As this section draws to a close, I want to emphasize a few more points about the importance of social media marketing as part of your business plan and some tactics you can employ.
The number of choices and the rich variety of social media that is available today combined with Mobile marketing makes it possible to creatively promote your products in the right way, to the right audience, with startling accuracy.
Creativity and imagination are important factors that must be used in the development your marketing strategies. But, for the strategies to produce results, you must be consistent and provide a steady flow of quality content to your fans, followers, and subscribers.
Stay connected, keep them engaged, and invite them to stay connected with you.
Use Follow and Share Buttons
The first step is to understand the difference between share buttons and follow buttons and when to use each of them.
Social Media Follow Buttons
The purpose of these buttons is to build your presence across a variety of networks. The goal is to extend your reach on those networks by generating fans and followers.
The buttons can be placed on all pages of your Website, but at the very least they should be on your homepage, your blog, and your “About Us” page.
DO NOT place them on sales pages or landing pages. Those pages must be singularly focused. You do not want anything to distract them from your call to action, which is to buy!
Social Media Share Links/Buttons
The links and share buttons make it easy for visitors to share your content with their own social media networks. When these links/buttons are available to viewers, it provides the opportunity for your content to reach new audiences and create more traffic (new visitors) for your Website.
Social media sharing links/buttons should be added to every piece of content that you create – web pages, individual blog articles, email content, etc. – and landing pages.
For a detailed outline on how to use the important social media buttons available for each of the top five social networks, read: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Creating Social Media Buttons.
For a wide selection of free buttons, go to 125+ Best Free Social Media Icons Buttons. The sample images come from that site.
Learn to Cross-post
If you want to generate massive sales rather than modest sales, learn how to cross post between your sites and multiple social media. Cross posting increases the chances of your material going viral. This is particularly important now that Facebook’s organic reach has declined so drastically.
The social media networks have made cross-posting easy, so take advantage of it. Cross-posting will maximize the power of your content. It helps you move from single exposure on one network to massive exposure across every social media network that you use.
For an introduction on “how-to” cross-post, read this article: Social Media Cross Posting tools.
Using graphics in your social media posts is more important than it has ever been.
Why? Two Primary Reasons . . .
- Facebook’s Edge Rank algorithm
- The growth of Pinterest
Facebook’s Edge Rank Algorithm is in a state of flux. Their original goal shown below seems to have backfired:
EdgeRank was put in place to ensure users don’t get overwhelmed by content and to reduce spammy content in favor for interesting content.
Instead it has become difficult to get any real exposure for your postings unless you are willing to pay to “Boost” the post. Who knows where FB will go from here. The only thing that seems to be a constant is that photo posts have the highest priority.
The arrival of Pinterest on the social media scene has changed things dramatically. It has blown social network statistics sky high. It is particularly popular with the female demographic and is something you must explore if you have not already done so.
This is a different platform from most of the others, but great fun and incredibly popular. It is all about sharing images on “Pinboards” that you create. You choose the focus for each board, based on your personal interests. Some of mine include: “Celebrating Women” “Roses, Roses, Roses” “Our Beautiful World” and “The Life of a Writer.”
It is easy to log onto Pinterest with your Twitter or Facebook account, once you have signed up. A word of caution – signing up is a little quirky – you need an invitation. This is easy enough to do, just ask one of your friends from Facebook to invite you – or ask me J.
Do not sign up without an invitation. You can, but it could take up to three weeks before you are “accepted” and allowed to join.
There is a lot of cross-sharing between Pinterest and Facebook. In fact, there is a box you can click when posting on Pinterest that will automatically post your new “pins” on Facebook. This type of cross-posting not only allows you to take advantage of Facebook’s Edge Rank algorithm, you can also use your Pinterest “pins” to drive people to your Websites and other social media platforms such as YouTube.
Pinterest has some distinct advantages over other social media platforms – especially for newbies.
- It has one of the best and easiest-to-follow Help section. It is a clearly written, step-by-step “How-To” manual. Do yourself a huge favor and read it carefully.
