Internet Marketing: Lessons Learned & Best Practices Part 3 – The Social Media Dynamic



By Hector Cisneros

Photo Credit: popularresistance.org

Social media is a revolution whose time has come.  Without a doubt, the advent of social media has dramatically changed the landscape of the Internet forever.  The changes are many and constant.  Despite all the wonderful benefits social networks bring, few business understand the benefits, much less understand how to use this medium. This article will expose the many mistakes and myths business have about social media and social networking.  The reader will come away with many useful tips and techniques that will help their business make the most of this evolutionary resource and marketing medium.  Pay close attention to the most common mistakes.  Implement proven techniques to grow your networks and spread your positive message, as we explore the best practices and lessons learned from the last seven years of the social media revolution.



To access and read the other three articles in this series, type the word "marketing" in the search bar at the above right of this page.

Social Posts – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 

 

Photo Credit: usandthem.de
First and foremost: No one ever subscribed to a social network to be sold to!  They joined to connect with others, find useful information, share news and be entertained.  It’s all about them. Many businesses continue to believe that their social posts are supposed to be all about who they are or what’s going on with their company.  This is true if you are Marvel Comics, a rock star, a best-selling author, celebrity or a hot product, but for most social posts, it’s all about what the subscriber wants. Even when we’re talking about celebrities posting about themselves, their fans want to know about the celebrity; it’s about what the fans want, not what they celebrity wants.  The point of this best practice is that you must give people what they want.  If your posts are bland, boring, or all about you, your followers’ growth will be slow and painful.  You need to make a change or you will never grow your organic following to any kind of significant numbers.

Photo Credit: simplysociablekate.com
Speaking of growing a fan base ― this requires actively posting to your social nets every day.  Your post will need to include a mix of high-quality, curated and recycled, as well as new, authoritative content.  It also requires action, inviting new fans, active engagement of existing fans, and active management of that fan base. Ignoring any of these elements will slow the growth process down.  Active inviting has to happen every day. By inviting as few as 25 new followers a day, you can grow your network by as many as 2,000 organic followers in one year or more.  To grow even faster, you will need to engage in some form of social network promotions.  These can include pay per click/view in the top five social networks and can also include related social network directories. Also:

  • You must be willing to follow users and let users follow you back
  • Give them what they want
  • Feed “the beast” daily
  • Feed "the beast" at different times
  • Numbers are important
  • Actively invite at least 25 new followers every day

Let Others Toot Your Horn to Increase Your Credibility

 

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Being found and shared on the social nets is the primary way your content achieves ranking on the search engines.  This is also the best way to show up on consumers' radar today.  Pushing out your content to your social nets is very important.  However, if you have only a few followers, your blog and social sites will be like billboards in the desert.  It’s more important to encourage others to push your content out to their social nets.  This gives you more credibility, coverage, and produces more followers faster than just pushing it out to your social nets.  The tricky part is getting other influential social players to push out your material for you.  Ideally, you would find a half dozen like-minded businesses who don’t compete with yours directly, but are related, which are willing to help other businesses read their blogs, comment on them, and share each other’s blogs to their social nets.

Photo Credit: umamimarketing.com
This is where Working the Web’s proprietary, award-winning methodologies such as “Team Tech,” “Social Slam Dunk,” “Blog Blast” and “Club W Cubed” play an important role.  Team Tech subscribers help each other by regularly reading, commenting on and pushing each other’s content out to their own social nets.  Working the Web to Win has a substantial following of 75,000+ subscribers.  We push our clients’ content out to our tens of thousands of followers, thus giving them even broader distribution.  On top of that, we’re members of many social networking groups.  Many of these groups have a large number of members and allow us to post our messages (and our clients’) to the group as a whole.  This is very important if you only have a small number of followers.  It is also an important posting strategy for any business using social media as a marketing tool.


Anyone can Create a Content-Generating Machine

 

Photo Credit: digitaltrends.com
Creating and maintaining a brand using an Internet radio or WebTV show is a very cost-effective means of garnering a Page One position and building a brand.  Of course, this requires support from a full multimedia campaign that includes active social media engagement in the top five social networks (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube).  It will also need SEO-rich search engine elements, Landing Pages, a weekly blog (at minimum), daily social posts, press releases, electronic newsletters, and Search Directory engagement to get it off the ground.  A conservative estimate is that the actual cost of this kind of campaign is significantly less than any of its analog counterparts (i.e., regular broadcast TV, or radio) for producing the same kind of positive branding results.

 Social Marketing Campaigns Needs to be Dynamic

 

Photo Credit: illinoislawnews.com
Static Internet marketing campaigns often miss opportunities to take advantage of newly discovered keywords, trends, current events and other emerging traffic patterns.  That's why having a flexible marketing plan that allow for tweaks, changes, element swapping and fund reallocation is important. Any fixed plan is great when your research was right on the money.  For example: if your SEO efforts are not providing good results, it would be beneficial to move your marketing revenue to other elements of your campaign, say blogging or social media promotions.  It also means that if you’ve been concentrating on Facebook and your results dry up, you want the flexibility to move your money over to LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+.  This is important because few companies actually do pre-marketing research, so fixed plans leave them at a disadvantage.  We feel so strongly about this concept that all of our marketing campaigns are Flex Plans.  These allow Working the Web to Win’s clients to take advantage of emerging trends and shifting market traffic.  This provides our clients the advantage of getting the maximum return on their marketing dollars.  It also reduces or totally removes the risks associated with any marketing campaign.

In this article, I laid out a map of the lessons learned and best practices we’ve developed while managing ours and dozens of clients’ social media accounts over the last seven years.  I outlined the common mistakes and myths that business have about social media and explained why these can cause missed opportunities.  I also discussed the best ways to grow and market your business when using social media for business.  Now that we know what works, what lessons we’ve learned, and what are the best practices, businesses owners need to remember that social media is all about our followers.  

You can find more than a dozen articles about Internet marketing and how it has evolved on our blog site by entering “social media” or “social networking” in the search box, at the top of this blog.  I also recommend reading the “The Twelve Secrets of Social Media Success” and the “Seven Secrets of Social Media Magnets,” just to name a few.  Thanks for sharing your valuable time with us. To access the other articles in this four-part series, simply click on the following direct links: Part 1 – The Big Picture, Part 2 – Website and SEO Principles, Part 3 – The Social Media Dynamic, and Part 4 – Content is King.  Thanks for sharing your valuable time with us.

That’s my opinion, I look forward to reading yours.

If you'd like a free copy of our eBook, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," please fill in the form below and we'll email it to you. Your information is always kept private and is never sold.



Hector Cisneros is COO and director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web To Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.”

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