your LinkedIn profile give me a shout and I can help you.
Here are some facts about Youtube:
2 Billion views a day
3rd most visited website after Google and Facebook. Google actually own YouTube now.
Localised in 23 countries across 24 different languages
15 The average number of minutes people spend on the site each day
24 Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute
Video Marketing is a really important part of your marketing strategy.
A few things you should pay attention to when releasing your videos:
use meta tags for the content (text) of the page where your video is placed.
Give descriptive names to your videos so that the search engines can find them
Use long tail keywords in the video titles and keywords in their their descriptions.
Keep it short. If you can get your message across in under 3 minutes, more people will watch it all.
Share! Share it on your Facebook wall and everywhere else.
Download Jing for free to create videos easily. It’s also really great for screen snatches.
This is the new network that I predict will be bigger than Facebook soon. It is clean, attractive, easy to set up and most importantly attached to the Google search engine. It has been fantastic to be part of it from the beginning and watch it evolve. You can now set up a business profile as well as a personal one.
It is new and growing faster than any other network has ever grown before and there are some great conversations going on. I love it.
Use a strategy- and make it personal.
Choose one or two networks that really work for you and are the best place to have the conversations that you want to have.
Budget your time and stick to it.
Decide what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it and stick to that too.
It is wise to do a bit of research and find niche forums and platforms that are specific to your industry. Join in the conversations and connect with the influencers and evangelists. Ask them for interviews and turn them in to videos….be creative!
Manage and Measure
There is a lot more I could write about, but this will keep you busy for a while! Once you have everything set up, decide how much time you want to spend each day or week managing your social networking. The key is consistency here. Measure your results, work out which kinds of posts work, which of your efforts are helping you to achieve your goals.
Lots of people get really addicted for a while and then give up. My advice is to limit your time but go for the long haul. Spend some time adding content and some time connecting and finding contacts.
If you would like a free consultation to explore what social media could do for you, give me a shout!
I offer website trainings in the English Lake District; WordPress , social media, blogging and Sophie offers photoshop trainings. I do not believe in having someone outside of your company managing your marketing. It is too important.
So no flashy time limited offers here, just a down to earth invitation to get in touch if you want to see whether I am the right person to help you take your business to the next level.