We’ve all heard plenty about social network marketing strategies in the past few years. It seems everything has a social networking component and we all need to know how to leverage these sites if we expect to be successful professionally or personally. But, it’s not as easy as signing up and spewing one long sales pitch. When you leverage social networking for marketing purposes, it’s a bit more nuanced than that.
When you choose to join a social network to use as a marketing tool, you want to keep a few things in mind. There are millions of people on every social networking site and they won’t pay attention to you if they don’t think there is something in it for them. Following are seven social networking marketing strategies you can use to build your brand most effectively.
1. Have something to say – As stated earlier, your social marketing strategy should be more than a sales pitch. Choose an industry focus, link to current events and offer expertise to illustrate your thought leadership. These things are useful to people and they will come back to read more of what you have to say.
2. Be part of the community – Social networking is a give and take. If you expect others to be part of your network, you need to be part of theirs. Comment on things, repost and share what you like. People like it when they’re updates are picked up by others and will respond in kind.
3. Keep it professional – While your favorite social network site may refer to those in your network as “friends,” they are not. You should keep your personal and business social networking accounts separate.
4. Update regularly – The great thing about social networking sites is that you can share a link to a news story or another site and call it an update. Don’t get bogged down in too much content or you won’t update regularly.
5. Don’t take it personally – If someone says something you don’t like, ignore it. Your social network presence is an extension of your personal brand and you want to maintain a stellar image. Report anything intensely inflammatory but do so behind the scenes.
6. Find your niche – Whether you choose to focus on a specific market segment or product, you will achieve the greatest success (and the largest audiences) if you find your niche rather than speaking broadly on a topic.
7. Tag everything – Whenever you can optimize something for Web searches on a social networking site, do so. Tag blog posts with appropriate keywords, link back to your site and add an auto signature to your comments.
Social networks are an integral part of your overall marketing strategies. They offer low-cost, high-visibility campaigns with proven success. As you leverage them as part of your own marketing strategies, always remember that these are marketing tools.
With that in mind, every word should be as cautiously chosen as it would be for a brochure, newsletter or Web site. While the vehicles may have changed over the years, the message must still remain consistent. Your social network marketing strategies will yield far greater returns and increase traffic more effectively when you choose one message, one voice and one target audience.