I am delighted to have been asked to present the ‘Insight’ slot at the next Crawley Group 4Networking meeting to be held on 14th October 2010 at The Regency Hotel – details here. If you own a business based in Surrey, Sussex or the South East of England and would like to learn more about Social Media Optimisation why not come along and join us?

As a business owner you have many ways in which you can promote your business.  Social Media Marketing (SMM) is an online marketing strategy that will work for just about any type of business.  You can use a social media marketing campaign to strengthen and support your other marketing campaigns – both online and offline.

So What is Social Media?

If you don’t know where to begin I list below the primary social media channels being used by businesses today.  Not all are appropriate for every business, so choose the ones that are the best fit with your business, your objectives and your targeted customers.

Blogging

I firmly believe that blogging is at the very heart of social media and I will always recommend the inclusion of a blog in  my Social Media Marketing strategies for clients.  Your business blog should be at the core of your whole Social Media strategy.  You can include YouTube videos on your blog, Tweet your blog posts on Twitter, post links to your blog on Facebook, display your Facebook badge on your blog, list your Flickr images, etc.

Facebook

This is the biggest social networking platform online, with over 600million members – 25Million+ here in the UK alone!  Facebook has also now become one of the top business networking sites where businesses can interact with fans, connect with targeted audiences, discuss topics, post videos and social advertisements.  If you create a facebook page for your business you should customise it so it reflects your business brand.

Twitter

This is the most famous micro blogging tool and allows you to post short messages and updates to your profile.  Twitter cannot be used to post full blog articles, such as this one so instead use Twitter to link back to your blog, link to  interesting articles  you have written and to use it to start a conversation.  Twitter has a limit of just 140 characters per update (post).  If necessary use a URL shortening service such as http://bit.ly to shorten your URL’S as this will give you more characters to Tweet on.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social networking tool that is favoured by professionals and business people. On LinkedIn you can share knowledge, form alliances, build and enhance your company brand, attract new customers and find new employees for your business. This is a very powerful business networking tool and we consider it ‘a must’ for  anyone that is serious about building their business online.

YouTube:

YouTube has become the world’s second largest search engine, behind Google.  Videos posted on YouTube are an excellent way to reach and engage with a targeted group of people.  You can create and publish short educational videos about almost every aspect of your business, your products or your services.  Once you have uploaded your video to YouTube you can easily embed the video on your website and / or blog.

You should always use attention grabbing references and titles for your videos, include the primary keyword of the subject matter, if possible and then wait for the video to go viral.  You will be amazed how quickly your video will appear in the search results for those products and services.  If you are really keen on video to promote your business you can create your own dedicated YouTube channel to list all of your videos.

One major advantage that Social Media has over many traditional marketing methods is the ability to track results.  Common analytics software such as Google Analytics will give you the ability to accurately measure referral traffic and links to both your blog and your company website.

If you would like to learn more about how Social Media could help your business, visit WSIIMS, Digital marketing Consultants covering Surrey, Sussex & South East England or better still why not join us on 14th October at 8:00am at the Regency Hotel in Crawley, West Sussex?

Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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