No one can deny the fact that communication with customers is of the utmost importance to every internet marketer. Blogging has opened up doors to attain effective communication with customers. The social media emerges as the latest and most promising method to fulfill this aim. Marketing on the social web paves the way to new marketing possibilities as its strategies reach out into new forms and media.
The marketing mindset of today is essentially focussed on the building of relationships through effective dialogue. The next vital element will be virality for the social web marketing campaign. Virality must be attributed to good content about good products and services that will set the viral effect into motion. To achieve best results, marketing strategies must include complete integration of marketer and business into the relevant online community.
(1) Gain more understanding
Before embarking the path of marketing on the social web, it is imperative to do some research about the social media and the opportunities that are available on the social web. There are indeed many online communities that offer interactive communication. They provide the best ground for the development of relationships. A little bit of research will go a long way. Find out what the communities are offering in terms of content. What topics are they frequently talking about ? Are these communities large in size? Listen attentively to such conversations that may originate from customers, bloggers and even analysts. Important information thus derived may be of great help to formulating your strategies for marketing on the social web.
(2) Invitation to join your community
Openly invite others to join your community. This will pave the way for others with similar interests to communicate with you, and share with you their opinions about your product or service, or even offer good ideas to take your business up another level. In the process of interaction, better relationships are being fostered. Suffice to say, in order to shape the community that you intend to have, it is imperative to locate the right target audience. All of your efforts will be directed strictly to this target audience. You will be able to provide value when you are focused. Work in line with your marketing plan to get content that will support your strategies, and subsequently build up momentum to engage your customers.
(3) Decide on your appropriate platform
Having laid down the marketing goals and having drawn up the appropriate marketing plans , the next vital decision is to decide the best platform that will propel your marketing on the social web. Conduit strategies include social network, blogs, reputation aggregators and e-community. Each of these platforms is a specialist in its own right. Each provides various opportunities to different marketing goals. You should have ready your answers to questions on your target audience and marketing objectives. Next it would be wise to check out more about the characteristics of the audience as well its level of interactivity. This will provide the necessary information to help you provide the right content and add more value to your community.
(4) Good content
Getting readers back to your site more regularly can only be achieved by writing good content. Content helps to engage your readers. If content is good and relevant, readers cannot wait to return for more. For marketing on the social web to be successful, readers must be satisfied and feel at home with your content. The content must connect these readers convincingly. Readers will in return contribute to the conversation through feedback and comments. Always pay attention to what they have to say. Good content will ultimately lead to strong interaction and further building of relationships. Make customers feel worthwhile staying in your community. Do not cause negative repercussions by making the mistake of asking your customers about everything too frequently.
(5) Keep track of progress
Progress for your campaign must be kept. This can be done by determining the appropriate metrics that will help you track the movement. It is important to ascertain what is the actual direction that your community is going. This is vital to your future plans in terms of providing more value and giving them better experience in your community. Keeping track of progress will help you revamp your strategies if necessary. Your community initiatives should be implemented in alignment with your marketing objectives, which may include the improvement of customer and channel relationships, building brand awareness and market share, and the financial improvement of your return on investment.
(6) Actively promote
Promotion is integral to marketing campaigns. It applies to marketing on the social web too. There are many communities on the web. Participation in forums, writing your comments on other blogs and involvement in guest blogging are helpful ways by which promotion can be effected. MySpace , YouTube and Facebook are all excellent social networks which often open more opportunities for interaction and viral marketing effects. Sites such as LinkedIn and Squidoo are worthy considerations not to be brushed aside. LinkedIn provides opportunities for professional networking. Squidoo accepts all topics that will be viewed through lenses. Do not forget to insert your URL in all forms of media both traditional and digital. This will definitely increase your visibility. Multimedia outreach certainly works wonders.
(7) Optimize your site
Needless to say, improving your site through optimization will make it more friendly to your community and to search engines. Your customers will be interested to make the return trip when they find your site easy to navigate, contains great content, and providing them with the best possible experience. It is indeed wise to pay attention to what your site visitors have to say and respond to them accordingly. Constantly perform reality checks on your site; look out for new innovations to surge ahead of your competition. Add new features and new tools to enhance the appeal of your site. Visitors will acknowledge that your site is fresh and fun to visit.
Proper organization is required. The presence of an attractive environment and community will serve the dual purpose of inviting customers to spend some time with you and to close sales. The creation of comfortable spaces specially for your customers where they will feel at home will surely bring them back for more. Ultimately, there can only be success for your marketing on the social web campaign.