- The Pinterest Goodies page is a gold-mine of information including how to perform key tasks such as creating a “Pin-It” button for your website to “make it easy for people to collect things from your site.”
- It provides a nice PDF booklet, titled: Pinterest for Business
- There is information on how to install and use the Pinterest iPhone and Android app.
I am just beginning to explore all the possibilities with using Pinterest as a marketing strategy and found the above links very useful. I know people who have been very successful using Pinterest, which makes it worth exploring, especially if your target audience is primarily female.
At the beginning of this post we touched on the importance of sharing and follow buttons. Pinterest social sharing buttons are available for your website. They can also be placed directly on your graphics. Check this out on the PinterestGoodies page.
We have discussed creating coupons as a good way to engage with your followers, fans, and subscribers. Good news, you can create Pinterest coupons!
Discover the Power of Linked-In
Linked-In was the first social media platform that I used – primarily because at the time I had a service-based local business. If your business is service-based, this is a social network that you must join.
It is a great source for viable, targeted leads for jobs, projects and clients. The basic membership is free, but if you want to take full advantage of all the benefits, you probably will want to upgrade – there are several choices.
Job leads, client leads and projects are continuously available – tailored to your keywords and interests. Based on those same keywords and interests, you will be invited to join Linked-In Groups – so choose your words carefully. You can also choose to follow Companies that are good potential clients for you.
When other business people are searching for potential hires, vendors, consultants, etc., and they find your clear, professionally written, targeted profile on LinkedIn, you have instant credibility. This can even help you stay near the top of Google searches for your name.
This is a relatively new social network, but one that seems to be thriving. It had a rough start, but the bugs seem to have been worked out.
Benefits and Features:
- Optimize your Profile Page
- Create Google+ Business Pages
- Use #hashtags and @mentions
- Customize your preferences (unlike Facebook, which currently decides what and who you can see)
- Quickly access your Google Calendar
- Share YouTube videos
- Quickly access YouTube via the top menu bar
- Invite your friends to a Google+ Hangout
- Follow what is trending on Google
- Use the social share buttons on your Website (This one works a little differently, the +1 your content to recommend it)
- Access Gmail directly from Google+
- Embed photos, videos, and infographics
- Allows “expanded” posts with “rich” content
- Brings back “archived” posts, if they are generating traffic
This last feature alone makes Google+ a social site you shouldn’t ignore.
Google+ is right up there with Linked-In when it comes to building credibility for you (and your business) when your name shows up at the top of a search for your name. When you have a very common name like mine, Nancy N. Wilson, this is particularly important.
One of the most popular features on this network is “Google Hangouts.” The rise in popularity of Google Hangouts has been driven primarily by business owners who have discovered its potential. Because of that, taking the time to learn how Google Hangouts can work for your business makes sense.
Why Learn to Use Google Hangouts
- They allow you to hold a live video call with up to 10 friends. Some think that the limitation is problematic, but it could be considered an advantage because of the sense of intimacy and exclusivity that comes with being part of a small group. However, you should also note that even though only 10 people can participate, an unlimited number of people can watch the session.
- You can connect with anyone for a Hangout – they work on computers, Android and Apple devices.
- Listen again later – scroll back through past Hangouts to re-live what you talked about — from photos and conversations about the vacation of a lifetime to a coaching session with your mentor, or to review a teaching segment from your membership site.
- Go live in front of a broad audience directly from your computer – coach your virtual team, stream a conference keynote, moderate a panel discussion with the experts, or hold a webinar or training session.
- Share your recording after you are “On Air.” The recording can be made available publicly on Google+ and on your YouTube channel, ready to be shared. Using the URL, you can also post it on your website and across other social media networks.
Many people are hooked on Google+ and prefer it to Facebook, so it really does pay to check out the demographics and find out if large segments of your target market are discreetly hiding there. If you discover that your targeted audience is in this network, you should be, as well. BTW, from personal experience, I can tell you that it seems to be a good one for authors
 Check the guidelines on how to use them, however: They do differ from Twitter’s #hashtags and @mentions
Want all of the information? Begin at the beginning: Building an Online Business.
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