By now you probably know that a strong social media campaign is essential to any effective SEM effort. But social media marketing can often seem overwhelming at first. Luckily, the process is actually pretty straightforward. The intimidation factor involved with starting a campaign often comes from the seemingly endless number of social media sites to choose from and the complicated, frustrating process of gaining followers. While social media management can indeed be difficult, you shouldn’t start worrying too much. The following is a simple four-step process that will have your social media marketing campaign up and running in no time.
1. Pick the sites you want to use.
There are dozens of popular social networking sites to choose from, and more popping up every day. Your company doesn’t need to be represented on every site, but you should pick five or ten popular sites that are relevant to your product and your customer base. Here are five popular sites we feel every company should have a presence on, regardless of industry or business size.
- Facebook – With an estimated 750,000,000 unique visitors coming to the site every month and a business-friendly interface and ad platform, there’s no reason not to be on Facebook. Sign up today.
- YouTube – This video-sharing site has grown to be the second most visited social site after Facebook. Create a profile even if you don’t have any videos to upload just quite yet – those will come in time.
- Twitter – The tweet machine is still going strong, with Twitter now making it easier than ever for brands to communicate directly with consumers in 140-characters or less.
- LinkedIn – The site that was started in an attempt to hook potential candidates up with the jobs of their dreams has evolved into a great way to feature you and your staff in a professional, business-oriented environment.
- Google+ – Still in its infancy, some people have scoffed at Google’s attempt at another social networking site. However, the site’s meteoric rise suggests that those naysayers may soon be eating their words. And now that Google has integrated Google+ shares with its organic search results, you’d be a fool to not hop on this comet.
- Pinterest – This “virtual pinboard” is a rapidly growing photo sharing site that allows users to “pin” pictures they find from around the web to their personal pinboards without ever leaving the site they were on. The site’s ease of use and integration with other social media sites has made this a great tool for online marketers to spread the word about their products.
2. Create your profiles.
Each social networking site has a different profile creation process, but keeping the profiles visually and thematically consistent is a must. Use the same profile picture, background image, and color scheme on each site. Use the same descriptions and contact information, too. This will help brand your company across the multiple platforms and let new visitors know that the profile belongs to your company.
3. Ask for followers.
You won’t start your social media campaign with thousands of followers. In fact, you’ll be lucky if you start with ten. Don’t be afraid to ask anyone and everyone you know to find your various social profiles and start following them. Don’t be a pest, though – ask once, in a friendly, professional manner, and then leave your poor friends alone.
4. Engage with users.
Setting up a Facebook or Twitter business profile is one thing; using it effectively is another. Setting up a social media profile for your business and not being active on it completely defeats its purpose. You don’t need to be posting every day, but you should login a couple times a week at least, if only to respond to posts or messages from followers.
Congrats! You’re well on your way to starting a robust, exciting social media campaign. Leave us a comment and let us know how your new campaign is coming along!