By Andy Havard
Andy Havard is a Marketing Executive at Skeleton Productions, a UK based Internet video production company.
Marketers, bloggers, brands and businesses worldwide are always looking for engaging new ways to connect with their audiences, and social media platforms seem to be the latest way of doing so. Wealthy corporates will swear on making use of advertising space on such sites to boost conversion rates and improve website traffic, but what good is that to the little guys?
The following article tackles how businesses, brands and bloggers of all sizes and niches can utilise social media platforms to market their Internet content for absolutely free. Whether you’re trying to market Internet video, photos, products, podcasts or written articles, this post will provide you with the real social media 101 marketing approach.
Facebook is certainly becoming the talk of the town of late. Controversial changes on the site are definitely putting the platform back into the limelight after Google+’s popular implementation on to the World Wide Web just a few months ago.
Interestingly, despite the new changes unfolding on Facebook the most successful marketing strategies still remain the same. Posting links to your content in your status, sharing it with your Friends and posting it in Groups and Pages that are on brand with your content are always the essential places to start. Although you must always be careful you’re not spamming users uninterested in your niche. Try to stir up interaction with your content with users and pages relevant to your subject, topic or niche as such users will be the most interested and responsive to the content your marketing.
One of the new features Facebook has brought out that benefits social media marketing is their new ‘Subscribe’ feature. This new function is a fantastic way to keep the ‘Friends’ interested in your online activity up to date with your latest content at all times.
LinkedIn may seem like a very ‘business’ social media, but it is full of great marketing avenues. There are thousands of Groups and Discussions cropping up across the site that could be very relevant to the content you’re trying to market. Be sure to reach out to these specific Groups and get involved in these Discussions using your content. Whip up conversation and debate through the content you are marketing, the more engagement you can create, the better.
The most social aspect of LinkedIn, and the area where you can get the most ‘quick wins’ is through your Profile’s status. Statuses are where users tend to operate in a very ‘Facebook’ mentality. Your LinkedIn Connections are always far more likely to interact with your content through ‘Likes’ and ‘Comments’ on your status than any other post you submit to the site. The reason for this is that your status updates will appear in the newsfeeds of your Connections on their home screens without them having to actively find it in Groups or Discussions.
Twitter is a social media where marketers make a lot of mistakes. Stale ReTweeting and auto-posting articles is never a good way of engaging with your Followers, yet many marketers always do. There’s nothing more unappealing than a bland Tweet with a generic hyperlink.
The secret to marketing on Twitter is to become an engaging and useful Twitter user. This is sadly not something that happens overnight. Building a following and creating a community on any social media site takes effort and hard work to reap its rewards. Creating good relationships through personalized @’s and Direct Messages to Followers helps to create a solid connection with your Followers, which will benefit you a great deal in the long run. Once you’ve become a user Followers want to look out for in their news feeds, your content will start getting those sought after shares and ReTweets.
If you’re a solo-preneur or just a very busy individual, you might not have an awful lot of time to build a strong Twitter community. If that’s the case, a slight substitute is to make the Tweets that occompany your hyperlinks as engaging and inviting as possible. Doing so will help to boost your click through rate and improve the interaction Followers have with your Profile.
The geeks of the world may get a bit furious at the following statement, but Google+ really is a lot like Facebook, especially when it comes to marketing approaches. You’ve got the ability to use your status updates, private messaging, like-ing (+1), friend-ing, sharing and so forth. However, Google+ does have one very exciting marketing addition, which I like to call ‘sector specific marketing opportunities’.
In Google+ these sector specific marketing opportunities are called Circles, but if you take an Internet marketing approach to Google+, what Google has created (whether directly or indirectly) is the ability to target specific sectors of individuals for you to market towards. This means that you can steer your marketing approaches towards any specific group. Whether your Circles are made up of future clients, users interested in your niche, past customers, business peers or even fellow marketers, you can market your content to each of these Circles in the most beneficial way possible to that particular Circle. This is a new kind of marketing freedom that is seldom seen on other social media platforms ,and should be picked up by Internet marketers especially asap.
By using and utilising social media platforms you can give your content the fantastic power of ‘word of mouth’ promotion. Creating ‘word of mouth’ promotion through your content is a well and truly priceless marketing attribute, yet it can be exceptionally prosperous for any brand, business or blog. Social media platforms are incredibly powerful, and their tools and features give you the opportunity to market your content successfully, efficiently and effectively.