Posts tagged social media marketing
From presidential candidates to companies, friends and celebrities, over 200 million registered users are out there on the micro blogging site, Twitter. The clutter is aplenty and you’re not alone if you feel lost in the world of symbols and general chatter! An estimated 140 million tweets are sent a day, so, how does one cut out the noise and make the most of the micro blogging site with a limited amount of resources and time? Read on to get a host of useful tips on how you can use the site to the best of your advantage, getting tools to automatically sift through all the unwanted messages that don’t really concern you or your brand.
Twitter friendly applications:To begin with, leveraging the advantages of user friendly tools like Tweetdeck, Twhirl and Hootsuite to manage your twitter account better and select relevant information for you or your brand is worth knowing. Tweetdeck for example works as your personal browser that you can install on your system and customize according to your specifications. Suddenly, Twitter becomes so much easier to understand with this handy tool. Attractively designed and inviting to users, all one needs to do is download the tool and it works behind the scenes, giving you unobtrusive, yet relevant updates as and when they come in. Twhirl is another very useful tool that rolls everything one needs for Twitter into a neat function. Hootsuite is an application and can also be used for managing multiple social networks, especially Twitter.
Keyword searches: Once you’ve set up one of these applications, invest time initially on looking for keywords and people who are tweeting on a topic that you want to track. ‘Follow’ing these people is useful as it saves time and eliminates unwanted chatter. Subsequently, you can keep track for new users that you may want to add to this list.Re-tweeting is a popular way to rebroadcast information from one tweeter to another as this information is usually found particularly interesting and useful by another individual/s and therefore worth tracking.
Mentions: Another search criteria that you can set for your brand is @mention. When you do this, you get an alert on anyone who mentions you. This column will track it and keep a column for your ready reckoning with all the people who have been Tweeting about you.
#tags and direct messaging: Advanced Twitter users use the organically evolved #tag. This is to enable the person who tweets to categorize the message, making it show up more easily in searches. Following these tags is also a time-saver. When replying to messages, replying via direct messages will earn you a higher chance of getting noticed and a reply as opposed to posting a general message on the site that people may ignore.
All these could save you time on looking for information relevant to you, now, how do you make YOUR brand stand out and get people to notice you?
Beings search engine friendly: To be noticed, you’ve got to have your head above the crowd. And to do that on a micro blogging site like twitter, your tweets should be SEO savvy and contain keywords for which you are trying to market your service.
Tracking your performance: Performance is tracked not only by the number of people following you but also by the number of relevant followers, number of useful interactions, and your influence over your followers. There are many free and paid twitter analyzer tools that you can use to assess various aspects of your twitter presence. If your relevant followers increase, you know you are doing something right. If they’re dwindling, it’s time for some introspection! Key influencers of your brand are people who not only talk positively about you, but also have a big ‘followers’ list themselves. This insures that that they spread the word for you. If you’ve earned a substantial number of followers that fulfill these criteria, your time on Twitter has been well spent!
Some companies have brilliantly used social media to gain visibility and market their products. Coca Cola was recently named as the brand “making the best use of Facebook”. ‘Expedition 206’ was the largest social media project ever by Coca Cola. In the B2Bspace, Dell has effectively used Twitter to connect with its customers. Even the ‘Go Green’ campaign by Dell is an excellent example of using Facebook to generate interest.
Today, if your business is not on the social network you are losing out on a huge marketing opportunity that exists in the online world. If your target audience is there, then doesn’t it make sense for you to be there too?
Why should your business be on the social network?
- Reach out to a global audience: Today’s customers are not location based. They could be in Kolkata or California. As a marketer you need to reach out to all like-minded people in the most cost effective and impactful way.
- Create the hype: Remember the Zoozoo campaign by Vodafone and the hype it created? It was one of the most successful online campaigns that was carried out and had a fan following of millions residing on the internet. It is also one of the best campaigns that used print, electronic and social media in the most integrated fashion. You can easily achieve faster word-of-mouth publicity with social media campaigns.
- Connect with and motivate customers: Launching schemes, running online contests, awarding loyal customers. The interactivity of the online world has a lot to offer. A marketer can easily use this to connect with customers.
- Create brand awareness: Especially for B2B companies Linked In, Twitter and targeted groups can help in creating brand value in the cheapest and the most effective ways.
- Thought leadership: Blogs, communities, forums are some of the best means to position your company as a thought leader. These are the segments where you can tap your potential customer. By genuinely and intelligently answering in the numerous online conversations and sending out informative articles, you can build thought leadership in your domain.
- More visitors to your website/blog: By posting informative links on your social media accounts, you can garner move views, click-throughs, and conversions. Google now takes social media into account too and will do it even more in future. Having your relevant keywords in the posts will help.
