Social Media Marketing for Business Framework

A really useful list of criteria for setting up a social media marketing for business framework from Social Media Examiner. It’s all very well talking about using social media for advertising but you need to have a proper strategy that addresses the method behind achieving a positive end result.

#1: What is the goal?

You’d think this is an obvious one… but you’d be surprised how often people skip this step. Another tip: start with the business goal, not the communications goal.

#2: Who is the audience?

Give yourself some depth here. Go beyond demographics and ask yourself what do they look like, sound like and whom do they hang out with when they’re using your product?

#3: Where is the audience?

This an obvious question, especially when you consider social networking platforms. But go beyond the obvious to the not-so-obvious, as in where they are in their lives. It will add a lot of depth to your analysis.

#4: How can I connect with my audience?

Don’t just define this in terms of channels. Ask yourself – from a creative, offer or conversation perspective – how can you best connect with your audience?

#5: How do I extend the conversation?

This is where that yin and yang thing really comes into play. Once you’ve made that initial contact and gained permission to have an ongoing conversation, what do you plan to do next?

#6: How can I get my audience to introduce me to others?

When was the last time you saw this section in a marketing plan overview? Don’t let that be a reason to leave it out of your plan. If you’re going to do something truly integrated, you have to think beyond the conversation to the recommendation. Recommendation is where the real money lies, so think about how you can get your customer to give you one.

The Value of Integrated Thinking

Which do you think would be more effective today – simply pushing the same message in all channels or customizing the role of each channel (and the message) to fully leverage the power and limit the weakness of each channel? And if the answer is obvious to you, why do you think more companies and brands aren’t doing it?

Tom Martin
is Founder of Converse Digital. He works with companies and ad agencies to help them monitor, create and engage in digital conversations to grow market share or increase customer loyalty.

Creating Website Content for Small Business Customer Relationship Management

Despite what some experts may tell you, engaging in social media marketing for business will not produce results quickly. This is a long-term game with connections being made and interaction being undertaken.

However, one of the main problems is learning exactly what to say to promote small business customer relationship management on Twitter. You only have 140 characters and, as I’ve mentioned before, endlessly Tweeting uplifting but recycled quotes is going to become tiresome. This is why you need to utilise a blog or RSS feed for creating website content that is interesting and informative which can then be referred to via a link in a Tweet or Facebook status update.

As a writer, with a bit of research, I can produce relevant articles that address the needs of a website’s audience but this should also be accompanied by a mixture of other transmission methods because not everyone learns effectively through the same type of media. This is why content creation should involve video, audio as well as written posts. Sometimes, it is possible to just transpose my own writing into audio or visual media but at others I need to be a curator – searching the internet for information that will appeal to the website’s audience, whether it be by links, utilising article directories, retweets or rewriting less well composed articles to better relate the ideas.

The next area to be addressed is the question of frequency. How often do you need to post to satisfy both your reader and the Google algorithm’s need for refreshed content. You don’t want to come across as just another marketer by overloading people with useless information, but you don’t want to give the impression that furnishing your site with new content is low on your list of priorities.

And, finally, quality control. It’s all very well having software and automation in the form of RSS feeds, but you need to check what’s being submitted in your/your client’s name prior to publication. You must watch the videos and read the articles that you are offering to your audience as informative content on your client’s behalf. Vet everything, as poorly written content or bad advice will not reflect well and could damage your site’s reputation rather than enhance it.

The best advice when creating website content is to choose your output carefully to ensure that you become a trusted source of valuable information and drip-feed its release.

Learn Twitter for Small Business Customer Relationship Management

One of the big problems with social media is over-hype. Online marketers insist that this is the greatest marketing tool for getting access to potential customers online and small business customer relationship management but they persist in making the same mistakes over and over again. They don’t take the time to learn Twitter and to run a campaign that successfully utilises social media marketing for business, this is vital.

