Social Media...make it part of your marketing mix! 5 things to do right now!
You are probably familiar with most of the ‘traditional' marketing practices; direct mail, email marketing, advertising, telesales, pr etc - however, for a few years now, given the opportunities the internet provides, the term ‘new marketing' has been bandied around. If we think of traditional marketing as ‘push' marketing - mediums we use to push our messages onto others ‘interupting' them, then the new marketing relates to ‘pull' marketing - marketing activities we do which ‘attract', as a magnet would, interested parties, at their own accord, to view our services and products. Pull activities include; blogging, social media networks (think Twitter, Facebook, Linked-In, Bizzbug, Xing, Ning, My Space) actively participating in forums; UK Business Forums, socialmediatoday, ukbusinesslabs), making your information more widely available via resources such as Digg, Blogburst, Ezine, GoArticles and others - effectively, sharing your knowledge, know-how, experiences, advice, contacts, news, views and opinions to build interest in who you are, what your business is about, what you do - with the hope that users grow to follow what you say and are encouraged to buy and refer - effectively, building ‘positive share of mind' - in an online and hopefully viral way!
Social Media activity is not a direct sell - it's a bit of a slow burner - and like traditional marketing, it's not something that one practices in isolation. For maximum impact, it's wise to work the social media mediums in an integrated way.
Here's are my 5 tips for getting started and integrating just some of what's available: (because believe you me, trying to keep on top of it all if you go much wider, becomes a full time job!).
- Create a blog. A blog is a great way to share what you do and what you provide with others - and it's an opportunity to build your brand by being open and getting your ‘business's personality' across. With blogging you have to keep at it - posting articles ideally 2 or 3 times a week. Attach your blog to your website - and it's a great way to constantly refresh your site. Positive for users and search engines. Wordpress www.wordpress.com is a user friendly blog and highly adaptable resource and you can get started pretty quickly.
- Join Twitter. YesI agree, initially it seems strange - but once you get into it, you'll start to connect with likeminded people - and follow only those that you are learning, sharing with. Again, it takes a while. Set up an account, share news about your business and your life (a delicate balance as you don't want to come across as a hard sell) - and see what happens. www.twitter.com - why not also promote links to your latest blog posts via this media too.
- Digg. If you are creating articles for your blog on a regular basis - you can register with Digg and post your articles there too. You only post a link to your article - and so there's no duplicate content issue - and who knows, dependent upon what you're reporting on, you may hit the jackpot and get to their front page where millions of users will see it! www.digg.com
- Forums. Get involved with relevant forums. The www.UKbusinessforums.co.uk covers a range of topics and is well subscribed. People often post requests for help on business projects, printers, designers etc - and so as well as getting and giving advice, you may also pick up some new business. Why not also promote links to your latest blog post here too.
- Social Networks. More and more businesses are using Facebook and YouTube to promote their businesses - and there are other useful online resources such as LinkedIn (helping to find business contacts, projects and seek referral) and www.bizzbug.com - a useful and powerful ‘intranet' style collaboration resource. Take a look at what other businesses are doing on these sites - and consider what would work for you.
So, get started - and become a social ‘media' ite today!
Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative - a graphic design and marketing services agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire. The agency covers all aspects of graphic design and marketing - covering social media marketing and website planning and website design.