Social Media Marketing 101

Social media marketing is all the Internet marketing rage. As a result, many companies are charging in trying to find a way to take advantage of it. However, there are numerous pitfalls that you will want to avoid if you go down the social media marketing path.

Let’s focus on three very popular social media marketing methods, including Twitter, Facebook and Blogs.

 

Twitter

Twitter is a social messaging service that allows you to gather followers and to also follow people that have similar interests. The basic purpose of the service was to keep “friends” apprised of your daily activities, but it has quickly evolved into a very powerful marketing opportunity. By seeking to target followers based on demographics, interests, and connection–then sending them periodic messages, you can build a brand and even effective market products and services.

However, before jumping in with both feet, it is a good idea to watch and listen to how other companies are utilizing Twitter. While it is tempting to rush in with your own message, it is best to follow a simple rule of thumb – for every one Tweet you make marketing your stuff, you should make 3-5 that are non-related or even promote things your followers are marketing.

This helps build trust with your followers, giving them confidence you are not merely spamming them and legitimately add value to their network. There are a lot of people promoting things on Twitter, but being aggressive and singly focused on that objective will quickly get you blocked.

Facebook

Facebook operates on a similar concept with Twitter. However, there are some extra features and opportunities. This is a great place for social networking and you allows you to build a very large and targeted audience if you patiently and smartly work on your Facebook profile and connections. Thousands of companies are using Facebook, helping to strengthen their brands and engagement with consumers, notwithstanding the excellent opportunity for very effective for product promotion.

Again, you should avoid the aggressive sell when you are using social media marketing. Subtlety is the key and taking the time to focus on actual relationships instead of trying to broadcast your message is the smartest way to use this channel.

 

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Blogs

Weblogs have gone mainstream and nearly every large company or corporation is in the blogging business. Sun Microsystems is an excellent example, encouraging their employees to blog. You will also find large corporate heads dipping their toes into the blogosphere. This is a different and slightly more evolved form of social media marketing, but it is no less powerful.

The key to blogging is the creation of an audience of targeted readers, by providing them with valuable resources and insight into a niche, community, company, or topic. Whether it’s the latest product news, happenings and events in a local community, or simply free information or pointers to other related Web resources, blogs are a great way to get in touch and stay in touch with your customers and prospective customers.

Again, hard selling is discouraged in blogging, but you do have a little more leeway here with the ability to place graphics that promote your items, as well as occasional posts about an upcoming launch.

Putting Together a Social Media Marketing Plan

All three of these new media marketing methods offer a powerful way to reach out to your customer base, growing your company and increasing sales. By taking the time to utilize these new marketing methods, you will keep your company on the cutting edge and your sales figures going up.

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