Auto-follow is the biggest no-no. If someone follows you, you don’t necessarily need to follow them. It really depends what sort of Tweeter they are because so many auto-followers do so only to be able to send you thousands of sales messages. They are not interested in clicking links to your sales pages or even reading tweets about your life. And that’s why programs that encourage you to auto-follow and strategies that rely on such programs are doomed to failure.

Reading ‘How To Out-Socialise the Gurus on Twitter and Other Social Media’ by Marty Bradfield (c) 2010 Onlíne Marketing Bootcamp, he talks about how mass marketers are focussed solely upon themselves, whereas those who use social media tend to be social marketers who are dedicated to building and nurturing social relationships with people with whom they would like to do business.

Here’s how he encourages us to learn how to use Twitter in the right way:

The first step to mastering social media marketing is to learn how to attract people. Auto-follow will not ever work towards that end. In order to attract people who want to follow you, you must inspire them to want to follow you.

It is funny when I watch the people who are trying to market themselves on Twitter.

Some of those people will send out an endless supply of quotes, trying to convince you of their value, because they have said something clever through the words of another person.

Others will send out sales message after sales message hoping to attract your business.

"learn-twitter"Still others will try to win your support by focusing on key words. They want to treat Twitter as if it were search engine driving traffic to their website.

Some Twitter users will make certain to include a link with every tweet. The smarter of the lot will only link to information. The more shallow of the group will only link to sales pages.

And finally, there are those who are probably smarter than all of us put together. They are the ones who provide a mix of content. Sometimes, they will give us a link to information. Sometimes, they will link us to the sales page. At other times, they will share quotes and news headlines. And in all cases, they will socialize with their followers, asking about things important to their followers and sharing their personal lives with those who ask.

The Lesson To Take From This Article

Social media marketing works best, when the marketer who is attempting to use it, remembers that first and foremost it is a platform to socialize with other people.

Why do people follow YOU on Twitter?

They follow you, because there is something about you and what you say that appeals to them at a very human level.

If you want to win in the Social Media element, be human and don’t be afraid to socialize with your friends and acquaintances.

Social Media Marketing For Business

A 2009 survey by Alterian discovered that 66% of companies will be investing in social media marketing for business strategy in 2010.

Listening first and then communicating and engaging have become “musts” for any successful social media campaign and a large proportion of those companies plan to utilise more than 20% of their traditional direct marketing budget in social media.

However, it’s all very well saying that but how should a small local business get the best out of any social media interaction? We know that just bombarding potential customers with direct messages or continually linking to products just turns their attention away so what’s the best method of engaging and connecting?

Here’s a great post that talks about how to integrate social media marketing for business with traditional advertising methods.

Local Search Engine Optimisation

Some small business owners are rather scathing of local search engine optimisation but, invariably, this is as a result of it not being done properly on their site.

There are people who will tell you that they rank #1 on Google but haven’t received any customers as a result.

Invariably, this is because their website has been optimised solely for the name of the company.

This is rather pointless because the people who will be searching Google for your company name will probably already be customers.

When selecting the metadata for your site, you need to work out what your potential customers are going to be typing into Google.

But, it’s a bit more complicated than that because, if you are a coffee shop and you just use the keyword ‘coffee’ on your site, you’re going to be in competition with an awful lot of other coffee shops around the world. You need to take geography into account and use local search engine optimisation

If, like Mike at The Ark, you are offering various types of massages in the Southend area, your future client base would be searching for ‘massage in Southend’. If his website did not show up on that search, then his business would not exist to those customers.

However, another reason for lack of customers could be as simple as there is no effective tracking system in place to check who’s visiting your website and where they came from.

If there is nothing on the site that requests prospective customers to let you know how they found out about your business or if no one asks them when they telephone/email, then they may not voluntarily tell you.

You have to set in place proper systems for tracking where your business is coming from – and that includes paid advertising because, without that, you don’t know how effective any campaign is. If it’s costing you money, it is vital that you have a way of working out the value of every customer that is achieved through that method to assess whether the financial outlay is worthwhile.