- Lead generation: At the end of the day, everything boils down to sales. Social media has proved to be an effective approach to generate leads. Especially Search Engine Monetization and optimization are tools which are beneficial in this.
Even though it is a relatively new medium, the battle for consumer attention has become tough already. Using it intelligently can get you the right benefits.
Some social media goof ups:
- Not having a dedicated social media objective: Every company cannot just generate leads through social media. The objectives could be related to number of conversations, positive comments, brand impact, and so on. What is it that you want at the end of the campaign? What do you want to achieve? This must be clearly defined right at the beginning.
- Providing delayed or no response: Your audience is on the internet all the time. You cannot afford to have a lazy approach to response. In the online world prompt response speaks volumes about the brand.
- Not deploying dedicated resources: Social media as a space is relatively new and is constantly emerging. It’s important to have a dedicated specialist executing and monitoring the activity. No seriousness, insufficient content, no tactics to attract people, delayed responses – will only aid failure of your social media efforts. You should have a genuine attitude to help customers and give intelligent info to them.
- Only dictating and not interacting: Social media is all about interactions and conversations. Communication has to be two-way to create an impact. Participate and succeed.
- Not monitoring your brand name online: One negative comment can have a ripple effect and spoil your efforts, but if you are in the loop, you can give it a positive twist to negative comments and also learn what your competitors are doing on the online social space.
To conclude: Social media is a medium that cannot be ignored. To achieve best results marketers have to look at using all pillars: print, electronic and social media in tandem to get the maximum return on investment.
It seems like everyone is using social media today. B2B companies are a bit apprehensive about the results it brings but growing small businesses and B2C companies are utilizing it to their advantage. Increasing brand awareness, encouraging customer loyalty, boosting customer acquisition, promoting content, and search engine optimization are some of the benefits offered by social media. Today, you just cannot ignore it.
Here are some tips for you to keep in mind, which would help you in gaining an audience in online social media:
Birds of a feather…
There are many social media websites today, and you would need to choose the right fit for your niche. According to Chitika, an online advertising network – Twitterers mostly consume news, MySpace users want games and entertainment, Facebookers are into both news and community, and Digg’s audience has a mixed bag of interests. LinkedIn and many other niche industry-specific forums are being used for business networking and job search. Once you have found the niche that you like working on, you should use social media as a tool to network with people, and use it for enhancing your business.
So, the first step is to find the right social media outlet for your services.
Talk the talk
An important aspect to keep in mind while writing for social media is to understand the characteristics of the target group. Your language and message should change, depending on whether you are having a B2B or B2C audience. As Muhammad Saleem from www.CopyBlogger.com sums it up: “Start with the familiar; introduce the unfamiliar; and then connect the two.” Your content needs to be easy to understand and digest.
Talk with them, not to them
Seth Godin, the online marketing guru, says: “Social media isn’t about you, it’s about them.” So, make sure that you use the social media only as a discussion platform, and not your soapbox. Having a conversational style of writing has worked wonders. “My advice is “learn to be human again.” Many marketers tend to forget that each customer they’d like to attract and retain is a person. From using jargon in marketing literature, to creating blogs that are mere places to republish press releases — then tweeted as links — a B2B marketer can learn to be more spontaneous and make deeper/better connections with customers,” says Valeria Maltoni, www.ConversationAgent.com.
Become the solution superhero
As in life, so in social media, you cannot achieve much respect if you are not proactive on the message boards, discussion groups, etc. Of course, one needs to find out the fine difference between being proactive and overactive, but the fact stands that everyone loves when a problem is solved. Do not use the social media and their discussion tools just to start your discussions. Take some time out and read other discussions, see what the others want – you would be surprised how many people do not know what the best free invoicing tool is. If you know it, show it. Offering interesting content like how to articles, e-books, pod casts, videos, online offers, etc., go a long way in encouraging visitors to convert. “The internet (and social media engagement in particular) is really all about people power. It’s about making information, tools and techniques available to all who have access. If you’re not inclusive, if you’re not helping, sharing and imparting value and wisdom and deciphering jargon for folks – you’ll be left behind,” says Vanessa Nix Anthony.
One of the best features of social media is that you can say as little as you want to as much as you wish. With most social media tools offering one-line status updates, you can talk without thinking about having a complete article dedicated to that single thought. Or you can have a long whitepaper uploaded somewhere on the cloud that can be shared across social media with just a single line of text and link. Compelling headlines were never as important as they are now as headlines really do have to work hard to break the clutter and stand out.
Writing for social media is easy and difficult at the same time. It’s something that you will learn only when you dive in and participate. So, go on and enjoy.