Social media has its place in every online marketing campaign. However, how you use it to its best effect for generating returns for your business, or for giving value to your customers, will be very different from business to business. I work with many different types of businesses and entrepreneurs, and there is no one single strategy that will suit them all.
The type of social media interactions you want and the motivation behind a social media campaign will differ for every situation. Some businesses wish to simply interact with current customers to increase satisfaction and enjoyment of their products or services. Another reason would be to improve exposure and branding. The more common reason is to drive traffic to a site in order to generate leads and increase sales.
If you are not sure what you want to achieve through social media or even what you could achieve with it then follow these simple steps to test the waters and have a splash around in the Web 2.0 ocean.
1. Focus your attention on one or two choice platforms. Don’t spread yourself too thin or you won’t be able to determine which platform is working for you as you’ll be too busy working hard for all of them! Trial a couple at a time to learn and grow, then evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy and reevaluate it if necessary.
2. Set your performance targets and measure them. Simple yet not often done. Once you have chosen your platform, come up with a rough idea as to what it is you want to try and achieve and set some targets. This will help you gauge their effectiveness, but also help you determine how much time to invest in social media moving forward. Think re-tweets, blog posts, referral traffic, fans, connections, enquiries, etc.
3. Don’t clog the line! As a rule, don’t post information that you wouldn’t want to receive in a frequency that you wouldn’t want to receive it. Avoid over posting information promoting your business as this will spam your followers and turn them off.
4. Are there niche social media sites that serve your industry? Considering the amount of social media sites out there, this is quite likely. Find them and interact. These people are interested in what you’ve got and will be happy to interact and hear about what you have to say.
5. Follow people who are doing it right, take notes and do it how they do it.
6. Make it easy for people to follow you by adding widgets to your site.
So what are you waiting for? Jump in and start swimming!
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