This is part 4 of an 8 part series.
The Eight Essential Steps To Successful Internet Marketing
Step 4: Promote Content Through Social Media
Social media plays a major part in successful Internet marketing. Leveraging social networks can spread business content and increase inbound links to your website. As your network grows, it increases the number of people listening to what you have to say. All of this can help your business revenue grow. Social media allows for direct communication between you and your customers, prospects, and employees. You can use it to drive brand visibility and recognition online.
While there are dozens of social media channels out there, the top three players are: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Before you run out and open up your social media accounts, you need to check marketing analytics and create a plan.
Marketing Analytics Begin with Monitoring Social Media
In order to use social media for your company, you need to tap into industry-related conversation already happening. This offers you vital information and the opportunity to respond. Certain tools can help with these efforts:
Google Alerts - Set-up Google alerts for your company, your brand, your products, your company leaders, top industry terms, your competition, and anything else that will help you tap into industry conversations. You can have them delivered as they happen or in a daily digest. This information gives you insight to what people are saying about your company as well as relevant keywords for your industry.
Hootsuite - This tool allows you to save keyword searches in a live stream so you won't miss what people are saying about your brand, your industry, and your products on social media.
Twitter for Business
If you didn't already know, Twitter is a social network where people share 140-character messages to their network. People subscribe or "follow" another person or company's network to receive messages.
Spending a bit of time seeing what people are talking about in regards to your business or industry will help you decide if Twitter is a good addition to your marketing efforts. If Twitter is a good fit, you can set-up a free account in just seconds.
Use these tips when setting up your business Twitter account:
Use your business name as your Twitter username. For example, if your company is XYZ Company Inc, you can set up your Twitter name as "@XYZCompany."
Use your company logo as the profile image for the account.
Create and add a custom Twitter background for your profile page that offers more information about your business to visitors.
Use tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to identify industry leaders and potential customers that your business should follow.
Facebook for Business
Facebook is the most popular social media site today. As of December 2012, the company had over 200 million active users and one billion accounts created. This audience offers a place to build a community of followers and to increase word-of-mouth marketing.
You can set-up a business account on Facebook for free.
Take time to set-up your profile and use SEO practices throughout
Make your logo your profile picture
Use your new Facebook account to follow industry leaders and potential customers
LinkedIn for Business
Business people created and grew LinkedIn as a professional social media site. Many people use it to connect with potential customers and employers. In November 2012, the company reported over 187 million members. It has become a major place for lead generation, especially for B2B companies.
Much like Twitter and Facebook, you can get a free account on LinkedIn when you sign up. Take time to set-up your profile and fill it in completely. Optimize the profile with links to your company website and blog. This is the page where other companies will come and check you out. Make it accurate and show your passion.
If you want to leverage LinkedIn even more, there are two features that you want to concentrate on:
LinkedIn Groups - Join industry-related groups in LinkedIn. These groups offer a place to take part in industry topics and to interact with industry leaders. It offers a place to make business connections and to share content.
LinkedIn Answers - When someone has a challenge or need, they can post a question to LinkedIn Answers. When you find a question that your company can answer, you have a great opportunity. You can give the answer with links to your company's products and services that address the issue. Not only will the person who originally asked the question see the answer, so will others who search for a similar answer. You can generate high-quality traffic and see a good number of leads from just answering a question.
After Setting Up Your Social Media Accounts
When you have your business social media accounts in place and optimized, you need to take a step that many companies fail to do or only partially do.
Integrate those accounts into your marketing efforts and start using them:
Add links from your website to those profiles to allow people to follow you.
Offer "Like" buttons on your blog posts
Add your profile information to online (website, newsletter, etc.) and offline (business cards, brochures, etc.) marketing materials.
Post updates routinely when you add a new blog post.
Integrate social media campaigns into your marketing plans
Make social media a part of your marketing efforts.
Step 1: Create A Keyword Strategy
Step 2: Optimize Your Website To Get Found
Step 3: Create A Blog & Marketing Offers