Social media marketing is an essential tool in building your brand. It will drive traffic to your site and increase brand awareness. You have to participate in the social media landscape because all businesses are establishing a presence and you will stand out if you don’t. But what can you do right now to get started?
1. Hire a social media marketing firm
The fastest and easiest way to declare yourself part of the social media marketing world is to hire someone to do it for you. That’s what Stephanie Lichtenstein’s company MicroMediaMarketing.com does for its clients. They monitor your social networks Monday through Friday, watching for specific keywords and finding out what people are saying about your company.
Of course, this might not be a financially viable option for your company so the next best thing is to…
2. Have a social media marketing firm train someone in your company to be the in-house representative
You never want to hand over social media duties to someone who isn’t educated in the platform. Your company’s name is at stake and it would be foolish to take chances. Instead, appoint someone in your company to receive the proper training so that they can be the go-to social media contact.
If you are reluctant to hand over social media to anyone else, then there are things you can do to get the ball rolling on your own.
3. Sign up for social media accounts
- Sign up for a business page on Facebook because it is against Facebook policy to represent your business on your Facebook personal profile. It will also entitle you to some benefits like targeted marketing, sponsored contests, and promotions.
- Create a company page on LinkedIn. You are essentially establishing a presence for business connections because LinkedIn doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. But you do want to include as many keywords as possible and join all the groups that you are a member of offline.
- Sign up for Google Plus. You can sync it with your Gmail account. Google Plus is indexed high on the Google search engine. Another Google benefit? You can have multiple pages underneath one administrator.
4. Clean up your blog/website
You want it to look as professional as possible because you will be directing a lot of traffic its way. If you have a WordPress site you can add plugins that will automatically update Facebook and Twitter when you add new content. WordPress has many other plugins to make your page look professional, including Bluberry to add podcasts. Don’t even have a hosting company? Find out how to sign-up for Bluehost.
5. Establish a publishing schedule for your content topics
A content calendar is a simple way to keep everything in one place and create consistency for your visitor. They should expect that certain days will include certain topics. For example, every Wednesday may be Wardrobe Wednesday with tips to enhance the items in your closet. Then they will oto check your content every Wednesday.
6. Think seriously about customer service.
- Develop a FAQ list. Everyone in your company who answers questions on social media sites should be giving the exact same answers. So take the time to come up with standard answers and then train your employees on how to respond. You don’t want multiple interpretations being sent out from different sites or your company will end up having to make sense of it all later- when customers begin picking up on any inconsistencies.
- Establish a system to handle customer service issues in real time. Customers are used to things being taken care of quickly. And it doesn’t take long for a negative comment about your company to be posted everywhere, leading to a backlash. Be ready to deal with customer service issues as they arise. Remember, you are increasing your company’s presence in a major way with social media and will be exposing your company to situations you may not have had to deal with before.
Your goal should be to educate, entertain, and establish yourself as an expert in your niche. When you do use it correctly, social media will help you to grow traffic and build your brand by attracting the right kind of attention to your company.
Mike Kelley, who started the company http://www.shopwpthemes.com, finds WordPress sites more appealing than traditional, static sites because of their flexibility. He likes showing customers how to share information without the trials of static sites. Mike and his wife Beth live in Townsend, on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.