Social media is a way to interact and communicate online among people. It is called social media because here users interact in social context like conversations, comments and other involvement interactions. Social media has made it simpler to publish content , share views and opinions, ideas etc. Since several years many social media have come into existence like Facebook, Twitter, yahoo and so on where you can see millions to billions people interacting from all over the world.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is nothing but a form of internet marketing which includes various social medias like facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google+ etc in order to achieve various branding goals and popularity . This kind of marketing results in “Earned Media” rather than “Paid Media”.
What is the importance of social media marketing?
This form of online marketing helps in building and engaging a community. The engagement of people in your community is very important, without it you are just like a speaker with no one hearing you. By Social Media Marketing you have an opportunity to reach and interact with customers from all over the world. By doing this you build a very good relation with customers than with normal transactions. These relationships are what that keep customers coming back. As the engagement of customers increases, you are building a value for your brand in the industry where you lead to find more customer who trust you and come to you for more resources.
Social Media Marketing and Facebook
Facebook is the most used social networking site with more than a billion users. If it was a country then it would called a populated country after India and china. Facebook can be a media for marketing your brand. These are the main points you need to consider while marketing.
Content and Post timing: The content you post is very important. Use proper language and if possible try to add some pictures that would attract people to read it. Posts with photos, tags are very effective on facebook. The timing you post the content is also very important. Most of the people check in lunch breaks or after dinner. Do check you post frequently and its responses.
Moderation: Brands have high level of responsibilities to user generated posts. Social networking sites is such a place where anyone can post anything which may be positive, negative, customer complaints and so on. You cant avoid them or remove them but try to address to address them. In this social media you have to listen even if you like or not.
Community and Engagement: To build a community you need to make your audience’s share their experience on facebook. Encourage these audience and you can see that a stronger community is built by supporting each other. Engagement is also very important you need to engage yourself in the customers conversations and try to interact with them as much as possible. In the beginning at least there should always be a quick response.
User flow and Credibility: As the page environment of facebook gives a brand, but you should know what you want to show the audience when they visit your page. You need to lead them the places which describe your product and company and other important fields. A brand usually is built on trust and it comes from the language , grammar that you use in your content and page.
Page Favorites: Add other brand pages as your favorite page, it will help in supporting good causes, promote partners and in connecting business with others and so on.
Messages: Most of your customers or audience may send you private messages, mostly they may be related to customer support and other queries. So check them time to time.
Notifications: As facebook focuses on recent activities it will show only recent likes and comments on the posts. But notifications will help you in tracking the older posts which is helpful when tracking by your community.
Response and addressing: In social Media expects quick response to the queries n posts that is munch faster than usual process on non social sites like forums etc. When replying a to a post that is posted by say XYZ reply as @XYZ and then your reply.
Social Media Marketing and Twitter
Twitter is again most used social networking site used widely after face book. It is also a microblogging service where people are allowed to post about 140 words text which are also called as “tweets” posted by registered members and unregistered can only view them. This can be another way to do promote your brand. Some of the points you need to concentrate are:
Direct Messages: You can send or receive direct messages on it they follow you or viceversa. Direct messages are very useful if you want some private information, there is a setting where all can send you DMs but you cannot reply them directly unless they follow you.
Tweets: When you tweet to some person say @XYZ only you and XYZ can see the tweet, if you want other people to see then you can just put a period or other marker infront of XYZ.
Hashtags: By using # tag you are exposing yourself to many audience. People following conversations use # tag , this does not mean that they follow you. #tags shortcut your post and explains and says what your tweet is about. It is a beneficial way to put your ideas and if you are using # tag for business then try to add valuable information not just promoting your business.
Schedule Updates: There is a special setting in Twitter called Schedule updates. As you cannot be online round the clock , you just have to type the information and set the date and time that is when to be posted, it will automatically post it at that time. By this you can easily update posts frequently.
Shortening Links: Twitter also offers automatic shortening link but its better to use separate services such as Bit.ly, Buffer and Hootsuite as they track the content and don’t point to your own web properties.
Twitter Lists: By making list of users you can concentrate on those conversations which are related to your industry. Always avoid and stay away from the lists that rate people or their services. You can avoid those my making your list private.
Social Media Marketing and LinkedIn
LinkedIn unlike facebook and twitter , it is a business oriented social networking site , mainly used for professional networking. This is the worlds largest professional networking site that male connections to the colleagues and business with current and potential employees. Here are some tips that would help you in promoting your business.
Discussions: LinkedIn’s activities can be be viewed in many ways. In order to get into discussions, in “choose your view: Latest discussions” and “ whats happening” and whats happening shows the most recent discussions happened or happening, so you can keep tabs on current conversations.
Be Genuine: When interacting with people on LinkedIn try to be yourself as much as possible. When contacting new person try to make them feel that you actually value them and take interest in them. Otherwise your mail be taken as spam if you generally put a formal mail like “ I would like to add you “ or something like that, try to genuine as much as possible and try to make it a personalized interaction.
Share Content: As connections are very important you need to be conscious about what content you share, all your contents need not be shared just try to share only few contents which you think are important and people would like to know about , as what you share here easy reflects on your brand. One main point is try to avoid the tools which automatically transfer posts from other platforms.
