When working with new clients, they often think you need to spend a substantial part of your day tweeting or posting on social sites. What you do need to do is start with a social media strategy.
A Strategic Approach to Twitter
Three common questions are who do I follow, what type of content should I create, and how do I engage with people. In this post I’ll cover the WHO DO I FOLLOW question.
Searching for Probable Customers
Your goal is to connect with, or enhance your relationship with customers, so you should begin by following the customers you have now and build to follow potential customers. See who is talking about you already. Start following those people.
I happen to have a bottle of Aquafina water here on my desk, so while I’m not promoting the product, I will use it as an example. Here’s how to search in 4 steps.
Facebook has been announcing a lot of new changes this week. The latest is that SSL (Secured Socket Layer) will be required for Fan Pages effective October 1, 2011. According to Facebook:
As the web evolves, expectations around security change. For example, HTTPS — once a technology used primarily on banking and e-commerce sites — is now becoming the norm for any web app that stores user information. We feel that HTTPS is an essential option to protect the security of Facebook accounts, and since Apps on Facebook are an important part of the site, support for HTTPS in your app is critical to ensure user security.
So, what does this mean to you? If you’re creating fan pages for your Facebook page on your own domains, then you will need to purchase a secure certificate and get your site secured. It’s not a terribly costly option, running around $50 a year, depending on your provider.
If you’re already working with a marketing agency, and they are hosting your Fan Pages, make sure you touch base with them this week to verify they have their ducks in order.
Social Media is a powerful tool for a number of reasons. Businesses always need to look at how they can create new opportunities, and connect with peers. One of the most powerful ways is by understanding and using LinkedIn. Just take a look at this chart and think about the possibilities of connecting with such a vibrant community of business professionals.
If you’re not sure using LinkedIn can benefit your business, or how to get started, watch this short clip.
Inbound marketing is all about getting found. Somewhere, someone is searching for exactly the product or service you offer. Your challenge is positioning yourself to be easily found when they are searching. Over the next few days I’ll be discussing the key elements I recommend to clients, which are:
Generate great content,
Optimize that content for search engines,
and, Use social media strategies to promote your content.
Part 1 – Generate (Awesome) Content
Great content is the foundation of any website. You know, you’ve heard it, “Content is King”. This is not a new idea. That term was first coined in the mid-1990’s by Sumner Redstone, owner and CEO of Viacom, Inc. In a 2004 interview with global research firm Accenture, he reiterated, “What drives our industry is content and creativity. Technology will not overcome these fundamentals. In fact, it’s these fundamentals that will allow us to adjust. We will adhere to the principle that content is king.” And, what he said then, still holds true, despite the changes in technologies or platforms we use today.
Hopefully, you’ve worked hard to make sure you have all you P’s & Q’s in order when it comes to presenting your business using your website. But is simply having a website enough these days? Emphatically, NO.
One of the quickest ways to increase your visibility is through blogging and giving your readers awesome content. Awesome spreads.
A few days ago, I attended a book signing event for the King of Awesome, Scott Stratten. His book, Unmarketing, is a must read in my opinion. Here’s a snippet from that event ..
Where Do You Find Your Awesome?
Establish Yourself as an Expert – Blogs are great tools to help you establish yourself as an expert in a field or topic. Furthermore, blogging can help legitimize your expertise and expand your online presence and platform. Blogging brings like-minded people together. Starting a blog can help you find those people and share your opinions and thoughts.
How Often Should I Blog?
Some experts recommend that you need to blog daily to build a readership. But you don’t want to bore your readers with something you wrote, just to be posting. Hopefully, as an expert in your field, you can manage to have something interesting to share with your readers a few times a week. I’d much rather read someone’s blog a couple of times a week than be disappointed in a daily post, just because they felt obligated to post. Here’s Scott’s take on that …
In upcoming posts we’ll look at How to Optimize Your Content for SEO and Social media Strategies to spread your “Awesome”.
In closing, while a lot of people I run into think they need to have all their ducks in a row before they take the dive into into inbound marketing strategies, I say “Not true”. You need to commit and, like Nike says, “Just Do It“.