Social media is a very powerful platform and millions of people use it to discuss their likes, dislikes and catch-up on news. Conversations about topics that relate to your industry, product, brand or service are conducted between people on social channels and if you do not engage with them you will be missing a golden marketing opportunity.
Exposing your business, product or service to a broad spectrum of people through the use of social media can have a lot of positive results. Care should however be taken with the tactics and strategies that you employ to prevent any negative reaction. Traditional advertising methods are not successful when used on social media platforms and can damage your brand and reputation.
It is very important to develop a social media marketing strategy before you jump in and join conversations all over the place. The aim of your strategy should be to create a positive brand perception and to increase online sales. Research popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn to determine the volume of conversations that are relevant to your business.
When you use social media for marketing purposes you should use your own name to build credibility, focus on individuals and join in the conversations. Social media platforms include blogs, micro blogging sites, social networks and multimedia content sharing sites. Try and target all of the platforms in order to build a strong online presence.
How to Make Social Media Work for You:
- Monitor conversations – Use a tool to monitor conversations that are related to keywords that you have specified. Google Alerts, TweetDeck and Seesmic are some of the free tools that are available to monitor conversations.
- Have something to say – When you join a conversation it is very important that you add value to the conversation and not just use it as an opportunity to advertise your business.
- Know the rules – Make sure that you are familiar with the rules and regulations of each social platform and abide by them.
- Show your face – People are more comfortable conversing with someone that has a name and picture. Interacting on behalf of your business and using the name of your business as signature can backfire.
- Be truthful – Beware of promising something that you can’t deliver. Social media has the tendency to become viral and you do not want to see negative feedback about your business or yourself all over the Web.
A social media strategy will only be successful if you are willing to spend the time and the resources that are needed. Some of the bigger companies have employed people to manage their social media strategies and some have even employed people to track conversations on a full time basis. The biggest difference between social media marketing and traditional advertising is the fact that you deal with individuals and not mass marketing on the social platforms. Many successful marketers have struggled to adapt to the social environment but you can be successful if you follow the guidelines, focus on the individual and add value.
Heinrich Muller is the owner of The Link Building Guy. Feel free to visit his website for more information on Social Media Optimization, SEO Link Building and Keyword Optimization.