Facebook. Twitter. LinkedIn. Klout. WordPress.
You’ve heard the terms, and most likely you use at least some, if not all of the sites/services I’ve mentioned above and others. But how do you use them? And did you know they are excellent vehicles for marketing your business?
Now, although collectively, they are referred to as social media platforms, don’t let the “social” part of the name fool you — the sites above are legitimate ways to market your business.
One of the many hats I wear on a daily basis is Social Media Manager. I have several clients for whom it is my job to run their social media campaigns. I post to their Facebook pages. Send their tweets. Write their blog posts. I also do these things for my own business, which is why if we’re friends on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you are probably almost tired of seeing updates about this blog.
[I hope you aren’t tired of the updates, cuz I hope you look forward to reading my blog, but I had to throw that out there because, well, it was the polite thing to do. :-)]
I enjoy interacting via social media, either as myself, or representing my clients, but I can understand why others might not enjoy the experience. Social media done right, is hard work. Sometimes it’s tedious. Sometimes you just don’t want to be bothered with interacting with others. And that’s okay, but you’ll need to get past that if you want to create an effective social media platform.
Or hire me. 🙂
So, if you are up to the challenge of launching a social media campaign, here are a few tricks I use to get things started.
1. Know your product. I know this should be obvious, but you would be shocked the number of people who don’t really know what their product is. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, what’s your product? Do you have articles you want to sell? Selling an ebook? Or are YOU the product? Decide what you want to market before you start the marketing process.
2. Know your target audience. Who does your product appeal to the most? As a jewelry designer, my audience is primarily female, 9 months of the year. The other 3 months, it’s male, but in those three months, I make as much as I do the other 9 months combined. My writing market is primarily small and home-based business, and solo/entrepreneurs and it’s year round.
3. Go where your targets are. Not everyone uses the same social media sites. Believe it or not, everyone is NOT on Facebook, at least to the point where you can just use it to market your products and services exclusively. Men pay more attention to Reddit and LinkedIn, females are Facebook and FourSquare oriented. Older social networkers are on sites like Reunion.com and Gather. Figure out where your potential customers spend their time, and focus on those locations.
4. Create information for your target audience. If you have a product with a wide appeal, you can usually get away with one informational statement, but if you have a niche product, you will need to target that niche. With the jewelry, I promote everything across the board 9 months of the year, but for those all important 3 months, I go to where the guys are and promote my female jewelry heavily. So, you might have to tailor 2 or more messages to reach the audience you want, but it can pay off.
5. Be consistent. If you are going to market once a week to your general market, and once a week to your niche market, then stick to that plan. If you start out doing one blog post a week to inform your customers of new products or services, then stick to that schedule. Whatever you decide, you should be consistent in your delivery. Delivering around the same time of day is also helpful, but not really required. (So, says the blogger who is still trying to determine the right time of day to post her blog! I’m not perfect, even *I* have to tweak things! :-))
These tips can get you started. If you have any questions or would like getting started, email me or leave a comment.