Vesta Digital Blog

A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing

Posted on: February 26, 2010

Social MediaWe all know that social media marketing can be a powerful strategy. Many articles have been written about it. This article is not about convincing or converting you, it is about setting you up and getting you started.

Facebook

Make a Facebook profile for your business and add as many people as possible. Facebook has become the digital business card for many companies. It allows you to network with old friends and make new ones. All of the people you meet or reconnect with are potential customers. Join a number of Facebook Groups or start your own group if you can’t find one that is related to your business. Create a community – a group of people who will be connected to you through a community will be open to what you are sharing. Don’t spam. Don’t push your product down somebody’s throat. Be respectful and participate in conversations. You are branding your product or service over time, not selling something overnight.

Twitter

Twitter is a social media platform that lets the world know what you are up to. People “follow” you and you “follow” people. It is not about having as many friends as possible like Facebook. You need to be smart about building your “follower” base. Pick a user name for Twitter with a maximum of 15 characters. Fill out your profile and upload a photo or business logo. Twitter is a social tool, not a classified ad. Don’t spam. Be active in the community (tweet and post comments about other tweets often.) Post useful and relevant information and try to engage in conversations.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a good way to get the business results of Facebook without the clutter of wall postings, applications and games. Linkedin has a more influential audience but fewer users than Facebook or Twitter. Like Facebook, Linkedin also lets you reconnect with old friends and make new ones – and they are all potential customers.
Linkedin’s functions surpass Facebook in information filtering and discussions. Businesses can use Linkedin groups for internal and external discussion boards. Linkedin participants are pre-authorized and that can be useful in your work overflow. Linkedin also controls the release of “approved” applications for professional use while Facebook allows anyone to post apps.

YouTube

Video is a necessary tool to complete your social media palette. Create “how to…” or “top tips…” videos and upload them onto YouTube. It has a wide reach and millions of people can see it. Also try Tubemogul or Vidmetrix for even wider distribution. When you make your video, keep the “It’s All About Me” rule in mind. It is fine to brand a video with your website at the end, but direct selling should be kept to a minimum. Humor, controversy and weird stuff works very well – don’t be afraid to experiment.

Blogs

Your website needs a Blog – it is the cornerstone for your social media efforts. A blog increases the number of “keywords” – words or phrases that search engines recognize – and boosts your website’s ranking in all-important web searches. Make sure what you write about – the content – is relevant and timely. Monitoring—and responding to—the conversations taking place on your blog is also important. Your goal is not to obtain momentary awareness but to maintain relevancy over time for your audience.

Submit your blogs to free directories like Article Base and EzineArticles. Subscribe to RSS feeds like iGoogle, My Yahoo Web and other popular RSS readers. RSS is a format for distributing news and other web content. It stands for Really Simple Syndication (RSS.) An RSS feed will increase the reach and visibility of your content.

Do you see a common pattern or thread? Social media marketing is more about making friends than selling a product or a service. So how does this help my business, you may ask. If you do it right, it will build and brand you over time as a reliable and reputable product or service. Because – ultimately – social media marketing is about “trust” and that is a rare and precious commodity in the American business landscape today.

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1 Response to "A Beginner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing"

Rule # 1 Don’t spam. The popularity of those sites is phenomenal. From a business perspective, marketing on those social networking sites can be tricky because the online community hates overt commercial messages. Here is what I am doing right now on Facebook. My marketing approach entails delievring information and ideas to a network of people who are interested in me and my products and services and/or mostly friend to friend communication.

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