There’s no question that social media marketing needs to be a part of your business plan. You may have hundreds of people who visit your blog on a regular basis but more and more people are relying on recommendations from friends in their social networks to point them in the direction of interesting content. If they don’t see your link somewhere in their social sphere, they just don’t visit. Here are 5 steps to help you become a better social media marketer.
Clean Your House Before Before You Start Inviting Guests
Before you start posting links to your blog, take a look around and see what your visitors will see when they arrive. Is your homepage a jumbled mess of banners and ads? Is your blog easy to navigate? More important, do you have the type of content your visitors are going to want to see?
If you have a brand new blog with only one or two blog posts, don’t be disappointed if you don’t start seeing tons of traffic. Put some quality content on your blog first so your visitors have something to talk about.
Pick One Platform To Start With
It takes time to develop a targeted following in any of the social networks and you’ll drive yourself nuts if you try to set up two or three new accounts at the same time. Not only that, you’ll be spread so thin you won’t get good results from any of the platforms you choose.
Choose the platform best suited to the audience you want to attract and focus on that until you feel you’ve got a handle on it, then add in the next platform. As a plus, you’ll already have your first group of followers to help promote you on your new site.
Introduce Yourself Via Your Profile
Most serious social network users will not connect with you unless you have a “real” profile, including a picture of yourself. They want to see that they’re connecting with a real person, not some phony internet marketing spammer. Make yourself look even more professional with a custom Twitter background or a header for your Facebook fan page. Seriously? If you’re not going to take the time to fill out a complete profile, you might as well not even waste your time.
Use Your Time Wisely
As I said, it will take time to build a loyal, targeted audience, so don’t think you can speed up the process by spending 8 hours a day on Twitter. Most people don’t expect you to be available on the social networks 24/7 – we all have jobs of one type or another. Allot a specific amount of time each day to spend on social media marketing and then get out and get on with business.
Focus On Your Content
The old rule of thumb was that you had to spend more time “socializing” and less time selling. But let’s face it – who really has time to just socialize? That doesn’t mean you should spam up the place with your links. You still need to spend time getting to know your followers and sharing links and networking with other bloggers. But if you’ve been honest in your profile then the people who are following you are going to expect you to post links to your blog. And as long as those links lead to great, quality content, they’re not going to mind. It’s the spam links and lack of reciprocity that irritate people.