It may be tempting to jump on the social media bandwagon, but look before you leap. Adopting a strategic approach to social media marketing will give a better return on your investment. Welcome back to the second part of our social media marketing series – designed to enable you to plan your social marketing approach carefully in order to see what works for you and your business.
Remember though – with social media fast becoming one of the most targeted and pro-active marketing platforms the question is, can you afford not to have a strategy at all?
Boosting Business With Social Marketing
In part one we looked at identifying your objectives, adopting the right tone, understanding and publishing to your target audience, being consistent and being interactive. Here are the final steps to planning the ultimate social media marketing strategy.
1. Embrace the Blog
It probably won’t come as a surprise to find that social media and the world of blogging are integrally linked. With RSS feeds, Tweets and Facebook plug-ins now coming as standard, blogging has truly become a part of the social media landscape. Blogs are also a valuable tool for updated, fresh content to keep readers (and search engines) engaged.
Decide up front the purpose of your blog and stick to it – a consistent approach is likely to retain visitors. Perhaps you’re after new clients; interacting with other professionals or simply raising your profile – keep your content concise and relevant.
2. Share and Share Alike
Your work is your most valuable asset, and a great tool for attracting new clients. Finished a new piece of work you’re really proud of? Landed a high profile new client? Finally landed that contract you’ve been chasing? Tell the world about it (be careful not to give too much information away) by sharing a link or posting an update via Facebook, Twitter or your chosen platform. You never know, you may just catch someone’s eye.
Don’t forget though – it’s a two way street. Be careful to retain a balanced approach and use a variety of ways to interact with your readership. No one likes a show off after all!
3. Links are the Key
Just as you can link to your Facebook or Twitter profile from your blog, the same is true in reverse. Virtually every social media platform provides a facility to an external website or blog.
Given the popularity of social media sites, it’s a great way to increase traffic by letting others know you have an external profile they can check out. Either by curiosity or whether they wish to find out more about your service – you’re onto a winner.
4. Social Media and Blogging – As One
As we’ve already touched upon, a blog provides an excellent opportunity for a little cross-selling. Whether you’re tracking tweets, linking to your Facebook/LinkedIn profile or using a widget, don’t be afraid to experiment. Most blogs now provide users with a simple button interface which allows users to click straight through to the relevant page or profile.
Try to engage your readership by making it simple for them to follow you – this is also where relevance and consistency play a key role. If the content is relevant and your message clear, they’re far more likely to be interested in what you have to say.
5. Keep Your Eye on the Ball
Don’t lose track of why you started your social media presence in the first place. Keep your long term focus and build your profile by interacting with your users. A decent social networking strategy focuses on the bigger picture, rather than simply going for the quick win.
Given time, a multi-angle social media strategy will prove far more valuable than your website alone. That’s not to say the website has become redundant, it should become the hub of your overall strategy.
A quick word of warning in closing; manage the time you spend on your social media activities. Keep track of how long you are spending promoting your services. – in fact, try and allocate a sensible and proportional amount of time each week (or even daily) to social media marketing. Call us on 01454 261111 if you would like help planning your social media marketing strategy.