Recommendations: Recommendations from LinkedIn are powerful , but should be accepted only if you know them very well or if they know about your work. When you are requesting someone try to be specific and talk about a certain topic that you may have for recommendation. This makes easier in reaching your goal as you are focusing on a particular goal.
Emails: If you find someone on linkedIn and you want to get in contact with them and be in touch then send an Email, in that mention who you are? and why did you mail?. Why is very important because no one mails without any reason, always try to be specific.
Social Media Marketing and Google+
Google+ is a social networking and identity service. It initially adopted features from facebook and twitter, but differs a little from other social sites. Google described it to be a social layer across Google’s properties connecting a million sites. Following are some of the guidelines that will help you in marketing your product.
Add Value: If you wanna grow your community then be creative. All you have to do is add good stuff that makes people excited and create interest in them to know more. Google+ allows you to share you the content to whom you want to show , use its tool to show your best creativity and give people a reason to follow you, this is what helps in growing your community and here, sky is the limit for you creativity.
Engage and Respond: If you share good content and give a reason to follow you, then try to engage yourself in the conversation. When people take time to read your content and post queries or as for any help or guidance or may be just share something about you brand,the right thing to do is engage and respond to their posts. If you are around and ignoring their posts and leave them hanging to their question that would be the worst thing.
Frequent Updates: If there are any offers, try to update them. Share new content of upcoming technologies, interesting topics on a frequent note by this people get into conversation and the interaction between you and the audience increases. Currently there is no scheduling updates facility in Google+ but you can use other third parties for this.
Notifications: Google+’s notifications shows you all the mentions of your brand on Google+ may be in content, conversations, new circles or communities invites. You can also keep track to the posts that you paid attention to and got engaged in the conversations.
Don’t Spam: When you create an event and post it, some times users may feel they have been spammed when trying that feature. So try to avoid that kind of features as people can directly post, email and oppose you as a spammer. For such kind of feature surely Google+ will find a way to solve them but till then try to avoid those for your company’s authority and respect.
Social Media Marketing and Blogging
According to wordpress more than 33 million articles are posted every day alone in wordpress, it is difficult to find the exact count of articles posted on internet per month. Most of the people now read articles for learning new technologies and interestingtopics than in previous days. Here are some of the tips and guidelines that helps you in maintaining a blog.
Content: The content you publish is very important. Choosing a topic to publish is very important, you need to be careful about it . Mostly try and choose the topics which are related to your industry and sometimes you can also take over the topics of upcoming technologies regarding your field, interesting topics which may be useful to your customers of that industry. You can also choose the topics which entertain people, topics which they would be attracted which are not a part of your industry.
Timing: The time when you post the content is very important. You need to estimate and analyze the time when most of the users are active. As when users are active t, the content you post will be read by them and they can express their views and queries on your posts. Time is not very important but it is one the aspects to be considered as you do not want your content to be ignored or lost among many posts.
Engagement: This is again one of the important things to be considered, when you post a content it is read many people and you get many responses, that may be queries, comments and audience thanking for the information if it was useful, Do not ignore those posts try n attend those posts and reply them, if a post is thanking for the information then respond as hope you got the information in a polite manner. This engagement and interaction in the posts helps in growing your community.
Frequency: Once the blog is started try to update your articles frequently. Now a days when I visit some company blogs its very disappointing to see that the recent posts in the blog are posted several months ago and there are no frequent updates, try to put effort in maintaining the blogs by posting articles frequently.
Style: Blogs are the place where you can raise your voice and speak about your brand fearlessly. Try to put your words in such a way that people should be convinced to what you want to say and what people need to understand. Make sure the content you posts regarding your industry should show up the best qualities that exist in your brand, make the people feel that you know, what they actually want and you can provide it to them and give the best service.
YouTube – Optimization Tips:
YouTube has been most widely used site for watching videos and uploading them. You can use this site by uploading your brand’s content and which will commented, liked, subscribed and discussed about your brand videos. This is one of the kind of marketing but some of the points should be considered and they are
Engagement: Now the comments to the videos are directly connected to Google+. As YouTube is prone to spamming comments , try to moderate them. Now when you reply to some comment try to be polite as you are representing your brand and take care that your brand maintains to add value.
Comment: There may be situations where you need to comment on other videos representing your brand, there again you cannot degrade any brand , you are supposed to comment wisely and watch out each and every word you comment. Try to comment in well mannered , proper language and avoid spelling and grammar mistakes.
Uploading videos: Uploading videos in YouTube is very easy as it accepts any format. Fill out the details which describe your video and be very careful while choosing keywords as they are very important because that helps in showing your video o people. If possible provide transcripts of your video and information that you add your video gives more chances to people in finding your video.
Subscribing: This is similar to following on twitter, here when someone subscribes you, he can see all your recent updates and feeds on your page. If you favorite a video , it will be shared among all the people who subscribed your page.
In Social Media Marketing sky is the limit, there are many other ways such as forums- post queries, tumbler-post articles, reddit and so which are also helpful in marketing your brand. There are more than 50-60 social networking sites where you can interact with people and different communities of the same industry. Whichever may be the networking site be, try to raise your voice for your brand and try to use it tools for the growth of your company and increase value of your brand.