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What Is Social Marketing And How Can It Benefit Your Business?


social marketing for business

Defining 'social marketing' can be a slippery slope, as with most general terms it can be whatever you make of it. For myself, it's a form of business marketing that reaches into online conversational media, where there is an opportunity for two-way communications. This can be accomplished through creating profiles on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or setting up conversational tools from within your own site via blogging, podcasting, widgets and RSS feeds.
Tasks such as: article marketing, optimized press releases, webinars, autoresponders, tagging and bookmarking, pay-per-click, sponsorships, site advertising and email marketing are essential to the viability and visibility of any social marketing effort.

How To Use Social Marketing For Your Business And Why You Should

Here are the best things you can do to assess whether a social marketing effort is worthy of your time and resources - because trust me, it takes a lot of both.

Take time to research the different social networking sites to see if there are active and relevant topical groups within your area of interest. This is a simple and eye-opening effort to find whether your target audience is currently engaged in online conversations together. The reasons to use social marketing should become overwhelmingly relevant to you once you find these groups, and see the reality and importance of the conversations.
Warning: It will be like going through a wormhole into another dimension - uncovering one conversation leads to many others, many calling for your participation.

The secret really is to not think of social marketing as 'revolutionary', but 'evolutionary'. After all, it is marketing, and understanding conversions, goals and associated metrics is just as important as any other marketing campaign.
Is your social marketing conversion tied into getting sign-ups for your upcoming webinar or product demo?
Are you seeding influencers with pre-launch information, and sharing free trial downloads?
Are you presenting yourself or organization as leading experts, and becoming friends with influencers?

how to create a social media content calendar

What's The Value Of The Conversion?

- Starting with the end in mind should help you baseline your efforts and forecast costs. By using the appropriate measurement and conversion tools, you will begin to get the insight needed to put your resources where the ROI is good, while pulling out of areas that are resource-intensive or slow to respond.

Integration - The Difference Between Success And Failure

Integration is the most complex and strategic part of any marketing campaign. Don't get derailed by the seemingly infinite variables the social marketing process entails though. Start with an offline construct that you are familiar with, then piece-by-piece begin to expand those processes online.
For instance, most companies and online businesses should be familiar with the traditional 'press release'. If you share your press releases on reputable and trusted press release websites, every post that you release should be perfectly formatted and structured for high search engine results before they finalize the publication of your press release. In-turn, creating an online syndicating 'press-room', which should distribute each PR through their own website RSS feeds, which drives higher search visibility for their content and yours.
Another example would be to do some research and create a list of relevant editorial calendar opportunities from mainstream media publications, then pre-emptively begin discussions within your social networking accounts. Try to include your blog posts and published articles that are related to their topic(s), so as to establish your credibility for the subject well ahead of the submission deadlines. Simple, effective and targeted!

3 Critical Elements For Your Offline/Online Marketing Integration:

1. Content Planning

Don't spend too much time on creating fresh content, because sometimes you can simply go back to what you already have and redesign the content into a different presentation format.
For examples; let's say that you need to plan a presentation for an upcoming trade show. You could take that same content and do a "Top 5 Tips" blog post. After the show, distribute the audio/video as a podcast. This is called 'thematic-based content creation'; take one topic and break it down into many different parts for easy consumption.

2. Align Conversions

Be sure to use offline influence to drive online conversions, and vice versa. For instance; run a specialized URL in a magazine or radio ad, then track how many conversions those offline efforts drove online.
Always make sure that both your online and offline marketing campaigns are driving at the same goal. Don't compete with yourself.

3. Analytical Tracking

Learn and get involved in setting up conversion goal-funnel tracking for your online programs. Find out what sites are driving the most traffic, what keywords are converting, where in the world the people are coming from - and be sure to create a way for those visitors to "engage" in your content through signing up for emails, subscribing to your blog or podcast, or even downloading a white paper.

To your success,
Jonny Tyson

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