Social networking has become a core aspect of internet marketing. For an online business, it poses several advantages.
Notably, choosing the right social media strategy can significantly increase the amount of traffic coming to your website. It can also help you develop a strong relationship with your market.
Why is that important?
Well, the current trend on the internet is that people are only buying things from other people with whom they have a relationship and one of the BEST ways to form and build relationships is through a well thought out social media strategy.What's your best social media strategy? Tell us about it.
The key is to build a loyal following. And this can be accomplished through utilizing several different social media sites.
Using these sites, you can target those most likely to become your customers and provide them with information that will be of interest to them.
So let’s look at 5 major sites that you can incorporate into your social media strategy starting today!
Facebook is the most popular social media site. You can create several pages ranging from personal to professional and use them to acquire “friends” or “fans”.
While there are many ways to profit from Facebook, one of the best and easiest ways is to create a fan page.
With a fan page, you can regularly publish fresh helpful content so that your prospects who hang out on Facebook can read it and gain interest in your online business.
If your content is really helpful, they will want to know more about what your online business offers.
You could also include an opt in page on your fan page and offer a valuable gift to your prospects IF they enter their email and join your list.
This would enable you to build a list of prospects without spending any money on advertising.
It is imperative to remember that the major purpose of a fan page is to generate leads for your online business. It’ a BIG mistake to try to sell anything on your fan page.
Facebook is not the place for that. Unless, I’m wrong, even Facebook’s own rules prohibit that.
So when incorporating Facebook into your social media strategy, remember to use it to generate leads. Get people onto your list or website and then make them offers.
Twitter is a great way to build a highly targeted list of prospects. With Twitter, all you have to do is send short messages that are 140 characters long or less.
If these messages are particularly interesting and helpful, you will eventually find that people will start following you to learn more about what your online business has to offer.
Better still, they will start to retweet your messages. When this happens, the people who follow those who retweet your messages will also read what you have to say.
If those new people like what you have to say they might also retweet your messages. The idea is exhaustless! It could mean a significant amount of viral traffic coming into your online business.
Eventually, you will have a list of targeted prospects who you can occasionally make great offers to. As with Facebook, the trick is to share highly valuable information.
Of course you can’t do that in 140 characters. But you can successfully use 140 characters to entice your followers to visit your website or to join your newsletter.
They can then learn more from there. One of the interesting things about Twitter is that if you follow someone, they usually tend to follow you as well.
That makes it really easy to start building a following. So making Twitter part of your social media strategy is a smart move indeed.
LinkedIn is one of the most popular social networks online. It has a very high traffic ranking on Alexa because it gets huge numbers of visitors every day.
The great thing about LinkedIn is that the people you find there are professional people who are serious about building their businesses.
So when you create a system that enables you to siphon leads from LinkedIn onto your list, you will build a list of prospects who are serious about solving their problems and getting ahead.
The other powerful thing about incorporating LinkedIn as part of your social media strategy is that it offers you the opportunity to connect with high profile people who you would probably never have the chance to connect with in the real world.
For example you can connect with people like decision makers of companies which may be interested in your products. You can also connect with some of the top people in your industry.
For example, if you are on a hard to reach internet marketing guru’s list and he or she happens to be on LinkedIn, you can connect with him or her there. All your other efforts may have failed, but LinkedIn could just be your way in.
So what do you have to do in order to succeed on LinkedIn?
Well, essentially, you need to set up a professional profile that clearly says who you are and more importantly what you have to offer.
Then when people are searching for the type of product or service that you offer, they will find YOU and contact you to do business with you.
If you market yourself well and make sure your profile is credible, you could potentially start enjoying a nice steady flow of leads into your online business.
So LinkedIn is definitely worth considering when creating your social media strategy.
Another powerful weapon to include in yur social media strategy is social news.This is an area of social networking that is currently experiencing explosive growth. There is little doubt that if you are not yet using social news you are leaving considerable money on the table.
So what is social news?
Well, the short answer is, it is the type of news you find on sites like digg and Yahoo Buzz. It is unconventional news that focuses on things you would not usually hear about on conventional news sites.
Take a site like digg for example. People from all over the world submit articles, videos and images that they think other people might be interested in.
People then vote by clicking a button that says “digg it” if they like the information. This allows you to see how many people like a piece of news.
But how can digg help your online business? Well, since you can see the information that people like based on their votes, all you have to do is model your information after that information.
Of course the information that you model yours after must be on topics that are of interest to your market.
Does this mean you should copy other people’s work? Of course not. That is unethical and perhaps even illegal in some cases.
What you can do is look at the topics that are hot and create content on those topics too. That’s very different from merely copying.
If you post content that is popular and helpful on a regular basis, people will eventually start to like and trust what you have to say and you will build a relationship with them.
They will start to specifically look for your articles and soon some of them will happily visit your website.
That’s the power of providing your market with what you clearly KNOW they want.
Now, I must say from the outset that, technically speaking, blogs are not social networking sites. So it may seem a bit odd that I am talking about them in the context of creating a social media strategy.
However, if a blog allows you to leave comments, then it gives you an opportunity to interact with other people who leave comments on that blog and in that sense it allows you to network with them. That’s called social blogging.
It’s a very powerful social media strategy that very few people know how to use correctly. For this strategy to work, you need to find high traffic blogs. In other words, you need to find blogs that have several visitors coming to them every day.
An easy way to know this is simply to look at how many comments a blog has on a daily basis. If there are more than 10 comments then you know that several people are probably visiting that blog.
The comments also show you that the people who visit that blog are active people who are interested in somehow improving their lives or businesses. Maybe your products can help them.
A fool proof way of knowing that a blog has high traffic is to go to a website called Alexa and enter the name of the blog. You will then be able to see how many visitors it receives every month.
If it’s getting thousands of visitors every month then it is definitely worth your time.
The next thing to check for with this strategy is whether or not the names of the people who are commenting are hyperlinked. If they are, try clicking any name and see where you go.
Usually you will end up at the website of the person who commented.
If that happens then you have just struck pure GOLD!
It means that you can also begin making very helpful and interesting comments on that blog and eventually people will get to know you and trust you. Soon they will trust you enough to visit your website and buy the products you sell or recommend.
So there you go!
If you want to develop a powerful social media strategy,you now have five different strategies you can include in your overall strategy. If you use them well, they can help provide your business with a significant number of fresh new leads consistently.
In order for you to get the most out of this article I would encourage you to follow the simple plan of action below. It will give you some direction.
1. Decide on 1 social media strategy to start with and commit to focusing on it alone.
2. Write down a date by which you would have learnt how to use that strategy reasonably well. 7 days is enough to get you started.
3. Get started!
Of course, you could decide to simultaneously start using more than one social media strategy but it really helps to focus on one thing at a time if you are just starting out with social media.
But whatever you do, I really encourage you to incorporate some of these strategies into your overall internet marketing plan as soon as you can.
They will help you generate leads and build a relationship with your market at the same time and that’s a marvelous thing indeed!
To Your Success
Are you currently using social media successfully? Share your favorite social media strategy! Why do you like it? How does it work? What results have you gotten using it so far? Then let other website visitors decide if it is indeed the best strategy!