Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing for Business

Social media marketing is a perfect channel to improve branding and reach potential customers. As the name implies, this channel is about being social, not making a hard sales pitch. Your social media strategy should support your overall internet marketing plan, and be carefully developed by people who truly understand social media marketing.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social media marketing is a strategic process of engaging potential and existing customers online in a generally non-sales oriented manner. A typical social media marketing plan for small business centers around providing social users with information that amuses, informs or otherwise provides content from which they can benefit. It’s not much different than having a conversation with friends in your home. Keep it light and fun – bring out the Amway material and users are going to run away.

How to Start Social Media Marketing

The best social media marketing tips we can provide are:

  • Identify the best social media sites for business
  • Create a shortlist of only the sites your customers use
  • Develop a social media plan appropriate for each site
  • Create or find interesting and useful content
  • Post on a regular basis but do not be overbearing
  • Strive to get Followers, Likes, Shares, Reviews, etc.
  • Utilize analytics to capture metrics to measure results
  • Stay out of a sales mindset, and think long term

Blogging to Extend Social Media Engagement

How to Develop a Social Media Marketing Plan

Plan with a purpose. – As discussed previously, building a social media marketing plan is essential. Consider keyword research and brainstorm content ideas that will interest your target audience. Be deliberate in what you post and have a purpose in mind.

Create interesting content that supports your brand

Content is king. — Consistent with other areas of online marketing, content reigns king when it comes to social media marketing. Make sure you are offering valuable information that your ideal customers will find interesting. Create a variety of content by implementing social media images, videos, and infographics in addition to classic text-based content.

Branding consistency. — Using social media for marketing enables your business to project your brand image across a variety of different social media platforms. While each platform has its own unique environment and voice, your business’ core identity should stay consistent.

Play well with others

Links are nice. — Using social media for marketing usually means a business is into self promotion. Sharing your unique and original content to gain followers, fans, and devotees is fine.  It’s also great to also link to outside articles. If other sources provide great, valuable information you think your target audience will enjoy, don’t be shy about linking to them. Linking to outside sources improves trust and reliability, and you may even get some links in return.

Measure, observe and learn how to improve

Use analytics to measure results. — You can’t determine the success of your social media marketing strategies without good data. Google Analytics can be used as a great social media marketing tool that will help you measure important performance metrics.

Watch your competitors. — It’s always important to keep an eye on competitors—they can provide valuable data for keyword research, where to get industry-related links, and other social media marketing insight. If your competitors are using a certain social media marketing technique that seems to be working for them, do the same thing, but do it better!

Determine what does and does not work.  Over time analytics data will become instrumental in learning how to improve your social media marketing. Every business has competitors from which they can sometimes learn a new thing or two.  Information is powerful if you know how to apply it.


RELATED ONLINE RESOURCES

10 Best Social Media Sites for Business - with sign up links!

Social Media Graphics Design

Sites such as Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to customize your profile page. The image size requirements vary between sites however; customizing social media landing pages is a smart move for branding.

We offer social media graphics design services. To learn more simply call or send us a message.

Local Search Citation Sites

There is something to be said about paying attention to local search citation sites. Especially sites that have an interactive environment.

Local search sites that publish reviews, and allow for a business to post content provide huge opportunities – to thrive or die. Ignoring these sites can allow your branding to suffer.  All it takes is a few bad reviews and a lack of positive information to lose customers.

Top local search sites with customer reviews and ratings

Our recommended local search sites with a social flavor are Foursquare, Kudzu and Yelp. We advise not buying paid advertising on Yelp.

Also look at sites such as TrustedFew, Retellity, Thumbtack and Thursday Market. These sites are geared for converting local traffic into buying customers. Here you can be more direct with your brand messaging.