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Online and email marketing

So begins your social media strategy

By Benjamin Nicoll
Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Never forget just how important your own website is when you’re planning your social media strategy. I continue to see so many small business operators trying out social media marketing techniques only to visit their website and find something that must have been developed by 'a friend who knows how to program the web' back in the 90s.

 

Any social media campaign needs to be developed as an extension of the core digital presence - your business website. Before considering any social media activities it's imperative that business owners ensure the basics are covered. I cannot stress this enough!

 

The core setup

 

Properly designed websites are now affordable. The old site-builder type templates are ugly, have bad or often broken user interfaces and most importantly, rank poorly in the major search engines. The modern savvy internet user will instantly judge the quality of your business from the impression they get when visiting your website. It's make or break. Get an overhaul.

 

Sort out your domain name and emails - @hotmail, @bigpond @optus etc. type extensions are not professional and just don't cut it anymore.

 

Branding and design

 

Get your website reflecting the quality of your business by incorporate the correct branding. Update your branding if necessary.

 

Content

 

Content is always going to be king. Develop some quality copy and keep it fresh and up-to-date.

 

Use the services of a copywriter if you need help in this area.

 

Track your users

 

Install Google Analytics or a similar tracking script so you can understand who is visiting your website, where they are coming from and what information they are looking for. This information is invaluable and will help you plan your digital strategy going forward.

 

Once you feel comfortable with where your website is at, then and only then, should you think about expanding into the social media marketing and promotion territory.

 

Initially, start small. I see so many social campaigns fail because people don't make the commitment necessary to succeed. Often business owners will sign up to a whole host of services and then find it simply too hard to maintain, leading them to fall behind and simply give up on the process, saying they just don't have the time.

 

Start small

 

Build your inbound links - submitting your website to supplier sites, relevant business directories and search engines helps drive traffic to your website and increases your organic ranking in the search engines.

 

Build your own blog. Commit to posting one article a month - it doesn't have to be huge just consistent. Blogs are still the best way of driving traffic to your site. The search engines love them.

 

Build it up over time

 

Create a digital media strategy. Plan how you are going to integrate services over time. Make the commitment and stick to it.

 

Attempt to use only the social media platforms you are comfortable using. Obvious choices include

Facebook profile / Facebook connect, LinkedIn profile, Twitter Integration.

 

Commit to two RELEVANT posts per week driving traffic back to your blog or RELEVANT promotion. Do NOT simply send spam messages over Twitter - it does you more harm than good.

 

When it comes to social media the commitment you make is the key to success. You need to be open and honest about the way you go about things. Don't give up and constantly monitor your Google Analytics to see how you are improving. Keep an eye on your competitors and what they are doing but stick to the game plan you have decided to implement. Listen to your website visitors and tailor your information to best promote your products and services.

Comments (1)

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Infinite
Good post and the very last paragraph is so important in my line of work - I see so many businesses dipping their toes into social media with no apparent plan at all - planning your social media strategy is the first thing you need to do - which sites, why those sites, how you will use them to drive traffic to your site and business, what tactics will you use and the all important etiquette..

Plan for success!
Annie Infinite
Infinite , October 11, 2010
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