This is a guest post by Debra Wilson from CreditDonkey.com. In this post, you are going to learn from Debra, how to select the correct social media site that will give you maximum exposure and business benefits.
As an entrepreneur you need to be where your customers are—and where they are is on one or more of the three major social media sites:
As a result you will need to keep up a presence on these sites as well. However, each site offers distinct features so that you will need to figure out which platform will best suited for your marketing strategy. With only so much time to devote to social media marketing, how do you decide which site to use?
3-Part Strategy to Get Started
- The first step is to realize that you will need to devote a certain amount of time each day to social media marketing. Result will not appear overnight so you need to be able to commit to a consistent effort over a long period of time. Even when you have started to generate leads, you will still need to actively maintain your presence on a daily basis to keep up the momentum.
- The second step is to identify your social media marketing goals. This is typically defined as actual sales you hope to make via your social media presence. Make sure you have a web site analytics service (e.g. Google Analytics) as this will help you to keep tabs on your page traffic, leads, and actual sales that are generated from your social media marketing efforts.
- The third step is to create social media accounts, compose quality content with calls to action for your potential customers, take part in online discussion groups within your sector, and engage readers by asking questions and encouraging comments and opinions.
Four Considerations in Choosing a Social Media Site
Below we will discuss some of the most popular social media sites in terms of their effectiveness as marketing tools to generate leads and increase sales. You will want to do a test-run of each site before reaching any conclusion about its appropriateness for your marketing strategy.
Because Facebook is the highest ranking social media site in the world it should be able to draw more leads to your business solely by its huge number of fans. The site can be a great forum for customer engagement, feedback, and brand development for your products or services.
Because Facebook fans are heavily involved with these types of interactions, they may not be motivated to visit your company website. As a result, you will not see much increase in website traffic with Facebook promotions. Facebook is also not ranked high with search engines so you may not see a significant increase in organic traffic to your Web site either.
Twitter provides similar marketing benefits as Facebook but ranks higher with regard to search engines friendliness so may generate a bit more organic traffic to your Web site.
The major challenge with Twitter is to get your marketing message across succinctly so it may fit into the short tweets while being substantive enough to draw potential customers to your business.
YouTube allows you to post a video of your marketing message so provides a powerful tool to promote your brand generate feedback. The challenge here is to be creative so that your video stands out from the many entries to the site. YouTube is search engine friendly but, as with Facebook, not a great method to pull visitors to your company Web site.
LinkedIn is tends to be more of a personal branding tool. However, if you are a solo-preneur or small business, LinkedIn will serve you well. You will be able to connect directly with potential customers and clients, while also participating in various group discussions where you may be come to be viewed as an authoritative voice over time.
It is important that you not only join groups within your industry but also those which may be relevant to your potential customers. If you have performed research on this market, you know their needs and interests so should maintain a presence in any group which reflects them.
Review of main points:
- If your marketing strategy includes much customer interaction and feedback, Facebook or Twitter are the preferred platforms.
- Facebook would also be the platform of choice to promote an upcoming event, which you could do with an ad or status update on your page.
- If the preparation of promotional videos is a part of your marketing strategy, then obviously you will choose YouTube as one of your platforms. You can multiply your promotional efforts by combining YouTube with either a Facebook or Twitter account.
- If you are targeting a specific subset of professionals or consumes, LinkedIn should be your preferred platform. Again, you can choose to combine this tool with either a Facebook or Twitter presence.
- If your primary marketing goal is to generate increased traffic to your Web site, LinkedIn and YouTube would be the platforms of choice.
Each social media site is tailored toward different needs, creating diverse marketing opportunities for your business. You need to first understand your marketing goals (target audience, niche, and tools) then choose the platform that best meets those needs.
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