Social Media Consultant Deborah Smith recently helped our attendees strategize a social media plan for their businesses. By using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Pinterest, any company can market themselves for little to no cost; but in order to make these social platforms successful for your company, you must dedicate the time. They aren’t going to work and market all by themselves.
If you are curious to know which social media sites you should use, Deborah Smith suggests the following:
- If your company is business to business = LinkedIn & Twitter
- If your company is business to consumer = Facebook & Twitter
- If your company provides visual products/services = Pinterest & Twitter
It’s important to do your research first to get to know your audience and who you want to specifically target. Using sites like Hootsuite and Google Alerts helps make your “tweeting” a lot easier. Hootsuite allows you to organize streams of search queries, schedule tweets, research hashtags and much more. Google Alerts will send you e-mails if any keyword you specifically want Google to search for comes up. Be creative and play around with keywords and research hashtags on Symplur for you to use on your own Twitter account.
- Find targert markets through keyword research.
- Follow prospective people with low follow counts, they will be more likely to notice you just for following.
- For influencers with large follow counts, retweet their tweets to get noticed.
“The first thing you need to do is make a good impression,” says Deborah Smith about starting a LinkedIn profile. Make sure to include a professional headshot, post your city and state, and create a company page. It’s important to periodically post status updates (new hires, new certifications, etc.) on both your personal and company pages but be sure not to overload your connections with unnecessary updates. To get yourself noticed, make sure you complete and optimize your profile, build your network, ask for recommendations, become visible and be sure to include your LinkedIn URL in your e-mail signature and on all promotional/marketing materials.
- Utilize the advanced search feature to find very specific people to connect with.
- To rapidly grow your connection base on LinkedIn, join an “Open Networking” group like LION (LinkedIn Open Networkers).
- Become a paid member and designate yourself as an open networker (one who accepts all invitations) with a mutli-colored wreath next to your name.
- Only invite people who are already on LinkedIn and craft a unique message, don’t use the generic message.
You want to develop a Pinterest business page with eye catching boards that appeal to your target market and create relationships with your audience by interacting with users who pin images from your website or board. Why? Early research indicates that Pinterest is more effective at driving traffic compared to other social media sites, even Facebook.
- Invest in a good camera that produces high quality images if you have products that you want to market.
- It’s important to learn about your followers, so take some time to go and see what your followers are pinning.
- People are on Pinterest to have fun, not to be sold to. So it’s a good idea to post things from other sites and online stores rather than just your own.
Facebook timelines are like mini-websites where you can highlight specific employees, news in your surrounding community and mix in information about your products and services. Your company isn’t going to boom overnight, “you need to do your song and dance to get noticed on Facebook,” as stated by Deborah Smith. Provide questions that get your audience to respond and get talking. Nothing is better than receiving personal testimonials about your products and/or services than from a customer.
- Design custom tabs at Shortstack.com (contact forms, surveys, sweepstakes, etc.).
- Your cover photo should not be a marketing tool or contain any call-to-action (i.e. “Get it now!”, “Tell your friends!”, “Like this page for 10% off”).
- Utilize paid advertisements to target specific audiences by state, town, sex, age, education, etc.
- Pay to promote posts by the number of people you want to reach out to.
Cool tools for Social Media:
- Use StumbleUpon to get even more noticed by targeting by interest, location and demographic.
- Constant Contact for their social campaigns.
- e-Grabber extracts all members of LinkedIn Groups into spreadsheet with phone numbers and e-mail addresses.
For the full presentation, click here for the PDF version.