Social media marketing can – and should – be an important part of your company’s online marketing efforts. It should also be tied into, and constitute an integral component, of your search engine optimization program.
A recent Globe and Mail article pointed out the following five potential “social-media landmines” that should be taken into account when adding social media marketing to your ongoing SEO and marketing plans:
- Diving in without a strategic plan.
- Not having a social media policy.
- Failing to tailor the plan to your target audience.
- Producing weak, unfocused, or unhelpful content.
- Allowing your social media efforts to stagnate.
Social media marketing is a valuable tool to add to your SEO toolkit, and to ensure that your business web site gains the benefits of effective social marketing and is visible and highly ranked. First, however, it is essential to know what you want your website to do. Is it strictly for marketing and branding purposes, is it meant to drive traffic to a bricks and mortar store, or are you intending to make on line sales?
With your website’s purpose clearly recognized, it is important to delineate who will be responsible for social media marketing, and what their mandate, guidelines and restrictions will be. Do you want to appoint an internal point person for social media marketing, or would you rather delegate social media responsibilities to outside SEO specialist with social media marketing expertise?
Regardless if your social media campaign is internal or external, it is essential – as in all marketing – to tailor your social marketing efforts to your target audience. And, most importantly, target your audience with informative and useful content. Pure marketing pitches are decidedly unwelcome to the vast majority of social media users. At best, your marketing efforts will be ineffective and largely ignored. At worst, as many companies have found out after the fact, drawing the ire of internet savvy consumers can raise an online firestorm. Just as good social marketing can go viral, producing great return on your social marketing efforts, a social media backlash can also go viral, with serious and widespread consequences that necessitate serious damage control to avoid permanently tarnishing your company’s brand.
Accordingly, when delving into the untested waters of corporate social media marketing, it is advisable to consult with experienced SEO professionals – social marketing experts who know the ins and outs, the benefits and potential risks of social media marketing – before setting out to tap into the great marketing potential of Facebook, Twitter and other social media powerhouses.
And lastly, irrespective if you are handling social media marketing internally or are contracting that function to SEO professionals and experienced social marketers, it is important to keep your online presence fresh and relevant to your brand. New, interesting and relevant content and commentaries should help position your company or website as a trusted reference source and an expert in your field.