Leveraging Social Network Marketing for Your Business

Build vital connections with global online communities.

As advertisers scrutinize every marketing dollar in this economy, the popularity of social network marketing couldn’t have better timing. This budget friendly tactic can leverage your business marketability to a new level, but only if used strategically. Be an effective social network marketer by getting familiar with this type of communication and following a few dos and don’ts.

Understanding social network marketing
Social network marketing is applying marketing activities and communications within an online community. Facebook and Twitter are the largest and most well-know online communities, but micro online communities also exist with members meeting at various “watering holes” to share information and discuss common interests. Some social networks, such as MeetUp.com, are global online communities that specialize in connecting locals who share specific interests in person, from new moms to sci-fi buffs. Targeting and tapping into these online special interest groups can help connect you to an ever-expanding group of potential customers, but there are many more benefits to getting involved in social networks:
– Extend your brand personality beyond conventional marketing materials.
–  Find out what’s being said about your industry (or your business) and take the opportunity to contribute to the conversation to educate or influence. This is niche marketing at its finest.
– Get an up-to-the-minute reality check on your business, competitors or industry by reading comments from real people. Use this information to improve your business, capitalize on opportunities and further define your target audience.
– Connect with social network members to gain referrals and leads, and source professional support and advice.
– Build relationships with potential employees and peers that can evolve into real face-to-face relationships and transactions.

Target your social networks through searching Google and big communities like Facebook, Google Groups and Yahoo! Groups. For business-to-business social networks, check out LinkedIn.com. Don’t forget mainstream online media like major news and magazine websites have an online community or discussion board where you can speak up.

Tools of The Trade

Posting to various social networks can be time consuming, so you’ll want to look into some online tools to help you streamline the process. You can also “schedule” a post to various social media networks at the same time, which saves a ton of time. Just a few you may want to check out are Hoot Suite, Tweet Deck and Meet Edgar.

Use your social networking time well
Social networking is fun and the more time you put into it, the bigger the payoff. However, it can be time consuming and even addictive, so apply these tips to use your social network time wisely:

– Start with a social media strategy (what are your objectives and what will be the tone of your content)
– Schedule time in your calendar and use a time tracking program or a kitchen timer to keep use quick.
– Keep a list of your activities that you can reference on your social networking sites so that you stay on track

Get connected
Social network marketing can allow you to effectively target your audience, is cost and time effective, easy, and provides measurable results. For all of these reasons, social network marketing needs to be a part of your comprehensive marketing plan, in harmony with your other marketing activities.

For one on one social media coaching and strategy, contact us.