Seven tips for those new to Social Media Marketing
Over the last few years, social media marketing has proven itself to be an important part of the marketing mix but as this new medium evolves and develops, in turn so does your promotional strategies. There is more to social networking than merely creating accounts and just showing up. Here are tips to help shape your social media policy and facilitate a rich dialogue with your fans/followers/readers that adds value to your accounts.
Focus on fresh and quality content
Recent updates by Google such as the Panda algorithm which concentrates on quality and original content and Google Fresh which focuses on recency, relevant and timely results for a particular search term have forced webmasters to evaluate their content strategy. This is most significant for businesses that have a company blog – this is an ideal way to be able to publish unique material and minimise duplicate content.
Don’t spread yourself too thinly
Use your time and resources wisely – work out from your analytics which sites your customers prefer and focus on maintaining those sites. For consumer-orientated sites, Facebook and Twitter may work better but for a business-to-business site, you may find that LinkedIn may be your best bet. Work smarter not harder this year with your social media accounts and get the best bang for your buck.
Be an active participant in the social media community
In addition to focusing on updating and monitoring your own accounts, make a concentrated effort to share, comment and respond to posts to authoritative sites that are relevant to your industry. As well as learning more about how successful sites interact with their networks, it can also help grow your community as people who are following that particular company or organisation may also find your pages equally as interesting.
Monitor online chatter about your company
Online reputation management is something that all social media marketing teams should take seriously regardless of whether they are in the mining or tourism industry. There are free online monitoring tools such as Google Alerts to premium tools such as Tracur. It’s best to outline a corporate policy to respond to both positive and negative feedback; decide on who should respond, when they should respond and the company line.
Keep the momentum going
It takes time to foster a new community and encourage interaction. It may seem like you’re talking to yourself for a while but stick with it and the rewards will come. Focus on giving your followers/fans/readers quality content that adds value and keep on refreshing your accounts as it gives people a valid reason to come back and visit your pages. Social media exclusive offers and deals have proven to be a successful engagement strategy.
Have a cohesive social media marketing strategy
Social media should not be an isolated marketing strategy. You can create synergy for your campaigns by integrating your activities with other marketing tools such as your website (often the main sales funnel for a business), online advertising such as banner and pay-per-click advertisements, offline advertising such as print campaigns and public relations strategies. Promote your social media accounts by every means possible.
Analyse your statistics
Every social media network whether it be YouTube (YouTube Analytics) or Facebook (Insights) have their own analytics programs where you can find out more information about the people visiting your pages, how they are using them and how much time they are spending there. You can also look at your Google Analytics data and find out which social media accounts are driving the most traffic to your website (traffic sources report).
There is always room for improvement with social networking whether you have just started your online communities or they have been established for a few years. If your social media policy is due for a major overhaul, you may want to consult a professional consultant. Contact us to find out more about Social Media Works which is a branch of Internet Intelligence Works dedicated to social media marketing.