Social Media and Cause Marketing Strategist
1.) What is Social Media?
3.) Keep it Professional
5.) Where to Begin
What is Social Media? - Social Media is an ever-growing and ever-changing new phenomenon. It’s the new wave of meeting, networking and connecting with people, most importantly a new method of meeting new potential clients and marketing your business for free. If you stop for a moment to think about the magnitude of this it’s mind boggling. At any given moment there is a worldwide network of people at your reach. Isn’t that an amazing concept? No longer are we restricted to networking within our immediate geographical location. Best of all, people are friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. Those who are not, are weeded out and blocked fairly quickly. The big question that lies in everyone’s head is, “How?” This blog will give you some key insights on what you need to get started and successfully market yourself, product or company through the use of social media platforms.
Branding – In branding, your goals are to gain brand awareness, associate certain qualities and characteristics that make you/your company unique and over time gain brand loyalty. If you plan on marketing your business through social media it is important to keep brand integrity intact. Your brand is an extension of you and your company. How does this translate to social media?
A.) Avatar/picture – Make sure you use a good picture. A professionally taken picture is highly recommended, but if you choose to take your own just make sure you are dressed in a professional manner and have someone take it for you or use your timer. You do not want the “picture taken in the mirror shot showing the camera”. Use this picture on all of the social networking websites. This will give you brand consistency and increase recognition across platforms. It is important to use your picture. Social networking is about creating relationships, people want to know there is a real person behind the company façade and get to know that person.
B.) Name – You wouldn’t put a different business name on all of your sales material so make sure you don’t have different user names on your social networking websites. When social networking for your business it is common to have your full name or full business name as a user name, whatever you choose, just keep it consistent.
C.) Description – Be sure to describe your company, who you are and what you do on all of the social media profile pages. This is the first and possibly last place an interested person or potential client will go to find out more about you. Have a thorough, concise description and double check spelling and grammar. The description can vary from site to site and be custom tailored to the audience, just make sure all of the essentials are there to easily tell people about you/your company.
D.) Custom colors and background – Most of the social networking websites have an option to customize your page. When doing so try to make sure the colors and images used are consistent across all websites. This will also associate these colors and images to your brand and help you to achieve brand recognition.
Keep it Professional –When communicating on social networking websites you want to portray your unique self and interests, this helps to build relationships on a personal level. However, just remember that as you create your social media profiles you are also creating and endless, virtual, searchable stream of information on the World Wide Web. So keep those comments, tweets and pokes to a professional level and make sure you don’t post anything you wouldn’t want printed in the paper or seen on the news.
Messaging – In developing your Social Media presence you want to position yourself as an expert in your field. You want the message and information you post to be relevant to what you do. In typical advertising we tell the viewer we are an expert at what we do, through social media you get the opportunity to show them. People are online to search for information - share your knowledge with them and give them helpful advice.
Some of you may be hesitant, thinking, “Wouldn’t I would be giving away all of my secrets?” Are they really your secrets? Unless you have a new idea that can be patented, most likely we can find the answer to anything online these days for free? People are often under the misconception that they hold some secret knowledge that they want to charge others for. The fact of the matter is you learned this knowledge from somewhere and it’s more than likely that someone else has learned it to.
The key to successfully marketing through social media is not to directly sell yourself, your product or your service. Gone are the days of high pressure sales pitches and 25 different closes to sell someone. This is a new era, people are turned off by these tactics and it’s a sure fire way to be blocked or lose followers. Instead, you should show people that you truly are an expert in your field by sharing your knowledge, insight and wisdom.
When you do this you gain loyal readers and followers. Guess what? Those loyal readers and followers are very smart and intelligent people. They have a thirst for knowledge. The next thing they will do, after you captivate them through one of your blogs or postings, is research you and find out what you do. You don’t need to tell them or sell them in your postings. That’s what your profile and website are for.
Over time you will indirectly sell them through your knowledge and expertise. It is important to stay fresh in their minds with regular postings and relevant advice. By doing this you better believe you will be the first person they contact the next time they are in the market for your particular product or service. Since they are already gathering information, they are most likely getting ready to make a purchase decision.
Where to Begin – Hopefully you have already begun, if you haven’t don’t worry today is the best day to start. Below are some great ways to get started today!
A.) LinkedIn is an excellent tool for keeping up with business contacts, listing your experience and awards, searching and posting jobs, creating groups and networking through existing groups.
B.) Twitter is a great way to stay in contact with people by using short message posts called tweets. Use this site for tweeting and retweeting relevant articles and advice that your follows will enjoy.
C.) Facebook is the best way to get in contact with your old high school friends and keep tabs on your new ones. This site tends to be more for personal use than business but your friends are sometimes your best leads. You can get some business exposure on here by creating a fan page, event page, promoting your cause or forming a group.
D.) Blogs are very beneficial for updating your clients or followers on a regular basis. They are easy to use and even easier to keep up-to-date with current and regular information. You can easily setup a blog page through BlogSpot or for the more advanced user you can create a custom blog page through Wordpress.
E.) YouTube is an invaluable tool for sharing videos on the web. Sign up for your own YouTube Channel and start promoting you/your business today. Just remember, the quality of your marketing pieces are a direct reflection “in the viewer’s mind” of the quality of your work. Professionally created videos are strongly recommended.
F.) Flikr is helpful resource for sharing photos, portfolios and artwork.
Networking - Social media is all about creating relationships and easily networking without geographical limitations. Just as you would go to a local networking event to meet clients, you can now do so online with anyone in the world. Use social media as a powerful tool to build strong relationships, get to know people, share contacts and advice. Most importantly, start today!
Promote – Lastly, promote your social networking contact info. Add it to all the places you now list your “typical contact info”. (e.g. email signature, business card, etc…) It is important for people to find you online, you want to gain fans, friends and followers, so don’t forget to add your Skype, twitter and blog info to all of your “typical contact info”.
You should now have a good understanding of how to successfully market yourself/business through social media. If you found this post informational and would like to receive more, don’t forget to sign up for them via email in the top right corner. Feel free to post your comments, feedback and suggestions below.