Using Social Media for Business

By On 6, Dec, 2011 |  In: Internet Marketing |  | 0

We are often asked, as an Internet marketing company, how to approach social media from a business perspective, so in this post, we’re going to cover the three key steps to achieve success.

To achieve real, measurable results in social media, you have to take a direct marketing approach. Specifically, you have to increase fans or followers, increase leads, and increase sales. And you want to set up goals for each social network in these three areas and check your progress against your goals. You also want to track the expense that you have allocated to each campaign in each social network by using a unique landing page for each campaign.

Let’s take a look at the three key steps to drive results through social media:

Step 1 – Increasing Fans, Followers, Subscribers, and Connections
To increase fans in your social networks, start by including links to all of your social networks wherever possible, including your Website, email signature, advertising, etc. Then add share functionality to the same touch points outlined above.

For real growth in fans, provide a lot of value. One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is that they use social networks to sell. While selling is part of social media for business, the rule of thumb is to focus at least two thirds of your communication on creating value for your market, and only one third on selling. And create unique value in each social network, while maintaining the same strategy from a positioning and differentiation perspective.

For example, on Facebook, you can post a tip of the week that is exclusively available on Facebook. On YouTube, you can create “How To” videos that provide helpful tips to position you as a thought leader. On Twitter, you can do an end of week book recommendation. On LinkedIn, you can create a group, participate in groups, and ask and answer questions. By putting out helpful information, people will start following you and sharing your input with others in the community.

Step 2 – Increasing Leads
Once you are creating value in your market, start driving your fans to opt-in pages for additional value in exchange for an email address to generate leads.

In Facebook, you can achieve this by providing helpful information, followed by a link to an eBook with more information on the same subject that the prospect can download by completing a Web form. You can also use the events tab and wall to promote events that link to a landing page with a registration form.

On YouTube, you can provide helpful information in a video with a call to action to download the same eBook. In LinkedIn, you can participate in groups and provide helpful information that links to the eBook for more information. You can even use an events plug-in to promote events where prospects can register within LinkedIn via RSVP.

Step 3 – Increasing Sales
Since prospects go through the traditional buying process from need recognition, to information gathering, to the evaluation of alternatives, you want to communicate social proof for prospects that are evaluating alternatives. Achieve this through success stories, case studies, and posting clients information.

In Facebook and Twitter, you can post or tweet about these success stories and link to a landing page on your site that hosts the text and video. In YouTube, you can upload the success story, case study, etc. in video format.

As you can see, the examples above sell your product or business from a value creation perspective. This way, you prospect does not feel like they are being sold.

If you have any questions, please comment below.

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