TAG | LinkedIn
One of my new business-to-business clients was new to the world of Social Media marketing and we selected LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr (for image marketing) to get them up and running. Although we have created connectivity with other social media sites, the above 4 will be the message drivers. Once we created the accounts, we had no contacts which raised the question of ” How do I get contacts to begin networking via social media”. While the following addresses Twitter, facebook, LinkedIn and Flickr the techniques pretty much apply to all social media networking. I offer the client the following which has proved to be very successful:
Step 1: Upload your contact database
The majority of the Social Media platforms import contacts from an online email accounts, so the very first step is to upload you contact database to either Google or Yahoo mail
Step 2: Invite contacts from your database to become part of your social media network, as follows:
Import contacts from: Yahoo, Gmail and AOL
Import contacts from: Yahoo, Gmail, AOL and Windows live Hotmail
Import contacts from: Yahoo, Gmail, AOL and Windows live Hotmail plus LinkedIn does permit you to upload direct from your desktop email program
Import contacts from: Yahoo, Gmail, and Windows live Hotmail
Step 3: market your social media connections
1) Complete your bios and make them appealing to your target audience
2) Encourage your followers and fans to retransmit your posts to their social media friends.
3) Your staff and personal friends can really help the cause by occasionally posting something about your business on their social media platforms
4) Link to you social media connections every where: website, email (including the email signatures of your staff), forum signatures etc
5) Include in all hard copy marketing collateral: business cards, flyers etc
Step 4: Addition Twitter specific actions
- Use hashtags e.g. #UCONN – read this blog to find out the benefits of hash tags
- Send Twitpics, photos of your products but use hashtags to identify them, in the hope that they will be retweeted which will build brand.
Once these steps have been completed we can move into the world of a paid promotional marketing strategy but I will address that in a future article.
There is absolutely no question that in the rush to get a piece of the social media marketing market a lot of weak products are hitting the market, resulting in a saturation of social media products. There are now 300 plus product platforms that class themselves as Social Media.
I focus on what I consider to be the most important social media networking platforms and I define that in terms of the return on my invested time with respect to my business goals; and my shortlist is:
- LinkedIn personal profile: a professional network from which I have developed business wins. I only network with people I know in some prior business capacity to maintain the value of the contacts.
- LinkedIn company page: the value of this page is that it has great search engine strength and is a tactic to drive off-page SEO. I connect this blog to this page via Feedburner to ensure that the content gets updated automatically.
- Facebook personal page: while I limit this to only ‘friends, I promote my business activities occasionally. Facebook is my personal playground
- Facebook company page: this is where I use the power of Facebook to promote my business. This page is connected to Twitter, every time I post to this page it sends out a tweet.
- Twitter: I use twitter both to take part in personal micro-blogging and to promote business activities via keyword rich tweets. By doing this, I can make my tweets appear on relevant Google searches. This can be powerful if used strategically.
- Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit are used to drive the popularity of my articles , which in turn increases my off-page SEO performance.
- Tecnorati is a real-time search for user-generated media by tag or keyword. It is quite a process to get approved by Tecnorati but the effort is worth it for off-page SEO performance.
- Slideshare is used to both to share PowerPoint Presentation but it is also a great tool for the occasional time that you nave technical issues and allows you to pull us a PowerPoint on any computer with an Internet connection.
- Flickr is a platform that I recommend to my clients to undergo image-marketing program as a tactic to build brand awareness. I do not use Flickr because of the strength of my photography web site but it makes sense for my clients.
While there are hundreds more these are my platforms of choice. At the end of the day it is about return on invested time. D I believe that the status quo will prevail? Absolutely, not I suspect that the mix will change as newer, better products arrive.
To update these, I use the social media icons at the bottom of the blog entry each and every time I make a new entry. Yes, they are not just for your use.! If this is too cumbersome for you or you use many social media networking platforms then I suggest you use PING.FM – this tool, once set up, permits you to make a social media update and them broad cast it to all of your platforms with the click of a mouse. While convenient, I am not a great fan as I like to see my posts tailored for each media platform but it is nice to have a choice.
Once DandyID have gathered all of your social media accounts they provide you with a ‘How Social are you score’. I score 87/100, which is pretty high, and it appears that I am much more social than I thought that I was.
In order to achieve a high Google page rank, you web site must be seen to be popular amongst the users of the Internet and there is a very complicated algorithm that is used to complete the page rank calculation.
Popularity is often thought of as the number of backlinks (inlinks) to your site but there are other methods of increasing your site’s popularity ( off site SEO) and one such method is delicious.com: a Social Bookmarking service, which means you can save all your bookmarks online, share them with other people, and see what other people are bookmarking.
So, the more people that bookmark your web site on delicious.com the more popular your site will be; and this is one important tactic to increasing the page rank of your site.
You can adopt a passive strategy and wait until browsers bookmark your site or you can adopt a pro-active marketing strategy by:
- Encourage all of your company employees to bookmark your site
- Encourage all of your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and myspace contacts to book mark your site
- Ask your social media friends to spread the good news about your site through their networks
Delicious should be a component of any social media networking marketing program.
One of problems associated with Social Media Networking is that it can be overwhelming to a new user (marketer). However, there are tools that can be employed to automate the process. In my last blog entry I detailed the connectivity between Facebook and Twitter. When Facebook and Twitter are connected, by updating your company ‘page’ on Facebook you will automatically send a tweet to Twitter. One data entry point will feed two Social Media networking platforms.
Set up a Feedburner account for your blog and the simply add the Feedburner address to you LinkedIn account.
Simple! while on the surface this may not seem like much but the fundamental problem with Social Media Network marketing is keeping current with every platform. So, by reducing the data entry point to two, we can feed 4 elements of Web2.0 marketing media. The simpler we can make Social Media Marketing for the marketers who use it on a day-to-day basis, the more effective the marketing programs will become.