Thursday 21 March 2013

How to Use Social Media as a Marketing Tool

It’s important to know how to use social media as a marketing tool for your business. Social media is now such a ubiquitous part of everyday life that it would be a serious mistake not to have a strong presence on networks; you need to be able to use social media as a way of engaging with consumers in ways that can encourage long term brand loyalty. This can be achieved in a number of ways, from coordinating platforms and networks to using analytics and great content to create a more distinctive online presence.
Coordinate Platforms and Networks 

Make sure that you have an established presence on key networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but use them in complementary ways. Facebook can be a focus for competitions, photos, and news, while Twitter can be an ideal way of updating followers on new deals and stories. LinkedIn can be set up to help build professional links for small businesses.

Engage Communities

Try to make the most of social media’s potential to engage with communities of users around the world; make sure that you respond to queries and complaints, even if a large section of it may be negative. Use surveys, word of mouth, and tailored content to ensure that users are receiving engaging content on a regular basis.

Make the Most of YouTube

Putting up high quality videos can be a great way to market new products and services; create product reviews, and ensure that all campaign advertisements have an easy to find link through the site. Similarly, create a community page and try to create links to commercial partners.

Use Analytics

Essential for making the most social media, analytic tools can allow you to break down data on who’s visiting your pages; tools such as Crowdbooster and Google Analytics can provide you with a very detailed impression of how well your social media profiles are doing, and can allow you to make calculated changes to sites.

Use Great Content

Social media is nothing without great content, which should be more than recycled or low quality material; ensure you have a blog that accepts guest posts to keep a site up to date, and put up videos and other content on other sites on a weekly basis.

Take Calculated Risks

If you’re a small business, be prepared to take risks on marketing campaigns to make yourself stand out on social networks; be careful, though, not to cause offense, and avoid pitfalls like hijacking popular Twitter hashtags to try to promote yourself.

Know What to Focus On

Keep a healthy perspective on feedback from social networks, as this can become very negative very quickly. Check to make sure that employees responsible for monitoring and updating social media feeds know what the best approach to take is for a problem.

Make Use of Tools

Use third party tools to make it easier to stay on top of your various social media pages; this might include ReFollow for Twitter, as well as Flickr Uploader, and StumbleUpon.

Take Advantage of New Networks

Check to see what new social networks are being created, and consider creating a small presence to get in on a potentially new trend. Not every network will be suitable for your business, but be aware of what’s out there; some sites to look out for in 2013 include Soci, Microsoft’s network via Bing, a relaunched MySpace, and Branch, an in-depth conversation collaboration between Twitter and Blogger. Sina Weibo, the microblogging network from China, might also expand this year into new markets, so keep an eye on it.

Author Bio: Liam Jones writes about technology, from managed hosting to the latest tech advances. In his spare time he enjoys building apps.