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Now that you have a unified established presence within social media there are several steps that would be beneficial to building a captive audience. Outlined below is a guide to help understand functions and timing for an effective social media marketing campaign. The most important concept to consider when connecting with customers is social media is relationship based. Communication must be handled with courtesy and respect. Spam will not be tolerated by the community and could hurt your chances of making a marketing impact.
Step 1: Find your friends and customers.
Most social networks allow you to upload a contact list from Gmail, Yahoo or MSN. Uploading will enable you to search for people you already know on networks you are now on. It’s as simple as locating the “find friends” on the network and entering your email and password. Once you find them, add them as friends.
Step 2: Listen with alert tools
1. Google alerts: Google scans the internet everyday to find subjects related to your business and topics with your business name. Not all alerts are exact matches to your company due to the way search engines rank relevant key words. Once you find an article or review, make contact with the author and if it’s positive, put it on your blog. Boast how great your company is!
2. Backtype: Backtype searches article comments for relevant keywords. This is also another simple way to find people that are interested in your business. This service is still in its infancy, but it could yield some positive results.
3. Tweetlater: Tweetlater allows a business to be notified when someone has mentioned your business in a message. This is a great tool to find fans of your business and communicate with them. Tweetlater also allows you to send an automatic message to people that have started to follow you and automatically follows them back.
Step 3: Broadcast
1. Messaging: Social media is a tool to not only advertise your message, but also put a personality to your business. With the alert tools in place, you can target people you know that like your business or products your business offers. Announce specials, new products, events, etc. on Twitter, Facebook and your blog. Once you have followers; set at weekly, or if you have time, daily announcement/update for your business. Constant contact will allow you to grow your business fellowship and strengthen your customer loyalty. Most importantly, be fun and have fun. People want to be around fun things. If you are fun, you will grow your customer base.
2. Couponing: Certain websites allow you to coupon next to your profile. Use this tool to drive customers to your business. Coupons are extremely easy to set up and will notify you via email when they are about to expire. Below are websites that allow couponing.
a. Blog: nothing is better than your own real estate to advertise. Use your blog to announce anything and everything
b. Yelp: Announcements shows in your profile. Can be updated unlimited times a month. 30 day maximum expiration.
c. Google: Coupon is printable and shows in your Google Map profile.
d. Insiderpages: Insiderpages allows for unlimited couponing with a very broad audience that includes Citysearch (one of the most trafficked websites in America)
e. Judy’s Book: Simple and feeds into MSN searches
f. Kudzu: Simple login and coupon creation. Small audience, but good search placement in Google.
g. Merchant Circle: Same as Kudzu and simple to produce.
Examples of effective Social Media Marketing:
Effective Social Media Marketing does not happen overnight, but with time and constant contact will drive customers to your business. Bonfire recommends dedicating one hour per week to updating and keeping your network(s) alive. Your business’s online presence is a living thing and can only survive by remaining active to your followers.