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Before you go diving into Social Media, it’s only prudent to test the waters and get a few lessons

Sites such as Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter
originally were conceived as platforms through which
individuals could share with each other, but are quickly
becoming a valuable tool for businesses in their
efforts to strengthen their brand and
reach out to potential customers.”

A Network Solutions white paper, “Using Social Media Marketing to Drive Traffic to Your Website” outlines ways to leverage the popularity of Social Media. The strengths of social media marketing include:

  • Making information, resources and useful tools widely available
  • Building brand awareness
  • Earning trust in the online community
  • Building a following
  • Turning followers into website visitors, and website visitors into customers

If you’re a novice in the SMM arena, it’s helpful to seek professional consultation to work out the details of planning a strategy, and getting registered and setting up basic information in the various avenues available. But a little background knowledge and forethought can help you shape that consulting process.
Setting up blog formats and distribution is relatively simple, but you’ll want to spend some time online checking out the status quo, common practices and best practices before diving in. And it can be a bit bewildering to contemplate the technical standards for sharing materials online – articles, news releases, photos, videos, white papers, etc.

Finally, the task of maintaining and updating your SMM product can be daunting – let alone the process of evaluating and tweaking the product based on the response of your target audience.

Following up on its excellent white paper, Network Solutions conducted a “Tweetchat” that yielded 10 helpful tips on using SMM to drive website traffic.

Tip #1 – Know what your objective is, and start with that in mind.

Tip #2 – Understand where you are now. What is “more” traffic – compared to what? What are “higher” rankings?

Tip #3 – Find the pain of your audience, where they go to relieve it and any unhealed pain they have that your product or service could be the solution to for your prospects.

Tip #4 – Format your game plan around reaching that audience.

Tip #5 – It’s hard to do many things well. Pick five web traffic areas per team member and focus on one of them per day or marketing hour.

Tip #6 – Things work for most sites – Article marketing, Blogging, SEO, Advertising, podcasting, video marketing and PDF marketing.

Tip #7 – Even with free traffic, If you can, test with a small advertising run.

Tip #8 – Pick keywords and targets from the perspective of customer needs, not your company name or products.

Tip #9 – Have a lead generation system: 97 to 98.5% of the time, people are not ready to buy when they first hear about you.

Tip #10 – New things are great but stick to your fundamentals. Just because you’re using social media doesn’t mean stop visiting forums.

Bottom Line: Swimming in the Social Media marketing pool is relatively easy, and the entry price is attractive – VERY attractive. But unless you know where you’re diving, the waters can be treacherous.


Photo: Rippon Lea Estate