Tips to Get your Social Media marketing on the right Track

Social media is the new darling of the online marketing world and, if you’re keen on tapping into the people, and the power, of social media, you’re going to need a plan. It’s a lot more than just “liking” someone on Facebook or sending out a “tweet” once in a while. The fact is, with social media you can’t just “wing it” because people absolutely love their social media websites and they can easily spot an imposter or poser.

Attracting and, more importantly, engaging people with social media, and then converting them into customers of course, means carefully mapping out an effective strategy. The tips below will help you to do just that. Enjoy.

  • What is your social media goal? Depending on the business or industry that you’re in, you’ll want to use social media to either gain exposure for your brand, interact directly with customers and, occasionally, promote your products and/or services. In order to do that you are going to have to not only identify what the goals of your business are but also understand your customer’s goals as well, and figure out how your social media strategy can help you to connect the two. One of the best ways to do this is simply to look at social media as a way to solve your customer’s problems, and then do that.
  • Should I handle my social media or hire someone to handle it for me? This is a very important question as, once you’ve gotten your social media started, you’ll need to keep it going, update it and respond to comments and questions on a regular and continual basis. If it’s just you, the best thing to do is to start small so that you don’t get overwhelmed. If you have someone on staff that you can delegate your social media tasks to you should do that and, if your business is big enough, hiring a social media marketing expert or firm would probably be a good idea.
  • Do I need to have a presence on all of the popular social media sites? Most social media experts would say that no, you definitely don’t want to try and have a presence on every social site, even just all the “big” ones. In fact, it probably would be better to simply focus on one social media site until you feel comfortable and know exactly where you’re going with it and what it’s doing for your business. Which site depends on many factors of course and so, if you need to, you may wish to dip into several (but only your toes!) to find out which one is the right one for you.
  • Which sites are best for a small business? Twitter, the micro-blogging website, is an excellent social media site for small businesses and, even better, it’s one of the easiest to learn and to use. It basically consists of sending out “tweets” on your Twitter site and, since there is a 140 character limit, you can easily handle sending out one, two or even a handful of tweets to your customer base per day. Google+ can boost your website’s SEO, Facebook is excellent for business-to-consumer retailers and, if you’re looking to reach out to people in your industry with influence, LinkedIn and Slideshare are both excellent. If you’re selling products that are attractive or colorful, Pinterest would also be a good choice.
  • What schedule should I have for posting new content? The answer to this question depends on the type of social media marketing that you are actually doing. If you are sending out “tweets” on Twitter you can actually send several per day with minimal effort. If, on the other hand, you have a “blog”, you would probably only want to post new content once, or maybe twice, a week. The fact is, people visit their favorite social media sites throughout the day and the more you are able to post the better chance that they will see your content when they’re on the site.
  • Is social media a good place to provide customer service? That depends on which social site you are using. With sites like Facebook Twitter and Google+, responding to customer inquiries and questions is quite easy and also instantaneous. It’s also a good way to handle customer complaints before negative reviews are posted on your site.

These are some great tips to get you started with your social media marketing and content. Keep in mind that social media marketing isn’t like direct, traditional marketing. You’re not going to be doing a lot of “selling” per se on social media but, instead, be building up a base of fans and customers who are interested in what you have to say and, occasionally, will also purchase what you’re selling. Stay on social media long enough and you become the “expert” that people seek out when they need help in your particular field. If you can do that, your social media efforts will definitely pay off, and continue to do so well into the future.

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