January 12, 2010 – As the New Year officially get underway, it’s only becoming clearer that social networking is going to be a major marketing focus for 2010. To help you get started or upgrade your social media efforts, we’ve compiled a helpful list of tips to get you thinking socially!
1. Get in the Conversation – We say this all the time, but when you are participating in social networking, the whole point is to be social. While it is understandable if you feel like the new kid at school when you first start your Twitter or LinkedIn accounts, feel confident that people on social networks are looking for interaction! Listen to what people are talking about, ask questions, convey actual opinions, and start introducing yourself to people and groups in your field. While it is perfectly acceptable and even advisable to hang back and observe for a little while when you first open a social networking profile to get a lay of a land, eventually you are going to need to write something, and more importantly — have something valuable to say.
2. Check Lists – With the introduction of Twitter Lists, websites like Listorious, LinkedIn Groups, and Facebook Fan Pages, it’s now easier than ever to find groups of people in your industry or those who are potentially interested in your services. Do some research, locate these groups and users, and start interacting with them. While you are sure to bring in more followers/find more people to follow along the way, looking at lists is a great way to get started and quickly identify the people you should be talking to.
3. Strategy + Goals – It’s important to treat social media like you would any other online marketing campaign. That means going in with goals in mind and developing a strategy to reach those goals. Ask yourself what you want to get out of your social networking experience and then create a schedule of how much time/how often you are going to spend on developing your social media presence. When planning out your content, try to balance promotion and interaction. Make sure to ask questions, answer questions, send links to websites other than your own, and add something to the conversation. You can use shortened links, create coupon codes, and other ways to track your success, but all that success depends on what your initial goals are to begin with.
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