Social media is about building an online profile or brand on the various different social networking and support websites that are relevant to your business. Once other users recognise you as a valuable resource for information you become more powerful in that community.
Your postings, bookmarks, articles, submissions etc. take on greater value than any anonymous contributions. The ultimate goal is the power of influence. Once you have a voice in the community, marketing becomes a soft sell rather than a hard one.
Getting involved as a real person in the forums is essential to building credibility and trust with customers. Limit initiating your own contributions initially and focus on assisting and supporting others in the communities. Always contribute good quality content, as that is a key strategy to engaging people in the community and gaining their trust.
Ultimately, engaging in social media helps to bridge the perceived gap between the company and the customer. If your customers can see you as helpful and personable individuals who are trying to provide value and quality, rather than a company trying to sell products, then they will be much more willing to talk about your products and your company.
Working with your search engine optimisation campaign, social media will drive more visitors to your website which will in turn drive more conversions and brand awareness.
There’s a lot of hype about this and smoke and mirrors on how ‘social media experts’ deliver this. We work with our clients in partnership to ensure that we have the right tone of voice and values when they are starting to initially engage in the conversations online.
We have a simple and proven methodology that delivers results
What is the aim of the campaign?
Understanding the motives and goals of the campaign is fundamental to what the metrics and therefore outcomes of the campaign will be. Is it about driving more visitors to the website, measuring downloads of a white paper, number of conversations? Just saying ‘we know we need to do it’ isn’t enough these days. To get return on investment on the campaign we work with clients to understand what they can achieve and therefore what metrics we can put in place to measure success.
Start Listening to the conversations
Using technologies such as Google Alerts, Co-tweet and SM2 allow us to track the conversations around your company brand terms and other key phrases which are associated with your products and services.
Analyse the conversations
We then create a map of:
* where the conversations are happening (which sites and threads of conversations)
who’s having the conversations (why are the key influencers)
What are they talking about
Sentiment of conversations (are they talking positively, neutrally or negatively)
Frequency of conversations
Develop Social Media Strategy
From this information you can identify the:
- key sites to build the brand on
- key topics that we need to start answering (so we can start building a knowledge base to use)
- amount of support / resource the campaign will need
- understand how we are our other communication with the community are influencing conversations (such as email / SMS marketing, press releases etc)
Seeding & engaging in conversations
- Set up profiles and accounts on relevant sites
- start blogging and answering specific questions in the forums
- responding in a timely manor to relevant conversations
Relevant Blog Posts
- Predictions for 2011 for SEO and SMM
- 10 Top Tips for Starting a Social Media Campaign
- 10 Top Tips for Promoting Event via Social Media
- Online Circle of Influence effect Search Listings
- Email beats social media for customer attention – is that true?
- Future of Bit.ly
- What’s the Health of Social Media Marketing?