You can’t go anywhere these days without hearing someone talk about Twitter or Facebook or You Tube – all forms of social media. But how do you start utilizing these social media networks – or should you? All good questions and ones you should ask yourself before diving into twittering, posting on Facebook, Linkedin or blogging.
All of these social sites are about branding – whether for your business or yourself personally. So the first question to ask yourself is how you can “build your brand” utilizing social media. In order to do this – you need to have a clear vision of what your brand is and to be consistent when building brand equity across the board. If you notice, the people who are good at utilizing social media are consistent in their messages.
Some thoughts and tips for social media marketing:
- Share your knowledge – create awareness of who you are. Social media is about sharing. People don’t want to be “sold” or “pitched” or “spammed”. Think relationship first – business 2nd. When marketers move in – members move out. Be authentic and genuine. Be part of the community. Build trust.
- Become part of the conversation – comment on people’s blogs, Facebook etc. This helps you build your reputation and trust in the community. Create viral visibility – be seen everywhere, in all the right places by all the right people.
- Drive people to your website or blog from Facebook or Linkedin. Both are SEO friendly and will drive traffic to website and blog. Make sure you complete your profiles, upload a photo of yourself and have an interesting bio.
- Create a fan page on Facebook – Facebook allows you only one Facebook profile but you can have as many fan pages for your business or businesses that you want. Provide relevant interesting information about your business with direct links to your website and blog.
- Use the “answers” section in Linkedin to start a discussion. Add value to a conversation. Show your expertise.
- Tweeting – keep it conversational, keep it simple, use keywords and hashtags #. Use tiny urls or bit.ly and link directly. Increase visibility and brand awareness. Be a resource.
- Blogs – Be engaging. Tell people about yourself – information they don’t get from your website. Tell stories that compel people to want to do business with you. Use keywords for SEO. Syndicate your content. Add value that is relevant for your target audience so they will return. Think of good headlines.
- Everything is viral so use keywords, provide links and relevant information that people will want to share.
Essentially there are no gatekeepers in the arena of social media marketing. Your cost to build your brand is in sweat equity – not dollars and cents. It’s your own personal PR machine to build and control your message. Be a voice, be genuine, provide relevant information and be part of the conversation. Ultimately, you will create a buzz and an awareness of who you are and in turn this electronic “word of mouth” will spread virally and will lead to opportunities.