Promise, large promise, is the soul of an advertisement.”
I’ve spoken a lot lately about the virtues of tapping into Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and the like. But when faced with such a bewildering array of possibilities, how do you make start?
Unless you’re already very well known, or have a strong existing online presence, setting up a profile on a social networking site and simply waiting for traffic is not about to work. First you must have something important to say, as it’s likely that your social profile will appear in google searches and stumbling upon a blank page isn’t a great start. It can often be safer to plan hold back from creating such profiles before you’ve put together some sort of schedule.
Firstly, begin by checking out the competition to see what’s working.
I’m not suggesting that you simply mimic what they’re doing. But it will give you the clearest and quickest snapshot of what people in your market are searching for. Use this as you guide. Find out which businesses in your industry are getting social media exposure and traffic.
Search Facebook for competitors. Do they have many fans on their Facebook pages? If so, what content are they publishing? To use social media to influence decision makers you need to have something to offer people. What are your competitors offering that keeps them coming back for more?
Visit LinkedIn and search for competitors. How many employees have profiles? Which of these profiles show recommendations or answer questions? Your next stop is YouTube. Hunt down competitors by doing industry keyword searches. See which videos are more popular more than others. What are they saying?
Finally, search Google for blogs related to your competition. See how many of your competitors publish a blog and whether or not they get mentioned on other related blogs. How many comments or subscribers are they getting? If they appear to have a lot of traffic, what topics are they focussing on that make them so popular?
Social media is not about to have an overnight impact on your sales figures. And sometimes it can feel like a labour of love which pays back little in terms of immediate return. Though inexpensive, social media marketing isn’t easy, at least in the early days, not least because it can be very time consuming.
But when it works it pays massive dividends by way of high online exposure and quality, targeted web traffic, a predictable percentage of which will convert into leads. And once it gets going, it can be like a snowball rolling downhill. However, it isn’t something you can just plug in and leave to care for itself. To successfully reach your target market you need to deliver high quality content consistently over a sustained period of time.
But remember you don’t always have to begin with a blank sheet of paper. Because in all likelihood you’re already sitting on a wealth of informational documents that could be re-jigged and presented as white papers, reports or blog entries, etc. You’ve already got the information. All you need do now is repackage it for an online audience.
If you find yourself too hard pressed to devote regular time to social network marketing, then it’s possible to do what more and more busy executives are doing these days, which is to enlist expert help.
A skilled specialist will help you tailor your message to specific markets and assist with developing quality content that is likely to appeal to your particular industry. And, just as importantly, they’ll be able to broadcast that content to multiple online outlets to ensure that you gain maximum exposure.
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading and, as ever, your comments and ideas are very welcome.
And always to a higher response!