A social media marketing strategy is for everyone no matter how big or small your company. But whether social media tools works for you or not depends on how clear you are about what you want to achieve. You need to understand your target audience and how they use the Internet to successfully promote your business. Traditional marketing methods have to be in sync with your social media marketing strategy for it to be extremely effective.
Social Media Marketing Strategy
An occasional blog or post on Twitter does not qualify as a Social Media Marketing (SMM) strategy. To get tangible results requires time, energy and most importantly, a well defined strategy. Businesses that do not have big marketing budgets at their disposal can benefit from social media. They just need to know how. Before you get down to creating a Social Media Marketing strategy, figure out your goals. Do you want to increase traffic? Improve customer service? Or increase brand awareness? Once you’ve got that figured out, make sure your target audience is online. If they are, where are they? And how effective can you reach out to them?
The key is to build online relationships. Whether you tweet on Twitter or build a community on Facebook, you have to get to know people and ‘converse’ with them without promoting your product or service. Help them out with ideas, answers or resources. Once you’ve built a strong link with them, then you can ask them for their opinions or feedback. This will provide you with valuable insights and can help you fine tune your marketing strategy. Web 2.0 is all about engaging with people and blurring the demarcation between seller and target audience. User generated news destinations on Digg, micro-blogging on Twitter or video sharing on YouTube, is about sharing and having a constant dialogue that benefits both parties.
Measure Your Success
The next step is to keep at it! Don’t get discouraged or expect to see quick results. As with any other relationship, forming bonding take time. Having said that, make sure you have a system to track results. Monitoring results is imperative to know how well your Social Media Marketing Strategy is working. Know which metric will do the job for you – an ROI calculator, Google Alerts or back links to your website?
Here’s a look at some social media tools which you could use as part of your SMM Strategy:
- Viral Marketing: If you’ve got content that has the X factor and will generate a lot of interest, get it out there! Make sure that it’s ‘found’, so that it can be spread further on through social networking sites, word of mouth and email. This works like a charm!
- Twitter: Know what people are saying about you and your product or services or become an invaluable resource for others. Build a strong identity to boost brand awareness and your reputation.
- Links: Use links to enhance Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Make sure to have many links that point back to your site. Remember, links are often archived, which means they remain on the World Wide Web forever!
- Content: Ensure that your content is optimized with the targeted keywords for search engines so that it could be searched easily.
- Arrange an offline event: This brings your online relationships and potential clients into the ‘real world’ where they can interact with you.
As you can see, social media marketing takes a lot of planning, time and effort to get results, but once you do there’s no looking back! Just constantly fine tune your strategy to incorporate what you learn as you hone Social Media Marketing into an art!
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