Definitive Guide to Social Media Media Marketing

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Getting the ettiquette of social media marketing right is so important if you want to create trust and respect for you and your brand.

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Definitive Guide to Social Media Media Marketing

  1. 1. The Definitive Guide to Social Media Marketing by Annie Robinson This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 1
  2. 2. The Definitive Guide to Social Media Marketing 2009 Brisbane Queensland Australia © Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved Annie Robinson and thezenbull.com. This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and TheZenBull.com and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. The information presented herein represents the view of the author as of the date of publication. While every effort has been made to verify the information in this book, neither the author nor her partners assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. All information in this article/eBook is provided for information purposes only and should not be substituted for professional solicited advice. It is your responsibility to research the accuracy, completeness, and usefulness of all opinions, services, and other information found on the site and in this article/eBook. This website nor the author assume/s no responsibility or liability for any consequence resulting directly or indirectly for any action or inaction you take based on or made in reliance on the information, services, or material on or linked to this site. ** Since the internet is changing and evolving on a daily basis, this site and this article/eBook may contain outdated material. While this website and the author makes every reasonable effort to present current and accurate information, no guarantee of any kind is made. This website and the author is/ are not liable for any damage or loss related to the accuracy, completeness or timeliness of any information contained on this site. This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 2
  3. 3. What is Social Media Marketing? The Wikipedia definition of SMM: “Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of internet marketing which seeks to achieve branding and marketing communication goals through the participation in various social media networks”. Or “Social media marketing is an engagement with online communities to generate exposure, opportunity and sales. The number-one advantage is generating exposure for the business, followed by increasing traffic and building new business partnerships. “ According to Wikipedia, social media first and foremost “depends on interactions between people as the discussion and integration of words builds shared-meaning, using technology as a conduit.” In other words, social media is primarily about user-generated content (where the public become publishers) and the conversations that exist within the communities that flourish and thrive around that content, whether it’s video, audio or text. However, I like to tell people my definition of social media marketing and that is: The use of social and community sites to begin conversations with people and form relationships based on those conversations and once that has happened to use this friendship as a base to helpfully recommend products and services. Just as in real life, we have many conversations over lunch, coffee or just in passing where we recommend a good product or service to our friends and acquaintences and never think we are advertising, but rather offering a helping hand. This kind of marketing is all about making real relationships and friendships, not so much about advertising which to me is a different thing. Advertising to me is a radio, newspaper or TV ad which is a one way conversation, one voice only is heard. However in SM marketing both voices are heard and there is little if any blatant advertising done unless it is understood by both parties as being permitted in their conversation. This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 3
  4. 4. What does this interaction do for your marketing? How does your business profit from these online conversations? Before I answer those questions let me ask you this? What ways are open to you to market your website and your business? • Television • Radio • Newspapers • Business Cards • Word of Mouth Which one will cost you the least and pay off on the bottom line more often? Any marketer worth his or her salt will tell you that word of mouth is by far the most sought after marketing solution. In fact word of mouth marketing is what all other media is aimed at achieving, it is known as the Holy Grail of marketing. Word of Mouth marketing is when one person tells another how wonderful your product or service is and that person tells another and another. Why is it the Holy Grail of marketing, because all recommendations are made in a conversation based on trust and therefore much more likely to result in a sale or booking. So much so, that all marketing is aimed at creating this creditable domino effect. Why Would I Use SMM? What if I told you that word of mouth marketing had now become, through the advent of SMM, 'word of mouse' marketing? And what if I also told you that by using online socialising you could reach an audience of billions on a daily basis? Yes! BILLIONS of people eagerly waiting to hear about your product or service. This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 4
  5. 5. A few statistics to whet your whistle: • Facebook now has over 200 Million users • Twitter is fast catching up with over 110 Million users • Over 13 Billion videos are watched on Youtube every month • There are over 110 Million Blogs online Just imagine if you were to spend just 20 minutes twice a day on these sites and be able to tell them all about your product, services and business in a few simple conversations? Your prospective audience would be in the billions! Social Media Marketing can help you increase the activity around these top goals: • Website Traffic • Sales conversion and tracking • Page views and ad exposure • Brand awareness • Positive brand association and reputation management • Business development and a broader customer approach • Search engine optimisation Creating content that others want to read, intitating conversations around your brand and business, and adding value to social interaction and users, : can get your site incoming links from top ranking sites, create a viral attraction to your site, increase brand awareness from nothing to high in just a few conversations and best of all because you have increased trust your incoming visitors are more likely to buy thus increasing sales conversions. Costs of SMM: The cost of joining most of these sites is – NOTHING! Just a little of your time is needed to initiate conversations and keep the momentum going. So for most start-ups this is the most efficient and cost effective marketing they can do. You can even leverage many of your profiles with advertising. The most likley costs of a SM marketing strategy is the cost of the staff learning curve which should include knowing which sites are the most efficient, what their rules are regarding marketing, best practices and ettiquette and how to plan, implement and track your marketing energy. Brand Building: Social media provides a platform like no other in history to build your brand. As you build your conversations, friendships and followers your brand is parried from one profile to another without your even trying. Followers often send messages to their friends and followers, post your links on their profiles and recommend you to their friends on a daily basis, just for being their friend and perhaps recprocating their generousity. This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 5
