Social Media Marketing (SMM) is an excellent way for you to build brand authority and online credibility for your business. Social Media is one of the most effective ways for you to engage and interact with people who are interested in your products and services.
Social Media Marketing can also be used to bring traffic to your website through the sharing of valuable content. This will attract links to your website which in turn will lead to higher search engine rankings.
Where do I start?
Before you start any social media marketing campaign you should take some time to set objectives for the campaign and be clear about what you want to accomplish. Here are a few of our thoughts to get you started:
What is your topic? What are you trying to accomplish and what is your target market? Do you want to generate inbound links for your website? Are you hoping to attract more subscribers? Or increase the awareness of your brand online?
The best SMM Campaigns are those which have just one primary objective with perhaps 2 or 3 secondary ones. Once you have identified the primary and secondary objectives of the campaign you can translate these into SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & time-framed) goals. A good example might be for you to achieve 25 new inbound links to your website via your business blog within the next 60 days. You can track / measure this via your website analytics package.
How well do you know your target audience? You need to know much more than the basic demographics i.e. age groups, gender, salary range and their education level. In addition to this you need to consider the ‘softer’ issues such as:
- What are they really interested in?
- What are they passionate about?
- Which Social Networks do they spend their time looking at?
- Where do they spend their time joining online discussions,
- What are their reading and learning preferences?
Where Can I Find Out about This?
You need to be a bit of a ‘Sherlock Holmes’ for this. Try to track down where the conversations they are part of are happening:
- Are they members of any online forums?
- Do they have their own blog?
- Do they read other blogs?
- Are there discussions taking place about issues relevant to you on any of the popular Social networks?
- Are their answers being sought to questions on LinkedIn Answers or YouTube?
Once you have the answers to the above questions you will be in good shape to start your social media marketing campaign.
Don’t Forget to Join in Yourself!
Don’t just sit back and wait for something to happen. Join in or even start the dialogue yourself and become part of the social networking community. The level of influence you can bring to bear on the discussions is directly related to how actively you are involved in the conversations. Always leave comments on the relevant forums and blogs, Tweet on Twitter and be active on social networks such as Facebook – you can even setup your own dedicated Fan pages if you wish. Don’t forget YouTube and the other social networking channels which might be appropriate for your business.
Know What People are Saying About You and Monitor Progress.
You need to be aware of what is being said online about you, your business and your brand. Set up a system that will allow you to monitor and listen in on any online articles, posts or conversations about you. You can use Google Alerts (free) or one of the other (paid) monitoring tools available on the web which allow you to track:
- social media mentions
- brand mentions
- blog conversations
- Online press releases and articles
- User Forums
If one of the objectives of your SMM campaign is to improve your search engine ranking you need to be able to measure and monitor your search ranking position in all the major search engines. You should run a ranking report (or ask your Digital Marketing Consultant to run one for you) at the start of all new campaigns as this will be the benchmark against which you will be able to measure progress towards your goals.
If you would like to learn more about running a successful Social Media Marketing campaign please leave a comment below or visit WSIIMS – WSI Digital Marketing Services serving Surrey, Sussex & the South East of England.