In my opinion social media should form a part of every company’s marketing strategy, big or small. The way in which you use it will depend on many factors such as what your goals are and who your audience is but here is a short guide for getting results from social media quickly.
Step 1: Choose the Platforms.
There are hundreds of social networks out there so which ones should you be using? Whilst this does partly depend on the demographic of your target market, I would, as a minimum recommend writing a blog (using a platform like WordPress or Blogger) and creating profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Don’t worry, you will not have to actively manage all of these as cross-platform integration will help
Step 2: Connect
There is no point creating great content if you have nobody to share it with. Start by connecting with your friends, family and colleagues on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. This trusted network will hopefully share your content with their networks. Then search and connect/follow anyone that falls in your target market. Use the search functionality on these sites to find people that are commenting on the products or services you are trying to sell.
Step 3: Content
Your followers will soon ‘switch off’ if your content is boring or stale. I would suggest writing blog posts on niche, yet interesting topics, crammed with keywords that people are likely to search on. Try Googling ‘Top Marketing Trends 2012‘ for example. This was a blog I wrote this month yet already, 2 of the first 8 results on page 1 of Google link to my article. I receive about 30-40 hits to my blog every day now just from people searching on similar terms to that mentioned above.
Step 4: Share
Now you have your content you need to share it. You may only have a few followers on Twitter or a few LinkedIn Connections but that doesn’t matter. Search on LinkedIn for Groups that relate to your target market. I write this marketing blog and want to promote it to marketing professionals so I have joined 50 (the maximum allowed) groups on LinkedIn. These groups have a combined readership of more than 1,000,000, each of whom will either see the update in the group, or more likely receive an e-mail with a link to this blog in. I have my Twitter account linked to my LinkedIn account so as soon as I share the link to my 460 connections (and 1,000,000 ‘Groupies’) it also gets Tweeted to my 275 followers and If I had one, to my Facebook account too.
Step 5: Authority
Providing your content is good and regular, it’s easy to build authority. I registered as a contributor on SocialMediaToday and have had 4 blog posts published by them this month. Not only do they get millions of visitors to their website, they also Tweet their published articles to more than 73,000 followers, which in turn sets off a chain reaction of re-tweets and before you know it your blog post is in the hands of millions… Their ‘Authority’ from an SEO perspective again means great Google Rankings, sometimes the same day. For example, try searching Google for ‘Infographic CV‘ This is a well searched term yet already, my article, published on Social Media Today is number 9 on Google, just behind an article on mashable.com
Step 6: Engage
If someone has taken the time to reply or post a comment against your Social Media activity then reply. Reply with links to other posts or invite them to Follow or Connect into your other networks. Re-tweet interesting tweets on Twitter and hope that they then follow and re-tweet your tweets. Social media is as much about engagement as it is anything else, it shouldn’t be underestimated,
Step 7: Be Patient
Whilst Social Media is not the best lead generation channel, I can think of no other that can promote a brands’ products or services so quickly, to so many in such a short space of time. A fact that simply cannot be ignored if organisations are to be successful over the years to come.
If you want any further information please contact me directly.