Ever had the wild idea that social media is for, well, socialising? Me neither. Any business owner knows that social media sites are an ideal internet marketing venue. Not only this, but they can help your website to flourish.

Social media networks have come as a boon to business. They’re the internet’s watering-holes, where people gather to gossip and chat. What better place to advertise your business? There aren’t many places that can beat social media for customer access, but if you want to make your campaign here really zing, then you need to expand on your goals.

Mounting your social media campaign

Social media should be approached like an election. You want to go out there, get known, and get as many votes as possible. You can’t do this by just sitting around, but you can’t do it with mere bluster, either. You have to get the right mix of telling people what you represent and baby-kissing. You have to be friendly and be a business at the same time; it’s a fine balance.

  1. Spend some time watching others. The best first action to take is actually an inaction. If you’re not already a regular user on the social media site, log on for a few hours to see how people interact – or spend even longer. This won’t cost you much in terms of a time investment, and it will give you a great head start when you do start talking.
  2. Start talking. Once you know how people communicate and what the hot topics are, you’re in an ideal place to start communicating. Don’t worry about selling yourself yet – just get chatting on the topics related to your business. It’s all about building reputation at this stage.
  3. Build and maximise. When you’ve established a few relationships, now it’s time to act. Your social standing at this point can help you publicise your business directly.

It can also:

  • Bring people back to your website – via the promotion you give your content whenever you post content. Simply send out a status update along the lines of ‘Check out my great new article [hyperlink]‘ – but maybe not as cheesy as this; explain what your article is about or hook customers in with a benefit
  • Build your reputation – as you become known for the insightful contributions you make, so your reputation will build
  • Contribute to your link building campaign for SEO – by seeding your links whenever you contribute to a smaller social forum (check which sites nofollow their links if you’re pursuing link building, though).
  • Provide you with audiences for multitudes of marketing ideas.

This might seem like a roundabout way to do things, but you’ll reap the rewards. It’s great to jump in with an advertising campaign for your social media circles, but if you don’t have a following yet, you’re just wasting your investment.

A word of warning

Too many businesses broadcast their business intentions too clearly for social media. If you want to get ahead with your social media plan, you need to employ a little finesse. Social media users tend to shy away from blatant marketing, so it’s best to join in on conversations and take it easy. This may mean going about your business in a more roundabout way, but it gets better results.

Social media campaigns also often require a change in tone in the way you communicate. Many businesses struggle with adopting the friendly, chatty tone common to social media. If you’re unsure, it’s best to spend some time watching how others interact, and then matching.

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