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There are many reasons for undertaking a social media programme such as:

None of these are direct lead generators in their own right, and none of them are going to provide quick responses. Social media engagement is about a state of mind and a complete process rather than a quick campaign or a marketing activity. However, if the long-term goal is to improve the profitability of the business then there are approaches you can undertake in order to direct your social media campaign.

Example requirements: A small business with a niche product and low customer base looking to grow awareness and generate leads

In this case, there is a lot of work to do both inside the company and beyond. To use social media effectively you need to provide QUALITY CONTENT and disseminate it effectively to your target audience.

Key fundamentals to this include:

Getting all of the staff on-board

Your staff need to be part of this process in order to:

  1. maximise availability to be involved in client and prospect conversations
  2. be involved at an organisational culture level
  3. spot opportunities to improve the customer experience

Get your existing clients on-board

Rally your existing clients behind you in order to:

  1. identify what their views are on your business and your product
  2. see what else they want
  3. start the conversation within this sector about your product and how it meets their needs

Utilise all existing contacts

Network online by:

  1. create a list of everynne you know with websites that would be likely to exchange links with you. Then get backlinks under your key phrases with all of these sites
  2. encourage all of your clients to subscribe to your twitter feed – give them a reason to benefit from this. Tweet about tips, new features, benefits

Utilise all existing marketing material

Start blogging using WordPress under your existing URL

  1. Create a key-phrase matrix that prospects are using to find your products. This should be under headings of Big Phrases – the competitive popular phrases and Niche Phrases – the ones which are less popular but will convert quicker
  2. Utilise existing material such as case studies, press releases, product sheets etc, to create new articles 150-250 words. These articles should all be based around a key phrase so each blog is optimised for a specific phrase
  3. Within the blog link to the most appropriate pages(s) within your main site
  4. Identify other sector specific blogs and join the conversation on their blogs. Make your posts useful and beneficial not just sales talk

How to tweet

  1. Tweet about your blog post under your main phrase with a link to it
  2. Start conversations on Twitter around this subject matter
  3. Identify conversations already on twitter around your subject matter and join in

Action List

This is a guide to actions you can undertake to maximise the impact you have on existing and prospective users of your products. There are some quick wins and some longer-term strategies and they encompass the spectrum of what is termed Social media and web 2.0 technologies. I also find it useful to intertwine these activities with SEO techniques to maximise your reach

Phase 1 – quick and easy wins

  1. Google Places: set up a Google places page to promote your products and services from a local/regional perspective
  2. Reviews: contact your clients and ask for positive reviews. those that review you positively ask them to add their reviews to your Google Places page – you may need to incentivise them
  3. Tweet: use twitter to regularly post useful and interesting items to your existing and prospective client base; use phrases that people are likely to search for within your tweets; link to articles and useful information within your own website; follow useful people that are in your audience group that could help to spread the word. Treat it like a conversation and not a monologue
  4. Maximise your website: Ensure your website is user focused and can be utilised as a resource to link to and engage with users
  5. Identify where your target audience congregates online: which media do they use? Specialist websites to comment; industry blogs; industry forums; social media locations

Phase 2 – Identify key players in your sector: engage with these people to champion your product

In

  1. Twitter
  2. LinkedIn
  3. blogging

Engage with these people, introduce them to your products, ask for their opinion, see if they will independently review your products

Phase 3 – create new content

Video is seen as a great way to engage with people because:

  1. it gives instant information in a concise form
  2. it can show you and your people as individuals and start the online relationships
  3. it can mix people and products

But you must make it user and not product focused and benefit based

Tools to help you

google blogsearch – to help identify appropriate blogs to engage with

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