  6. 6. Loyalty: Producing content which adds value to your community induces loyalty, trust and leverages not only your existing friends and followers but those of your friends and followers as well as they edify you and your content to others. The massive flow-on effect from a loyal band of followers cannot be underestimated and can send one link from you outward into the internet universe at an exponential rate in a very short time. Level Playing Field: Start-ups and small businesses are at an advantage rather than a disadvantage in SMM, as big brands are not known for having relationships with their customers and clients and this brings you into a level playing field where you just may have the advantage. One of the greatest benefits is the ability to leverage a loyal community by harnessing the power of their loyalty. Word of mouth loyalty spreads quickly on the social web as does gossip and this can continue to build your customer base even when you are not online. Convergence of PR and Social Media: As social media communities continue to build, news is spead faster by Twitter or Facebook than the news channels and media. You can create buzz in your market by things such as applications for employment posted online, invitations to speak or guest write for your blog or podcast and other online activities. Ongoing Education and Personal Development: One of the best benefits is that as fast as the internet and its interactions are growing you can keep pace with it, by keeping track of trends, news and industry gossip. You can tap into the unbelievable force of the internet knowledge base at any time and into your own communities for more information, often given free of charge as a part of the pay-it-forward value given to online social sites. A List of various Kinds of Social Sites (with notable brands who use them): • Blogs (Johnson & Johnson, Delta Air Lines) • Bookmarking/Tagging (Adobe, Kodak) • Brand monitoring (Dell, MINI) • Content aggregation (Alltop, EMC) • Discussion boards and forums (IBM, Mountain Dew) • Mashups (Fidelity Investments, Nike) • Microblogging (method, Whole Foods) • Online video (Eukanuba, Home Depot) • Organization and staffing (Ford, Pepsi) • Photosharing (Rubbermaid, UK Government) • Podcasting (Ericsson, McDonalds) • Presentation sharing (CapGemini, Daimler AG) • Public Relations - social media releases (Avon, Intel) • Ratings and reviews (Loblaws, TurboTax) This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 6
  7. 7. • Social networks: applications, fan pages, groups, and personalities (British Airways, Saturn) • Virtual worlds (National Geographic, Toyota) • Widgets (Southwest Airlines, Target) • Wikis (Second Life, T-Mobile Sidekick) Some of the different types of content that may work include: * Breaking news * Guides / tutorials * Interesting stories * Pictures * Videos * Statistics Try to use enticing titles for your content, never lie and always back up your facts by citing your sources. When you're planning a submission it's important to examine your goals. If traffic is the primary goal then the content you produce might be quite different to the sort of content you would create while trying to attract links from authority websites. The primary benefits of a social media marketing strategy can be summed up as building relationships that can bridge that gap between you (the seller) and your buyers. Getting Started The very first thing you need to do is research, find out which of the social sites will meet your needs and work for you. Just because Twitter is one of the highest ranked micorblogging site doesn't mean it will work for you, if you just don't 'get it.' So please look around, try a few different kinds of social media sites and decide what will and what won't work for you right now. You can always change your mind later and try it again. Remember to factor into your research the terms and conditions of each site, some sites allow fairly brazen marketing and some do not and that has to be a factor in your research. Next, sign up and create profiles on those sites you have chosen, my advice is to choose a couple from every genre: video sharing (YouTube, MetaCafe), social networking (Facebook, Ning), social bookmarking (Stumbleupon, Digg or Delicious), article sharing (eZine, Squidoo or HobPages). When creating your profile be honest about who you are, include some personal information like your book interests, hobbies etc.., you want to be a real person to the people checking out your profile with a view to being your friend. Show your human side after all you are about to create a relationship This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 7
  8. 8. with these people, a virtual for sure, but no less real for that. Please be aware that there is nothing wrong with using a psuedonym in these situations, it helps protect you from identity theft, but be as real as possible. One more hint I will give you re: identity theft is to never give out your real birthday, particularly your birth year. Add images you like and even a few personal pictures if you like, particularly a head shot of your smiling as your profile picture. I personally avoid pictures of children but that's my choice. In other words be real while maintaining a certain amount of discretion. I like to add in quotes I like to show everyone my tastes and preferences as this also creates connection with people. This is what we are here for, creating connection with a view to creating a relationship, so be authentic and when you begin to create conversation be authentic and heartfelt. SMM Etiquette This is a very important part of this education into Social Marketing. Ettiquette on social sites is that they are SOCIAL SITES advertising is not allowed. However, marketing is, and there is a difference. Marketing is allowed with some boundaries and those are; to keep it subtle and no hype. Here are a few of the most important rules of ettiquette for social sites: 1. Add Value, Add Value, Add Value: This means before you market anything at all you get to know people and allow them to get to know you by offering tips, resources or information that has nothing to do with your site, service or product. Yes, of course if you know something about natural health, or organic beauty or golf clubs you will only do yourself a favour to get known as the go-to- person who answers questions in your field. Just don't try to sell them anything – at first. Motivational or spiritual quotes, great books ideas, in other words post interesting, informative and helpful things as people get to know you. Join conversations and add your point of view, add a forum post with a hint or link that others might find useful. This establishes you as a helpful expert. Once you have established yourself your next step is: Add Value, Add Value, Add Value! This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 8
