10 tips for social marketing: Making the click

It is no secret that social media is a driving force behind online business. Following Facebook, Google has jumped on the bandwagon with Google+1.

It is no secret that social media is a driving force behind online business. Following Facebook, Google has jumped on the bandwagon with Google+1.

The one thing to be aware of is: it's all about driving the advertising dollars — which is a major income base for both of these players.

Think about it — 346,004,403* websites were online as of June 2011. Even if 1% of them spend $10.00 per day (364 days a year) for online advertising — that's $12,594,560,269.20 per year.

Um, WOW. That is a mind boggling number.

If these social media sandboxes have been set-up by the biggest children in the playground — why are you not taking advantage of the free toys they offer for your business?

Aside from the advertising dollars — social media is all about word of mouth. To coin a more appropriate phrase for today's online market: "It's all about making the click". And your business can grow like wildfire once you light the fuse.

Here are some great tips for using social marketing for your business — taken from some real world success stories:

  1. Don't be afraid to open up your business to social media.

  2. Don't be afraid to open up your business to social marketing.

    They may sound similar, but are completely different. Social media encompasses the word of mouth aspect — this is the playground you use to have others spread the word about your business.

    You can't control it. But it can pay off enormously, if you do it right.

    Social marketing is about the polished business aspect which includes setting up a business page on media sites, tags (see item 6), posting videos on video share sites, and spending a small advertising budget (see item 7).

    Both can have a big impact in different ways. Both are undeniably tied together.

  3. You don't have to go big. Start small and see where it takes you. You can add just a Facebook page, or just start Tweeting, or post some tutorial videos on YouTube. You don't have to do all of it — just pick one which fits your business and grow with it.

  4. Do the research first to see what might fit your business as a test ground. Then open it up for full speed ahead. At any time — with social marketing you can shut it off if you need to. Just disable the page as needed.

  5. Send out an announcement email or newsletter to a small base of your customers first to test the waters with different social mediums. Gauge how it grows and how well you can handle it before sending it out to all your customers. One example is to build a Facebook Business Page to post announcements, or new products. You can either allow others to post comments on your wall or control it with just your announcements. After you have gauged the response from your customers, you can open it up a bit more. You can also do this with Twitter by just tweeting your customers with quick short targeted comments.

  6. Add your social media links to all your marketing — you can use a 20 pixel x 20 pixel image icon on your website. ShopFactory 9 now includes a tool to quickly add social media links to your site — including department and product pages. Add the same icons to your email signature, in print advertising with your text link, on your business card, etc.

  7. Set aside a "SMALL" budget for advertising on social media sites. Even $5.00 per day can have a big impact.

    (This is just one example to illustrate the power behind social marketing, you may yield different results).

    Facebook lets you advertise using keywords which are based on a cost per click (CPC) model. The great thing about their model is you can add an image, tagline and short comment to your ad. You can target ads to run in many countries or just in specific regions. There are also some other targeted criteria you can use. You can research this on Facebook to see what might work for your business.

    Use your logo and company name in the image — rather than just an image of a product or catchy marketing picture. It gets your name in front of anyone who sees your ad. Even if they don't click on the ad — they may remember you based on your logo/company name, tagline and short comment — if you create the ad properly.

    Here's the kicker: Once you post that ad live on Facebook's network, 30,000+ people can see the ad before anyone clicks on it.

    Even if they don't click on it — they've identified with your company image and what you are about in text. The more they see you — the more likely it becomes that they will remember you and start thinking about ad. They'll go to your website directly at some point with-out that ad as a prompt.

    The control is your budget of $5.00 per day — each click can cost you from $0.10 to $2.00 and up per click depending on the keyword real estate. But 30,000+ people might have seen your ad before it actually cost you anything. Moving forward from that point — social users can spread the word about your business directly through (old fashioned) word of mouth, online posts, email, etc.

  8. Once you start with social marketing — engage your customers one on one. Even if you socialize once a week, you'll be surprised at what you learn.

  9. Take the good with the bad. Yes, the reality is you will have to engage some negative feedback. React quickly, take interest in the issue and repair it. That will work to your advantage in the long run.

  10. If using several social marketing tools like blogs, social media sites, or business networking websites (Linkedin.com) — maintain consistency for your goals and company image / branding. Your customers should always identify with you easily by your logo/image and brand on all sites.

  11. Bonus Tip: Take some time to have some fun with it. — perhaps the most important of all these tips.

* Source: http://howmanyarethere.net/how-many-websites-are-there-on-the-internet/