Module 3: Social Media Marketing – Socialize with Your Friends and Followers

Social media marketing involves using social media sites as part of your online marketing strategy. Social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Digg, Technorati, YouTube, Google+ and other sites where people create profiles and interact with friends. These sites are huge and they offer a great way to reach your target market, deliver your marketing message, and find out what your fans like.

There are two popular ways to use social media sites in your marketing. One is to post content or links to content on your social media profile. This content could be blog posts, pictures, videos or any other media. The other method is to place ads on social media sites using their ad networks.

What is Social Media Best Used For?

Any business whatsoever can benefit from social media marketing, especially local businesses. Geographic features on social media sites make it particularly easy for people in your area to find your profile through searches.

You can offer deals and promotions through your profile that are exclusive to your fans. In this way, your profile is similar to your email list. You can increase their loyalty to your brand by offering these exclusive bonuses.

The Advantages of Social Media

Social media marketing allows you to interact directly with your clients and potentially transform them into your biggest advocates and promoters. It adds a personal aspect to online communications that’s unrivaled by other online marketing methods. When people feel like they can interact with you in a more direct way, it engenders loyalty and trust.

Using social media sites also allows you to reach a wider audience. You have access to not only your fans but your fans’ friends. On sites like Facebook, whenever your fans interact with you, their friends may see that interaction as well.

Because your customers can contact you easily through social media sites, you can get valuable feedback and learn more about your target market. You can look at your fans’ profiles and find out what they’re interested in. This is the kind of data that marketing firms have paid huge sums of money for in years past.

You also get SEO benefits by using these popular social sites. Your profile appears in searches. They give you a ready-made platform that already has millions of users.

How to Get the Most Out of Social Media Marketing

It may sound like a lot of work babysitting your profiles. But it’s well worth it, and there are ways of avoiding the social media time-suck. Many businesses find that it’s a fun and enjoyable daily task. Here’s how you can make social media marketing work for you:

  • Although it may seem like a chore, sign up for each new social media site that pops up that may be appealing to your target market. You never know which might be the next Facebook. Just be sure to move on if it turns out this isn’t where your target audience hangs out.
  • Focus on interactivity and engagement. Try to get your fans and followers engaged in your profile as much as possible.
  • Use tools like widgets and plug-ins to make profile management easier and foster interactivity.
  • Connect all of your social media sites by linking them together. Include your site and blog as well.

The real key to success is to keep your involvement social. Don’t create your profile and content and then wait for the fans and comments to roll in. Be proactive. Get out there and make friends. Comment on other people’s profiles and join groups for increased visibility. This brands you as a friendly person with your own distinct personality that people will want to get to know better.

Action Steps

  • If you haven’t done so already, invest 10-15 minutes in setting up all of your professional profiles in a social media management program. This will set you up with a dashboard for managing all of your accounts from one place. There are a few good ones out there, but we recommend HootSuite due to its price, popularity, and usability.
  • Take a break to focus on identifying at least five top social media influencers in your niche. You can find some good advice on what to look for in this article from Sprout Social.

Ready for a deeper dive? Explore the resources below!

 

When you are ready to really dig into this stuff, remember that there’s a real mix of marketing advice out there. Some of it’s awesome, some of it’s half-baked, lots of it is outdated, and a whole lot of it is designed to help sell products, not professionals services.

We’ve filtered through the best of what is available to provide you with actionable advice in our Deep Dive recommendations that are from the most trusted resources and are designed specifically to promote professional services like yours.

The Beginner’s Guide to Social Media

Whether you are new to social media, want to brush up on the basics, or just on the lookout for useful tip or two, Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to Social Media is one of the most comprehensive (and nicest looking) deep dive guides out there. Avoid the social media handwringing that many practices get stuck in, and check this piece out when you have the time to really take it in.

 

Pricing Information

Ready to move forward? We have pricing options that range from full access membership to a la carte courses.

Membership Information

Membership in Coffee Break University has its benefits. Learn more about what our Power Practice Network has to offer.