Social marketing may sound intimidating, but it can be an invaluable tool for boosting business. Social marketing is all about like-minded individuals communicating on a Web 2.0 site or through blogs. Great examples of popular social marketing sites as well as ecademy are Digg, Facebook, Stumbleupon, and MySpace. The power behind social marketing is the human interaction.
5 Top Tips to Make Social Marketing Work for Your Business
First, a word of warning: some social networking etiquette rules need to be observed in order to make it work for your business. The rules are basic but ruthless:
- Quality information is a necessity. You need to be prepared to answer questions, share your knowledge and generally be a helpful community member in order to build your reputation and that of your site or business.
- Social marketing is a 2-way street. The word 'social' implies interaction with others - not photos of your dog, but quality communication. Give and you shall receive.
- Absolutely no spamming. Any perception of spamming, such as leaving unrelated messages just to include a link to your site, will have an immediate negative impact.
Bearing these rules in mind, there are many advantages to social marketing for business. Here are a few:
- Cost-effective. The only thing you are spending in social marketing is your time. You do not have to worry about non-converting Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. However, social sites are not known for sales conversion. The benefits come later, through awareness, recommendations from others, trust over time, and search engine ranking.
- Target your niche market. Ideally, your blog should be set up within a community of people with similar interests, businesses, or web sites -- in short, people who are already interested in your product or goods.
- You don't need a marketing degree. Don't let the term 'social marketing' frighten you. So long as you are prepared to communicate and participate in a relevant and helpful manner, you will be fine.
While you may not need a degree, a well-thought-out approach is vital, as with any marketing. Here are 5 valuable tips for implementing a successful social marketing campaign for your business:
- Create a strategy. Consulting with a credible internet marketing company can be useful for establishing your marketing strategy.
- Genuinely participate. Social marketing allows the community to share advice, ask questions, and offer input and criticism. You need to genuinely offer
your knowledge and share helpful information in a 'non-salesy' manner. Those who are perceived as disingenuous or overly salesman-like are ostracised. The more goodwill you share around, the more the community will respect you and your site.
- Create a business blog. Your blog needs to contain helpful and well-written articles relevant to your site or business. It is important to include
a 'Comments' section to encourage interaction. Don't forget to add links to other related sites, blogs and articles. This will eventually help build your inbound links.
- New and fresh content. This is a must, in order to keep the community happy and engaged, and to keep a dialogue open. Regularly uploading new content will also prompt the search engines to index the content of your site more frequently.
- Subscribe to other blogs and social media websites. By being a member of similar blogs and sources of information, you can stay up to date on what's new and interesting. It can also lead to opportunities in your market, which it often does!
Social marketing is an invaluable tool for boosting your business awareness. Brainstorming, seeking advice, sharing your wisdom, and increasing your business profile will all do wonders for your company.
Author: David Duncan / Posted: 15-05-2011