When Apple unveiled Ping – its proprietary music social media site – within iTunes, it was more than a sign that big companies are becoming increasingly interested in using social networking as a marketing tool. It was also a reminder that, throughout the industry, things are always changing, and quickly.
In short, the only thing you can really bet on with social media is that the future is going to be different. As a small business owner, someone who wants to use sites like Facebook and Twitter to bring in business, but can’t spend a lot of time and money on the effort, how are you supposed to keep up?
Here are a handful of tips for staying on top of the constantly-moving target that is social media marketing:
Look for big trends. Some things are going to fall under your radar, and that’s alright. It’s not important that you know the finer points of Facebook’s relatively new advertising program, for example. What does matter is that you know it’s out there, and that your options for using social media as a way to find new business are increasing. As long as you can see the big picture, you’ll be able to devise a winning strategy.
Use social media sites and profiles like ingredients. LinkedIn is great for different reasons than Twitter, which in turn is a lot different than the new Ping. For that reason, you don’t ever want to rely on a single site or profile to market you effectively; to get anywhere, you have to use them in combination without having any one ingredient overpower the recipe.
Strive for consistency. The only way to get better at marketing through social media is practice, and that’s a good thing – the more you post, make connections, and update your profiles, the more visible you’re going to become to other users and search engines. Try to work on your social media plan a couple of times a week. That amount of effort won’t overwhelm you, but it will keep you in the game and on top of the biggest trends.
Find an online marketing partner. The easiest way to shorten the learning curve is by teaming up with someone who has the time, experience, and expertise to figure out the ins and outs of social media marketing. Most often, that’s going to be your web designer or online marketing team. Take advantage of the help that’s available – the right partner can translate your business goals into a social networking plan for a fraction of the time and expense it would have taken you, and with better results.
Confused by social media and looking for a way to add it to your online marketing mix without breaking the bank? Contact Marcy Design today – we know our way around Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and how to make them a profitable part of what you do.