Why should you participate in social media? You'll generate exposure, traffic, inbound partnerships, and bring in new, qualified leads.
The best way to get results and the most benefits from social media is to show people who you are as a person. Even if you are a business, they need to see you as a group of people. Real people. To do that you have to employ a five-step success cycle.
Step 1. Set a specific social media strategy. The words that work in the offline world don't always work well in social media. The attention span in social media is very short. The message must be targeted, but it must be the same message developed in your other marketing vehicles. Stay true to who your business is in a more personal way.
Step 2. Establish your presence. Select the right social sites to be on and optimize your presence. Having a clear message will create advantages for your business.
Step 3. Make a commitment to continually expand your reach. Use advanced search capabilities within the specific social media sites to find your best customers. Did you know that the most utilized search engine now is twitter? Were you aware that a search for your favorite key words on LinkedIn can help you find your target market?
Step 4. Nurture relationships within your target audience. Social media is all about connecting with your audience. This isn't your father's website. It is a personal relationship builder. Learn to talk about the topics that interest your market. Let them see you as a person.
Step 5. Maintain your communication with your network. Update your sites daily. Facebook and twitter should be updated multiple times each day. Otherwise your target market won't come back. They will visit your site a few times and if the information is stale, they won't visit again.
Whatever you do, don't skip step one. Strategy is very important in social media. Without it you will flounder and the effort will be wasted. Just as you need an overall marketing strategy for your business, you also need a strategy for social media.
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