Social Media Marketing 2
D S Hill
Last month we introduced the idea of social media
marketing, this month we're going to give you some solid pointers about
what to do and what not to do.
Understand social media marketing. Successful social media marketing
isn't about the tools, it's about the people. So, as we said last month
know who you are - it's like giving them a business card but a profile
says so much more and people interact with people who show they are
people and not "business bots." Different sites have different display
options ranging from say the complete design option at Ecademy to the
'straightjacket' of LinkedIn.
Practice that well known BNI mantra "giver's gain". Successful social
media marketing is about listening, participating and giving value
before expecting anything in return. At the very least when you first
contact with someone write them a short note saying "Do let me know if
there is ever anything I can do to help" and mean it. Answer people's
questions in your network too. I asked a simple question on LinkedIn
just recently - 'Can anyone recommend a good sales management trainer?
We are promoting and want to give some good training.' Within days I
had 33 answers most of which were excellent. Naturally I feel quite
well disposed to those people that answered.
Commit time and resources. It's like any marketing; skimp and you will
fail. If it succeeds then know how you will scale it. This is generally
Almost all of us are pretty much 'time short', finding it difficult to
fit in what we have to do. Social media does take some time - it's like
a meeting except virtual and meetings take time. So accept it and move
on if you can't commit the time. Like all marketing and sales
'techniques' not all work for everyone. If you do commit the work out
how you will deal with increasing scale if you are succesful. If I
asked a question a day and got 33 answers to each I'd soon be dealing
with 165 extra pieces of information a week!
Be transparent or you will alienate your connections. It's generally
pretty obvious what types of commercial messages are allowed or
reasonable. Remember, as in all networking, you are not attempting to
sell directly so don't. And please treat others as you would like to be
treated. People who don't know you will form an opinion of you based on
what you do and say and you want that impression to be a posItive one.
Do not assume that those within your networking group share your
beliefs - cultural, religious, business or personal.
Listen. Remember Epictetus [the Roman (Greek-born) slave &
Stoic philosopher, 55 AD - 135 AD] "We have two ears and one mouth so
we may listen more and talk the less." In virtual world the same
applies even though we have 2 eyes and 2 hands for typing! It's a
conversation. Knowing what people think gives the opportunity to
improve or to explain so don't just 'jump in with all guns blazing'.
Welcome participation and feedback. If you are not comfortable with
that don't do it, people can be more direct than they are face to face.
Racial slurs, unfair criticisms and blatant abuse have no place in
social media channels but simply because people are more anonymous they
do, unfortunately, occur. Don't get drawn in to this yourself; read any
of your own comments to see if they are too emotional and how they may
be perceived before you actually post them.
Know your objectives. Who are your target audience and where do they
hang out? Is your prime goal building relationships? If so why? Are you
looking for joint ventures, suppliers, prospects, customers or
something else? Are you trying to improve awareness, connect with
experts or drive site traffic? What are you going to offer and how are
you going to participate? How often are you going to participate? How
are you going to test and track your efforts? Remember social media
marketing is more like public relations than direct marketing. Cause
and effect can be difficult to link.
Try to control 'the message'. Once it's out there people will
inevitably mash it up, stretch it, pull it and reshape it according to
their interests. You can protect logos, copyright and intellectual
property but little else.
Be fake. People know. They just do.
Break the rules. Understand what is acceptable in any particular
community so you can 'speak like a native'. Every community has
unwritten as well as written guidelines for behaviour that can only be
understood by observing and participating.
Be pushy. Adverts and sales pitches are often taboo. Remember it's a
social environment and asking for opinions and help and providing
information is more likely to work.
Create silos. Work across all the platforms of which you are a member
so that you don't have totally conflicting messages in different
communities - it just causes confusion.
Having understood the rules where do you start?
Register with the bookmarking sites such as Delicious, Digg, Mixx,
Reddit, StumbleUpon so that you can research hot topics and get ideas.
Now register for the site(s) that will give you the right exposure and
Once you've registered:
Understand the tools available in that community. How to set up a good
profile, join or start clubs, use blogs and any marketplace, set up
events etc etc.
Only by understanding the tools available can you make best use of the
Join active groups (activity is more important than size) that fit your
target audience and become a trusted and well known user. Remember that
other users can spot those who are just joining to promote their own
stories and pollute the system. So submit things that you think will
appeal and be very careful about mixing in too much of your own content.
Connect. Reach out to the influencers in your community, be polite,
honest, sincere, and you'd be amazed what they will do for you. Be
patient - social media marketing takes time. Be opportunistic and
flexible - you never know what's going to happen so you have to
constantly adjust and learn.
Work out what will appeal to people and what will help you and then
consider setting up your own club or group. But only do it if you are
committed. An active club takes effort and people remember if you leave
them high and dry.
Quality content is absolutely crucial. People don't watch irrelevant or
badly produced garbage unless it's so bad it becomes viral. Content
with plain boring presentation or lots of adverts stands a much higher
chance of failure than average content with remarkable presentation.
Try to use enticing titles for your content, never lie and always back
up your facts by citing your sources. Video consumption is growing
fast. Create a "how to..." or "top tips..." videos. In generating all
content, remember #1 rule: no direct selling. Humour, controversy and
weird stuff works very well, keep that in mind - don't be afraid to
Optimise your social media marketing. The term 'social media
optimization' was first used by Rohit Bhargava. His five rules for
social media optimization are:
- Increase your linkability - get others to link to your site
- Make tagging and bookmarking easy - quick tag buttons for example
- Reward inbound links - list and reciprocate links
- Help your content travel - put it on other sites
Analytics: open an Google analytics account, a Technorati account for
your blog and a Tubemogul account for your videos (there are other
analytics providers than these too). Look at your analytics and track
referring domains and review traffic movements regularly so that you
can see what works.
So, there you are, as Aleksandr would say: "simples".
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/internet-articles/
About the Author
Richard Hill is a director of E-CRM
Solutions and has spent many years in senior direct and
interactive marketing roles.E-CRM
helps you to grow by getting you more customers that stay with you