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Social media marketing has never been more powerful than right now. A business that doesn’t understand the significance of social media is missing out on the fantastic opportunities that it offers them. We’ve gathered some of the essential social media marketing steps in the following guide to help you get started. Do let us know how you get on.

1. Building a network of followers? Yes, you can!

Let’s start with some basic knowledge and point out that not every business can be equally successful on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn at the same time. And this doesn’t mean that it’s not a good idea, it’s just that these platforms are all quite different and what works on one of them doesn’t guarantee a success on another. Before you invest time, money and brainstorming into social media work, find out which platform has the most like-minded people. Start small, but start at the right place. By interacting on the right network you are building a community around your product or service and the results will follow.

2. Take a look at your content.

There is constant debate whether one should focus on creating original content or use curated content, especially when starting a business. The golden rule is to have at least 20% of your original content and 80% curated, but ideally have more original one. Remember that your followers want valuable information, so if you don’t have it in the beginning, use curated content instead – this simple marketing strategy will save you time and give the same results.

3. Don’t lose interest in social media.

A common problem for many businesses is that they start social media marketing with grand plans and great ideas, however, the lack of instant results leads to them giving up. Within a couple of months, they are already tired of social media and forget about retweeting, following up and at mentions. It’s a serious mistake for just about all types of businesses. Instead of ignoring the power of social media interaction, create a good schedule and stick to it.

4. Inspire and promote proper interaction.

If you have created a blog, keep in mind that your readers want to be given the chance to respond – you don’t want just readers, you want interactions. You need to let users communicate on social media. Include a comment box and ask a thought-provoking question at the end of your posts, when you want to initiate response. Use calls to action as often as necessary.

5. Create and follow your own twitter lists.

By creating and following Twitter lists you make it easier to find like-minded followers – it’s a tool for every business to make use of.

6. Have a goal? Say it!

You need to make sure that you have the right calls to action that will lead to people engaging with your content. Have a clear idea of what you want to happen and use social media tools to guide people.

7. Find the right contacts and follow them.

Another common mistake to avoid is not following your own clients and affiliates. In fact, these are the best contacts you can have – the ones you can build a good dialogue with and get some retweeting from.

8. Join conversations and do it often.

Once you ensure that at least one person in your company is assigned to “join the conversation” under social media posts, you will start seeing the rewards. Having a good presence on social media means having a recognizable voice – conversational tone that is also unique for your business field.

9. Research keywords first.

Conducting full keyword research before engaging in any SEO campaigns is a winning strategy, even for small business owners. Keyword research helps businesses find the best keywords for their campaigns – this is the core of online marketing. Optimize your website based on your location – use locally optimized title tags, create a Geo sitemap, add buttons that encourage reviews and work on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.

10. Respond in real time as much as you can.

Whether it is a blog comment, a retweet or an email sent to your company website, the time you take to respond is what will make you stand out from the crowd. Followers and readers want prompt response that is personalized and provides a course of action.

11. Know the ultimate rules for social media success.

Whether your business is successful on the social media networks depends on a number of objectives. Remember them and implement them:

  • Listening – Research and understand who your customers are and what they want.
  • Talking –Have a content strategy that supports your business goals and marketing strategy, but remember to be social.
  • Engaging – Search for people that can serve as leaders and spread their ideas, using social media.
  • Accepting – Be open-minded to allow your community to share and communicate.
  • Listening – Yes, we are saying it again. It’s that important.

12. Stay patient, but be persistent.

Social media success doesn’t come overnight; building a solid network of followers and contacts happens one step at a time, content by content and response by response.

13. Don’t lose sight of the larger pool of people outside of your business.

Social media is without doubt a huge space for interaction, but don’t limit your interactions only to your target audience. Keep track of what is going on outside of your business. It’s important to get to know your customers and elicit feedback. Also you need to understand what your non-customers are saying and use social media tools to do that in real time. It was Peter Drucker who coined the phrase “non-customers” and the importance of finding out who these people are and why they aren’t your customers.

14. Avoid upload overload.

Moderation is key – don’t forget that. Users could end their social connection with your business just because you post too many updates. Try to stay fresh, to educate and communicate, but don’t cause clutter on your social media profiles. Don’t overdo it – too many at mentions, retweets and links can be a putt-off.

15. Estimate the time and cost you spend.

Social media may look like a free platform, but the time you spend updating, looking for relevant content, commenting and responding isn’t cheap at all. Most businesses state that finding quality content and providing the right links and further readings is what takes the longest time. Add to this Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, keyword research and all the other tools you are using and estimate how long and how much social media costs you.

Which tips and ideas do you follow for your social media marketing? Do you have a golden rule? Share some of them below.

2 Comments

  1. Nick Dogulin on 2nd August 2013 at 6:58 am

    Hey Gavin! Nice post. There are lots of marketing strategies nowadays but i agree that social media marketing is one of the best method for marketing today. Well its because almost everyone uses social media site today. Keep posting blogs like this. Thanks!

  2. Andrew - Mint Online Marketing on 25th November 2013 at 11:58 am

    Great guide for businesses out there. The way to think of social media is that it is the voice of your business. So the tone, content and usefulness of what you say must portray your brand correctly. Social media can be a direct link to your target so you need to focus on being engaging and trying to start conversations with the influential people in your market.

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