August 12th, 2010
Q: I’ve jumped on the social media bandwagon, but there’s so many to chose from. Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LinkedIn – how do I maximize my social media to work for me and my customers?
A. Great question and thanks for asking it. You are not alone in wondering what to do with all the social media options! I am detecting a little bit of social media overwhelm, but that healthy skepticsm is very healthy actually. It means that you are more likely to think first before you execute! Amy Dunn, WMT’s Web 2.0 Fear Specialist did a blog post that has great social media marketing tips and my advice on how to use social media to maximize your efforts to best boost business is simple:
1. Go back to marketing 101. Ask yourself who is your target market, what does your audience need and how can you help them (translation, “help” does not mean push a bunch of sales propaganda in their face – ask what VALUE you can bring to the table. Get clear on the value you can share then look at the various social tools like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and see how that can help you accomplish relationship building. You have to THINK FIRST BEFORE YOU DRINK THE SOCIAL MEDIA KOOL-AID. Ask youself if a particular social media outlet will help you reach your current and prospective customers so you can connect and serve them better, focus your efforts on what can do that and start there.
2. I think of a blog as a social media nucleus. It is where valuable content can be typed out, links to Facebook, Twitter, Linked, Flickr can be shown and video can be embedded into posts. Blog posts can be automatically set to link to Facebook (from NetworkedBlogs), Twitter (TwitterFeed) and Linkedin (in the Applications) so one post = 4 placements. To maximize social media messaging, try a social media streamlining tool like HelloTxt so you can do one message and hit ALL your social media set-ups.
3. Measure and prioritize. Put your energy where it counts. Your web statistics will show what social media drives traffic and sales but do not discount the power of Relationship ROI (watch this video on what Relationship ROI is all about!) If Facebook work equals more friend bombardment than client connection, BREAK UP WITH IT AND SEE OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA. Put your energy where it counts. All marketing has to be tested, optimized and re-evaluated. Respect your time and put your energy where it counts.
4. Be ready to commit to social media. It does take work, I’m not going to deny that. Think of social media marketing as a lifestyle. Just like exercise and eating right, you want to engage in social media as part of your marketing mix…add it to your routine and it will become part of your routine.
5. Use social media marketing to give your existing work legs. So many marketing patients don’t realize how connected all the web marketing tools are (that IS why we call it the world-wide-web you know!). You do email blasts, that same content can also live on your site. You do a great educational blog post, then that can get messaged out to your readers via tools like twitter. When marketers look at all the web marketing options as separate, unconnected tools, you better believe that overwhelm will hit!! Use all your web marketing in unison for multitasking web marketing maximization!
Social Media can be an amazingly valuable marketing tool…if you keep your mind in a place of calm, quiet focus and invest in tools that matter and support one another.
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