Social Media Marketing – A Beginner’s Guide
In a world that thrives on interaction, ubiquity is everything. So, if you aren’t yet harnessing the power of social media for your own venture, you are (in theory) limiting the growth of your brand. For the uninitiated, social media marketing refers to any online networking or advertising strategy devised to improve the flow of traffic to a website and gain attention. These strategies include: social networking, blogging, link exchange,and content marketing.
With the plethora of social networking platforms, proven strategies and SEO companies vying for your attention, getting to grips with social media marketing can seem a daunting prospect. Our social media marketing guide highlights the bestand tips to get you started.
Social Networking: The Big Three
The majority of start-ups focus their efforts on 1.5 billion users combined. LinkedIn is considered a prospecting platform, and although allows like-minded entrepreneurs to connect and exchange ideas, is generally used for generating leads and employment opportunities. Twitter on the other hand thrives on interactivity, and essentially, the more of other user-generated content you share, the more likely it is you’ll attract followers. With 800 million active accounts, Facebook continues to be the preferred mode of choice for initiating conversation. With chat, and share functionality, there is significant potential to reach a global , albeit at a slower rate than with Twitter., Twitter and LinkedIn, since all three are well established and, according to Digital Buzz, supersede other networking sites with nearly
To reap the benefits of Twitter and Facebook, it pays to:
- Join and contribute to local/global communities and groups with a shared interest.
- Integrate widgets on your blog/website.
- Feed your blog posts automatically using Google’s Feedburner or RSS Graffiti.
- Create and invite select friends to networking events.
- Ask questions and seek opinions.
- Actively search for content/multimedia of interest and share at least once daily.
- Implement creative (and occasionally trending) hash-tags to the visibility of your Tweets.
- Cross- Tweets via Facebook and encourage comments.
Scheduling management HootSuite take the headache out of posting Tweets and status updates on an hourly basis. It takes less than fifteen minutes each morning to research and craft 5-6 updates, after which, you can simply schedule them to be published at various intervals throughout the day. You can also this for an entire week’s worth of updates, however, it’s vital you check in at lunch to respond to followers, and again at close of play.such as
Remember: Social networking should always be second in priority to any blog or inbound marketing responsibilities.
Specialist Networks and Content Aggregators
If you’re keen to broaden your social media horizons, target a niche audience or simply branch out beyond Facebook and Twitter, specialist networks such as Technorati and Reddit could significantly enhance theof traffic driven to your site. Technorati is predominantly a content sharing platform – albeit with 110 million blogs to its bow. Users create a profile and sync their blogs to the site to ‘feed’ it with posts. Many other platforms have attempted this without success, however Technorati also boasts a thriving and influential community. As such, you’ll find a host of other relevant blogs in your niche, without having to trawl through results.
Reddit differs in the sense content is not limited to blog posts and articles. Here, users are actively encouraged to start and participate in site discussions, with the freedom to add back-links to support said topic. The ‘Karma’ scoring system can help you build a sterling, and with authority comes the prospect of more qualified traffic to your site!
Guest Blogging and Networking: Speculate To Accumulate
Return on investment (ROI) should always be at the back of your mind when considering social media marketing. It may sound selfish, but if your method of choice is only likely to yield a temporary or short-term traffic solution, it probably isn’t worth your while. Guest blogging and networking (when done correctly) are potentially rewarding strategies that can yield long-term ROI – namely qualified traffic. However, to target high authority sites in your niche, it first pays to strike up a rapport with the blog owner.
Blog etiquette dictatesa rapport with blog owners before overstepping the mark with a sales-like proposal. Introducing yourself to respected bloggers of authority with valid, insightful comments on one or two posts. Not only will this develop trust between yourself and the blog owner, you’ll come to be regarded as someone with something to offer, rather than just another blogger vying for advertising space. Of course, you mustn’t lose sight of the potential for ROI, so be sure to do the following before pitching:
- Ascertain site authority – is the blog revered by online communities/ commenters?
- Check traffic levels and reach using intuitive software, such as Google AdPlanner or SEOQuake.
- Find out if they participate/ allow link exchange.
- Research other guest bloggers featured previously.
Staying True To Yourself
Newcomers to social media marketing often feel the need to promote themselves as experts in a bid to compete with those already established. My advice? Don’t! Not only will you be caught out faster than you can, you’ll also likely undo any good that has come of your contributions and networking efforts. There is no quick-fix when it comes to social media marketing; ultimately, you’ll be respected more for nurturing your online presence, and allowing your followers to grow with you!
Author Bio - Jack Samuelson is a contributing author who writes articles on numerous subjects, interested in issues of personal rights, online privacy, network security and anonymous surfing. He has been an insightful observer of technologies and their relations with the problems of internet privacy, freedom and independence.