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Beginners Guide to Social Media Marketing


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What do you need to know about social media marketing? In a preview to our upcoming Social Media E-Book, we would like to share the whitepaper that started it all: Social Media Marketing for Beginners.

This innovative whitepaper covers the top ideas and best practices in utilizing Social Media for results.

Published in: Marketing
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Beginners Guide to Social Media Marketing

  2. 2. Modern Marketing Partners Social Media Marketing For Beginners 1 With over 27% of total U.S. Internet time being spent on social networking sites, not having a presence is truly a missed opportunity for businesses. Are you a business looking to get into social media marketing, but just not sure where to begin? Continue reading to learn what social media marketing is, 6 reasons and you need it, what networks are right for your business, and 10 basic steps to get started today! What is social media marketing? Social media marketing (SMM) is the use of social media profiles and networks to distribute and share content, information, offers and promotions to market companies, brands, products or services online via the internet for the purpose of building awareness, improving search authority, and driving sales leads or e-commerce. What is not social media marketing? Tactics like establishing a Twitter profile, for example, is NOT social media marketing. Rather, social media marketing is the process of building developing, managing and integrating multiple social media networks with the company or brand website (and ideally blog), as well as, traditional or outbound marketing tactics like email, publicity and events.
  3. 3. Modern Marketing Partners Social Media Marketing For Beginners 2 6 Reasons Your Business Needs Social Media Marketing 1) SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING COMPLIMENTS, EXTENDS AND ENHANCES YOUR EXISTING MARKETING EFFORTS. Social media should never be your only marketing initiative. For brands with many marketing resources, traditional marketing is not getting replaced anytime soon by social media. But such traditional marketing elements as advertising, email, trade shows and events, and PR can all be enhanced by integrating social media by sharing and communicating with vast networks. Intuitively, social media can open new markets and niches that might not otherwise be available. Finally, social media significantly enhances search authority and corresponding website traffic (the subject of our next reason). 2) SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING CAN SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE SEARCH AUTHORITY. Search engines reward effective social media marketing in a number of ways. YouTube videos and blogposts both rank extremely high for a given keyword. Social posts on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter rank high for a brief time period1, afterposting, reinforcing that ongoing social posts are required. When blogs and social networks link from a website, search authority improves. Next, social sharing and bookmarking tools and counters build authority. Blogs are particularly potent with robust meta-coding, the building of indexed pages with each blogpost, and back-link building opportunities via bookmarking, social sharing, interlinking, and blogroll reciprocal links. Social media marketing is absolutely essential to search engine optimization (SEO).
  4. 4. Modern Marketing Partners Social Media Marketing For Beginners 3 3) SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE MORE MEASURABLE THAN TRADITIONAL MARKETING. The Big 5 social media networks each offer metrics and dashboards (Twitter via HootSuite). Even more compelling are website and blog analytics that can identify traffic, registrations and e-commerce sales. Social monitoring services like Radian6 identify topic and brand mentions across social media networks and blogs. Finally, social networks continue to improve metrics and measurability, while adding marketing features. Check out Measuring Social Media for more information. 4) SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING CAN BE MORE COST EFFICIENT THAN TRADITIONAL MARKETING. There is no question that social media marketing costs less to implement than such traditional marketing as advertising, trade shows, direct mail and more. Certainly, the networks and platforms are free to use. What’s more, in many categories, small-budget brands can compete and even win against larger competitors. Social media marketing may be the only opportunity for a level playing field. That said, implementing effective social media marketing is tremendously time and personnel consuming, and may require the assistance of agencies, like MMP. 5) BEYOND MARKETING, SOCIAL MEDIA CAN SUPPORT OTHER CRITICAL BUSINESS FUNCTIONS SUCH AS CUSTOMER SERVICE, RECRUITMENT AND MORE. Companies and brands that master social media, use it to support real business needs. Think about YouTube videos demonstrating installation and maintenance procedures, reducing customer service calls and increasing customer satisfaction. Certainly recruitment and human resources have stakes in maintaining a presence on the Internet. 6) SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IS BUILDING A HUGE BODY OF EVIDENCE AND CASE STUDY EXAMPLES. Social media marketing has matured, and is no longer experimentation. As mentioned at the beginning of this blog, top marketing associations focus a
  5. 5. Modern Marketing Partners Social Media Marketing For Beginners 4 good portion of programming and content on the subject. Just a few years ago, only early adopters offered social media marketing case studies. Today, every business type and size has excellent successes with social media marketing. What Social Networks Are Right For Your Business? Generally speaking the BIG 5 networks (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn) are a good place to start for businesses looking to enter the social media world. However, consider that SOME may not work for business and there are other niche-specific networks (over 189 social networks) that may be perfect for your business. And most importantly, don’t spread yourself too thin by only committing to what you can handle. The school of thought, “everybody is doing it” does not apply here. An empty or abandoned profile can be worse than not having one at all. The number one question to ask when determining whether or not a social network is right for you, ask yourself: “Are my customers there?” If your customers or prospective customers aren’t there, achieving your goals will be nearly impossible. Determine the demographics of a social network to aid you in your decision-making process. Top 10 Steps For Kick-Starting Your Social Media Marketing Get your businesses social media marketing off to a running start with these 10 basic steps: 1. Get a Gmail account. This is what you’ll use to link your Google+, YouTube, and Google analytics accounts. You can also use this email to sign up for your accounts to keep everything in one place.
  6. 6. Modern Marketing Partners Social Media Marketing For Beginners 5 2. Join the Big 5: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn (if applicable – see section above: What Social Networks Are Right For Your Business?) 3. Develop a blog to create relevant content that can be shared on social channels, all while improving website traffic and SEO. 4. Create a content marketing plan. Blog and post to your social media profiles regularly (a minimum of 50 blogs is required to get on the search engine radar!). 5. Integrate ALL social profiles you have with each other (i.e. links to profiles) and on your website and blog. 6. Follow the 75/25 rule: 75% of content should provoke thought and discussion, the other 25% can be somewhat promotional. 7. Get your employees involved. Share your profiles with them and have them join the discussion. They are great ambassadors for your brand. 8. Follow significant thought leaders in your field (i.e. if you are a social media expert, you should follow other social media experts) 9. Share and comment on others’ posts, tweets, etc. When you Retweet (RT) others’ content, they may notice you share similar interests, and follow back. 10. Measure, Measure, Measure. Each social network provides analytics for you to track your results. Analyze your results regularly and use Google Analytics to track website traffic from your social media profiles. For more information, read the social media section in our whitepaper: How to Measure Marketing.
  7. 7. Modern Marketing Partners Social Media Marketing For Beginners 6 Modern Marketing Partners is a full service marketing and communications agency based in the Chicago region. MMP implements and manages many social media marketing campaigns for clients. To request a complimentary social media marketing analysis, contact Neil Brown at 630-868-5061, or visit our website ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: 1 Action, Not Procrastination So no more procrastination. No excuses. Get you social media marketing program off the ground and start seeing the benefits today!