Learning the basics of any individual website or application should be the first task you take on when expanding into social media. If you do not have the time to do this yourself, then consider training your staff or outsourcing as an alternative, to do the technical side.
The next step is to understand the etiquette within the social media communities you are using. Upsetting friends and followers is a quick way to get reported and your account either suspended or banned, which will reflect badly on your image. So be careful as the interaction between your company and the wider social community is critical to your brand and is best done by yourself or trained employees.
Everyone knows about Facebook but what are the other alternatives from the hundreds of communities on the internet and which are the most popular? Here are the ratings for the last 12 months with some sites you may not have heard of.
Say for example you decide to create your campaign on Twitter, you should learn the core methods for replies, mentions, retweets, linking and messages. The same idea applies to each new social media site and learning these functions gives you the foundation to begin expanding your campaigns to suit your business as you see fit.
Devise a plan before attacking social media marketing. Figure out who will manage the pages, what type of layout you want, and how much time you would like to invest. Just like any other marketing campaign, have a set timeline to accomplish your goals. Stick to your plan as firmly as you can, and you will find success in social media marketing.
Map out your objectives and goals for participation when starting a social media marketing campaign. Make them available throughout the company so that everyone within the organization is on the same page. Results from social media marketing will be more productive and better focused when all activities are aligned and working towards the same goals.
When you begin a social media marketing campaign leave room for trial and error. Depending on your target audience, some things that are effective for other businesses, may not work for you. Watch for what is and is not working, then make changes as necessary. This will show your customers that you are connected with their needs as well.
Applying social media marketing strategies will boost the success of your business. Take advantage of the many social media tools available to spread awareness of your business, and interact with your customers.
The internet is a great place to track results but does require careful planning to create the right processes for split testing and data collection. There are many reporting tools available and many are built into existing applications, but you must decide what you need to measure to determine the effectiveness of your campaign.
Incorporate the tips from this site into your overall marketing strategy and realise the rewards of social media marketing.
Peter and Clive
The Social Media Marketeers