They’re far too many people selling seminars and info products on social media marketing these days who know absolutely nothing about social media. Their goal is to rehash information they have learned from other gurus in hopes of making a fast buck off people who know less than they do. This process leads to the blind leading the blind.
Here are my five basic tips for handling the ever-growing number of social media marketing outlets. Obviously there are more than five really good tips to help you shape your media strategy, but this at least is a start in the right direction. Of course, these are only my opinions but I’ve seen them work in the practical universe.
#1: Choose The Media Platforms Where You’re Most Likely Prospects Will Be Found
Forget about the latest whiz bang nifty social media tool or community. If you’ve taken the first steps for effective marketing (knowing who your ideal customers are and where they hang out), you should have no trouble identifying the appropriate social media platforms for your target market will most likely be.
There’s no sense in putting a lot of work in twitter posts if most of your potential clients hang out on LinkedIn. If you are unsure, ask a few of your customers or prospects. Conduct research to find out where your prospects are and what they’re looking for. Set up Google alerts with key phrases relating to your industry.
#2: Focus On Just A Few Key Outlets If You Are Short On Resources and Time
Don’t waste your energy and your money trying to be everywhere at once. Pick two or three communities and focus your efforts in building relationships. Take a few minutes a day reviewing various posts or discussions than craft an article or video that can contribute to the discussion. You may be able to distribute the same material across several platforms.
Avoid selling in your content. Communicate with your groups with relevant information that can inform, entertain or solve the problem. You can build a reputation as an expert in your field through this tactic. You can even transfer your audience from the social media platform to your blog or website where you offer even more in depth information on a particular subject.
#3: Use Social Media to Connect With Industry Leaders
As you make a name for yourself online, you’ll find it easier to connect with social influencers. If you are seen as an expert in your field and are generous with your knowledge and experience, you’re more likely to get a response from an influence. For example, if you are sharing information sent out from an industry leader on a regular basis, you’re more likely to get their attention when you try to connect with them.
Avoid inundating influencers with your material; the best strategy is to think of yourself as an influencer and act like one. Develop your own community of followers and build your reputation first. This will allow others to see your value and treat you like a fellow influencer.
#4: Repurpose Your Resources and Develop a Strategy for Sharing
If you are regularly contributing to your company blog and perhaps YouTube, send out excerpts to your social media platforms with a link back to your posts. There are several applications that allow you to link various social media platforms together and automatically update your messages directly from your blog.
This strategy allows you to save time and resources by posting once where it counts; on your own website. Always save your best material for home base. You’ll want to have the good stuff available where the search engines will credit you. You can always link back to it, that’s driving more traffic to your site.
#5: Make Your Goal to Build Your Own Community
Becoming an influencer should be your top priority when it comes to social media. Platforms will come and go in the next best thing is just around the corner. As you build relationships online while cementing your reputation, develop your own network.
Whether you choose to start on Myspace, Twitter or Facebook; you should have a group of people looking forward to hearing from you each week. This means generating great content and passing it along on a regular basis can help you achieve great things in the long run.
Building your influence online does not have to take a lot of time, energy and effort. You can schedule your activities to be effective in only an hour a day. You can be building your online reputation in the time it takes to watch another rerun of Law and Order SVU. I can show you how to put together relevant content and distribute it throughout your social network in less than an hour. If you don’t have an hour a day, you can still produce meaningful material at least once a week.
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