Social media marketing is exploding as brands are now realizing the potential behind getting involved in building online communities through blogging & social networks participation. By now, many small and large businesses have already tapped into and profited from social media.
So what the best social media marketing strategy for a small business? How do you make it happen for you and your brand? How do you promote your blog, your FaceBook Fan Page, your Twitter account?
#1 – Listen First
- Pay attention! Learn how influencers in your community use social networks, what they talk about, how they engage others in the conversation. Learn from their successes and failures.
- Reach out for help! Ask questions & get advice from early adopters – they can help you promote your brand and your site. Those are the people who’ve been doing this for a long time and understand the ins and outs of social media.
#2 – Be Yourself, but Better.
- Don’t fake it! Don’t try to be someone else just to be more popular. You can only pretend for so long. Be authentic, be yourself. There is only one YOU in the world so rock it, baby! Have personality, be funny, be different, be interesting.
I constantly see people who keep changing their “voice”, their social media strategy. If you do your homework and listen first you should have a pretty good idea of where you fit in and what is your message. Don’t confuse your community by constantly shifting gear. Just because something worked for another guy doesn’t mean it will work for your small business.
- Focus on what you do best! You have a much better chance of success if you concentrate on a niche you are good at.
- Be honest, be social, be real! Stay upbeat and positive. No one likes drama, badmouthing or plain negativity. Represent your brand well.
#3 – Build your community
- Introduce people to one another, promote those who deserve recognition, initiate conversations, answer questions – be helpful.
- When meeting someone new, not only check out their profile but visit their website/blog and leave something valuable behind – blog comment, feedback, etc. They’ll appreciate and remember you for that.
- To grow your blogging community, when someone leaves a comment on your blog, respond by commenting on theirs, if you have something valuable to say.
#4 – Integrate & Facilitate
- Create a landing page on your website that lists all of your social sites.
- Include social links in your email signature & marketing collateral (online & offline).
- Link up all of your social media profiles and make sure you are spreading the same massage, no matter what network.
- Integrate social media into your blog by using TweetMeme, FB Like, or ShareThis tool to enable readers quickly share your blog posts.
- Keep tweets under 120 characters leaving space for retweets.
What’s the most important social media advice? Be social and play nice. Share the spotlight and give credit when due. Focus on giving, not getting and social media karma will come your way.