We’ve shared a lot of our ideas about social media marketing, along with some tips for turning your Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter profiles into sources of new traffic and sales opportunities. Today, we want to recap some of our best advice for those of you who might have missed it.
Here are a dozen of our favorite social networking tips and strategies:
1. Know what social media is really great for.
Social sites are wonderful tools for spreading news, building relationships, and sharing things that are fun or interesting. On the other hand, they are terrible forums for hard sales pitches and head-on marketing. Remember that, and send messages accordingly.
2. Use your social profiles in tandem with other strategies.
In most cases, social media shouldn’t be your only (or even primary) source of traffic and online sales opportunities. It’s best to use your profiles in tandem with other tools like search engine optimization and email marketing if you want to create real business results.
3. Customize to make the right impression and get the right results.
A default or incomplete social media profile isn’t very inviting to new contacts. The small amount of time and/or money you’ll spend on getting custom timelines and profiles is well worth it once you start collecting fans, context, and endorsements.
4. Treat your profiles and updates as searchable content.
Because the major social media sites all contain search features where people can look for you and your content, it’s important to have a handful of keywords sprinkled in here and there. But, as with your blog, use a few and then take it easy.
5. Don’t be a LinkedIn wallflower.
LinkedIn is especially important because it’s where professionals go for networking and recommendations. Get involved with industry groups and discussions, and you’ll see people naturally start to seek you out for your ideas and opinions. Your contact list will grow from there.
6. Use endorsements to build your case.
Nothing you can say about yourself or your company stands up to what others who have done business with you in the past can say. Use endorsements on LinkedIn to boost your credibility, especially if you have high-profile customers or contacts who can vouch for you.
7. Tweet with two audiences in mind.
When you tweet, you should always think of your followers, and then anyone else who might happen upon your messages. That means crafting ideas that are easy to re-tweet, but it also means never tweeting anything you wouldn’t want out in the public.
8. Give Google+ special attention.
As one of the fastest-growing social media sites, Google+ deserves attention on its own. When you factor in its relationship to the world’s most popular search engine, though, it’s easy to see why you can’t ignore your G+ profile. Make sure yours is updated continually, and that your circles are growing. Give a great site a boost by +1-ing theirt page(s).
9. Use Facebook to grow real fans.
Anyone, if they try hard enough, can have lots of friends and fans on Facebook. That doesn’t mean anything if they never have any intention of doing business with you, though. So, engage customers with one-on-one communications and relevant updates. Over time, you’ll start to build lasting relationships with buyers and colleagues. We’ve found that Facebook works better for retail than it does for business, though the added activity in socila is a strong signal to search and your site is worth ranking.
10. Tap into the Triple Crown of social media marketing.
Humor, photos, and quotes/statistics are all fun to read and easy to pass along. Put a steady diet of each into your social media updates.
11. Don’t expect things to happen right away.
Social media marketing isn’t usually a quick process. Expect to gain contacts over time, and then to spend even longer cultivating them to generate sales opportunities. Stick with it, though, and great things start to happen. Your connections are your AUDIENCE.
12. Measure your social success using the right metrics.
Your number of fans, or “likes,” can make good short-term indicators. If you aren’t turning social media contacts into customers after a while, though, you’re looking at the wrong kinds of progress.
Social media marketing is still growing and evolving, but it can be a fantastic way to develop relationships and build brand awareness. If you don’t think you’re making the most of social sites, talk with Kayak today and see how we can help!