Social Media Intermediate

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There are many forms of Social Media.  The Basic guide talked about why you should use social media.  The Intermediate guide will teach you how to start on each platform.  Each Social Media platform should be treated as a separate entity that works towards a collective goal.  In this guide, I’ll introduce you to blogging (website), Facebook twitter, Linkedin, and my favorite YouTube.

 

Blogging

To blog, you need a website to post your content.  A blog is an online platform for your to express your opinions about anything you want.  It’s a platform with almost complete freedom.  A website is a low cost marketing tool that helps find leads.  It can be used to publish articles, newsletters, or press releases.  You can view each post as an opportunity to connect with a customer.

Establishing the goals of your blog is the first step.  What do you hope to achieve?  The answer will help determine a tone and a theme for the blog.  Do you want to be the authority in your industry?  Do you want to generate more leads?  Do you want to develop a better relationship with your current clients?  Are you looking for a ROI?  Will your blog support your other marketing efforts?  Answering these questions and more can help you determine what your blog goals should be.

Your title should be both brief and descriptive.  Your blog should focus on a niche that makes it different from others in your industry.  The more unique the better and more likely you can use it as a lead generation tool.  Look at other blogs in your industry.  It’s okay to mimic what they are doing… as long as it works.  Analyzing the most successful blogs in your industry can lead to content that you know will get engagement.

When determining how frequently you want to post, consider your user base.  it is more important to be consistent.  Constituency and relevancies are the two factors that maintain a relationship with your user base.  See how often other blogs in your industry post.  Using an editorial calendar will help a lot with the consistency.  You want to make it as simple as possible for people to log in the blog and leave a comment.  You also want them to share it on their social media.

Content should be organized using tags.  This will make it easier to find and access.  Older posts should be referenced.  Readers should be encouraged to subscribe to the RSS feed.  Emails work well.  For tones… try to be talk to your readers.  Remember to stay within the goals you set for yourself.  Figure out what your readers want to read.. and they create that content.

Track your traffic using Google Analytics.  Figure out what pages your readers are interested in.  Encourage participation in your blog.  Respond to comments as fast as you can.  Especially if the comment is a question.  Leaving comments on other people’s blogs can help as well.  Including a signature with a link to your blog is a nice way to create a back link.

Success is not measured by the number of people who read the blog.  But by your own goals.  Don’t spam other blogs.  Remember online manners.

 

Facebook

Facebook has a lot of members.  Most of your customers will be on Facebook.  Figuring out how to engage with them is vital to the success of this platform.  Facebook is a community that is always evolving.  Businesses should create a Facebook Page.  The name should be the name of your company.  Using content from your website, you can create a community.

The key to Facebook is to keep personal things to your personal Facebook.  Like regular Facebook, a Facebook page can consume all your time if you are note careful.   You should create a calendar.  Try to make your posting schedule as consistent as possible.  Plan different posts for certain days of the week.

Engagement is the most important metric on Facebook.  Simply acknowledging your audience goes a long way.  Holding a contest can help as well.  Testimonials are a great way to get references from your users.  Once a month you should invite users to post questions on your wall.  The most active times on Facebook are in the early mornings, before bedtime, and on weekends.  Make sure your best posts align with these times.

You can use Insights to determine trends in user growth and what demographics are engaging.  You can also use Facebook ads to promote your company’s page or website.  Having a custom landing page with a call to action is a good idea.  The more places you link your Facebook the more traffic you will receive.  Offering specials and discounts on Facebook works well.

 

Twitter

Twitter has a special function.  It allows you to connect and talk to others.  You can find new customers and develop relationships with them.  Twitter is more flexible and it’s limitation of 140 characters make it an interesting network for condensing information. For social networking I prefer twitter.  Feedback on Twitter is more instantaneous than on other platforms.  It’s a great platform for judging interest and spreading news quickly.  Having employees have their own company accounts is a good idea since it creates a personal touch.

Selecting a Twitter username is essential.  As a percentage, the username will be seen far more than other words.  Keep that in mind.  Choosing a business logo for the twitter image is important.  There are many ways to customize your background.  Make sure your tweets contain content that targets your followers.  Do research on what the most popular tweets are in your industry.

Make sure your tweets include links, usernames, and hostages.  This will increase your potential for engagement.  Link to interesting stories and retweet other’s in your industry.  You can add articles from your blog.  Try special sales coupons.  Obtain followers by linking you twitter account across social media.

Make sure your tweets are personal.  They should be conversational in nature.  You can use the search features to determine what others are saying.  This will help you increase engagement levels.  Twitter members who mention your company will tag you.  Make sure to respond to them.  Try to bring more people into the conversation and attract more followers.

Linkedin

Linkedin is a Facebook for business people.  It allows you to connection with other professionals.  It has three primary uses.  It helps you keep up with your industry, maintain contacts, and find a job.  It’s one of the better platforms to find a job.  Participation on Linkedin requires less time than other social medias.

You should make sure that your profile is up to date.  Remember Linkedin is a way to promote your business to other professionals.  You want to make a good first impression.  You can use the search function to add contacts.  Making connections means liking their stuff too.  Having a company page can improve your company’s SEO.  Make sure to describe the product and services your company offers.

Try joining groups with similar interests.  You can find groups in the directory.  Participate int eh groups you join.  Make sure to add to the discussion.  You can use Events to find an industry specific event or create your own.

YouTube

Video Marketing is in.  YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion allow you to post videos and reach a different type of audience.  In particular YouTube videos can be searched and found on search engines.  Each video is its own page.  You don’t need to invest in expensive recording equipment.  I use a simple $200 camcorder.  It works well enough. You can even upload from a smartphone. Using YouTube has a host saves you a lot of cost in terms of space and bandwidth.

Determine if there are videos about your industry.  Find out how popular these videos are.  Create a channel with your brand name.  A channel has a landing page for your subscribers or people just finding it.  The channel should have a custom banner, background, colors, and a strong brand identity.  Your username should also be logical inc it’s connected to your brand.

Creating good video content encourages people to subscribe to your channel.  Some popular videos times include demos, testimonials, and reviews.  You can cross promote.  You can generate a video on Youtube and post it on your other social media.  tag videos so search engines can find them.  Make sure your logo and contact information is front and center.  YouTube clips can help generate traffic to your website.  Use Analytics and Insight to determine how people are viewing your videos.

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