  9. 9. 2. Converse: yes it really is that simple, just talk to people about life, the universe and everything. Every time I get caught up in a conversation with one of my online friends I end up with about 30 more followers as a result. I make friends, network and get offers of places to stay all over the world. What could be better than that? Add value to others conversations, in other words if you see an interesting conversation and you have something helpful or valuable to add join in. Imagine you are at a networking function and act in the same way, chat, build relationships and discuss the weather and occasionally hand out a business card in the form of a post about your business. Think of it like this: If you were at a party, a coffee morning at your childrens school or a networking function and you stood up on your chair with a large banner and started to advertise your business, service or product – wouldn't you expect people would not only look at you strangely, but start moving away and eventually you would be summarily discharged from the event for making a public nuisance? These social sites are the same, just because you are behind a screen and type your conversation does not make it any less of a public nuisance. 3. Engage your audience by telling stories that connect people in real ways. The art of storytelling is as old as time and in any conversation we tell stories about ourselves, our lives, our history and our dreams. This helps you to create that all important connection with your friends and followers. This kind of storytelling also creates a feeling of knowing you and it tells your audience that you are authentically connecting with them. This establishes trust and that trust is worth its weight in gold. From there you will be able to market to your friends and followers and gain the gold of not only having them purchase from you, but tell others. The holy grail of advertising is Word of Mouth – I like to call the online version Word of Mouse. 4. Treat your friends and followers like real friends: we all tell our friends about great products or services we know will help them, so it is no different online with your virtual friends and followers, market to them with the same respect you would recommend a product or service to your real friends. After all behind the screen is a real person, have respect for them. 5. Listen: really listen you will learn so much: what is hot, what is not, what trends others can see coming, what people want, what they are looking for, what people are saying I could go on and on. One of the best educations around is just listening to the buzz, there are so many big experts and most of them are giving away priceless information for free as long as you take the time to listen. This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 9
  10. 10. 6. Ask for help when you need it: nothing endears you to others like feeling needed and appreciated. Please look for moments in which to express appreciation for a great post, piece of information, link or help do so honestly and spontaneously. 7. Don't: spam, add links to others profiles without permission, use e book give- aways as value adding (they're not considered value), message your friends or followers with ads... A list of Ways You Can Add Value on Social Sites: • So one way to add value is if someone asks a question that you can answer, answer it or if you are on Twitter and don't know the answer re ask the question out to your followers or friends and see if you can get an answer for them. • Repost information for other users, especially those not directly in your field but close enough so that you can gain some of their followers or friends. • Post helpful news and blog content links, videos etc.. concerning your field, just to the news feeds or blogs not to others sites. • Post funny, amazing and other items, pics and vids of interest (the rough ratio of unrelated posts to your ads posts should be about 10:1 that is 10 posts that are not about your product, service or website to 1 that is.) • Make real relationships with real friends and have real conversations with them. There is a secret tips regarding these conversations that can boost your site click throughs so fast that your stats will literally double overnight and none of it has anything to do with directly advertising on your posts or profile. • Ask for assistance yourself regarding things not in your field. Others love to help so give them a chance to do that, others who also want the answers might friend or follow you just to see what you will ask next. • Connect in real ways, do not automate what you are doing, or you will find that people will un-follow and un-friend you. Join conversations just as you would when at a networking event. Pretend that is where you are while you are on these sites and you will find you make fewer mistakes. • Once you get to know a few people well enough to ask, do a swap with them, tell them you will RT their info if they will do the same for you. • Participate in conversations, forums, groups and fests for a full experience and the most marketing potential out of the time you spend online. This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 10
  11. 11. Extras List of Social Media Sites I Recommend: Social Networking Sites: • FaceBook • Ning – these sites are focussed so search with 'your keyword + Ning to find sites suited to your niche. • LinkedIn Microblogging Sites: • Twitter • Plurk • Niche microblogging sites – there are now a few (more every day) sites which are focussed to certain niches such as internet marketing, business etc.. search: microblogging + niche or keyword. Article Sharing: This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 11
  12. 12. • Ezine • Squidoo • HubPages Video Sharing: • YouTube • MetaCafe • Google Video Social Bookmarking Sites: • StumbleUpon • Digg • Delicious • Reddit Photo and Image Sharing Sites: • Flickr • PhotoBucket Blog Sharing Sites and Search Engines: • BlogCatalogue • MyBlogLog • Technorati – make sure you 'Claim' your blog on Technorati, it is the fastest way to get your blog listed on search engines – Technorati is a blog search engine. Happy Socialising!! This e-book/article is the intellectual property of Anne Robinson and is not to be copied, reproduced, modified or published in any way without the express permission of the author. 12

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