Social Media- Lets start the conversation.

Social media has been gaining steam and for many if not the majority businesses the start of 2012 will include a social media marketing campaign. It’s clear that the business world has woken up to online marketing and it’ benefits.

A recent article on mashable.com reports that for the first time ever, online ad spending has exceed print media. But that probably doesn’t come a surprise to many who predicted this major shift in advertising dollars.

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“According to
a study released Thursday by eMarketer, online advertising is expected to generate $39.5 billion in sales this year — a 23.3% increase from 2011 — compared to a sum of $33.8 billion on print.” *”Online Ad Spending to Surpass Print for First Time in 2012 [STUDY]” by Lauren Indvik

 

The question now is not should you be involved in online marketing but how? What strategies, tools and resources should be dedicated to the online world to be successful.

Let’s take a look at some the most common and easy to use social media platforms currently available and how they can enhance your message- whatever that may be.

Start some Blog blabber
Blogs are an excellent way for companies to keep you customers up to date on aspects of the company as well as a way for consumers to provide feedback  on ways to improve your services or products. It is a great way to develop a dialog and become know with in your industry.

Great blogs not only generate sales they generate traffic and reputation.

Check out this article by  Mark Suster on how to write an effective blog
How to: Create a Sucessful Company Blog 

Tool Box: WordPress is an excellent start up tool for this, with an easy interface and wealth of information its easy to quickly set up a personalized blog even under your own domain. If you need support or more control over the platform they also offer paid packages as well.

Distribution & consumption:                                                                                               Once you have set up your blog its a good idea to get a lay of the land and follow other who are like minded. Almost all blogs have RSS capability which stands for really simple syndication.

RSS allows people to “Follow” your blog or site on one location. Instead of having to continuously go to your blog they get get the latest updates sent to one location or reader.

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Personally, I am  Google fanatic so I stick to Google reader which has a clean interface (Take note) and a lot of great features to track all of the other blogs you will be following.


Social Networking anyone.                                                                                          Now that we are in the business of creating content a great way to distribute and gain followers is develop a strategy for the major social networking sites.

Think of you blog as the meat and social networks as the potatoes.

Your approach to Facebook, twitter or Linkedin should reflect what you are posting on blog.

If you are generating  interesting content on your blog you should translate that and communicate it to people via social networking. That content to what you are posting on all three should line up.

 

Welcome to the Conversation: Remember its all about communication

Entering the world of social media and online marketing is about personalizing your business to your consumers but on a intimate level.

Online marketing is a conversation and like all conversations good ones are interesting and they go back an forth. When considering what strategy you would like to use remember that you are starting this conversation with your customers, clients and peers.

You should be interesting, ready for questions and genuine really you should think about the character of your Brand. Framing your approach in this light will create a baseline understanding of the not only how social media works but how to engage it.

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