With hundreds of references existing online, marketers can easily define social media marketing and can easily find social media websites. The challenge of social media marketing comes when actually setting out to build a social media marketing plan. Truth is it doesn’t need to be a challenge. In fact, we’ve laid out how a social media marketing plan can be launched in seven simple steps…
1. Research & Listen
- What is being said about your product/brand?
- What is being tagged on del.icio.us and Digg?
- What applicable communities and comments exist on Twitter and Flickr?
- Which of your url’s are saved on del.icio.us?
- Is anyone reviewing your product on YouTube?
- What influential contacts exist in your space?
2. Engage & Socialize
- Become active on blogs and social sites… join conversations or start conversations where none exist.
- Activate influential contacts and get them talking to their network about your product/brand.
3. Launch Your Blog
- Use insight gained to create content and keep future content in line with what blog and social site participants are discussing.
- Create a media calendar for your own blog.
- ID content owners and hold them accountable.
- Implement web analytics.
4. Spread the Word
- Create your own Wikipedia and Facebook business profiles.
- Create communities wherever possible.
- Post your own link backs on del.icio.us, Twitter, Flickr.
- Share your posts with influencers and influential bloggers.
- Invite influencers to comment on your posts.
- Create your own content on sites like Squidoo and Hubpages.
- Leverage optimal keywords and links within your descriptions.
5. Consider Viral Marketing
- Conduct keyword research on top searches around “How to…”, “Top 10…”, “How do I…”.
- Use the research and create something buzz worthy! For example, after seeing search volume of 40,000+ for “how to tie a tie” a video on the subject was created and launched on YouTube where it has received 760,000+ views in the past year. Think of the opportunity missed because this video didn’t carry your branding!
6. Monitor & Analyze
- Subscribe to RSS feeds on all social sites and monitor when your name is mentioned.
- Use web analytics to monitor referring sources and new traffic.
- Track your own blog subscribers.
7. Be Active & Socialize
- Continue contributing to these sites and keep giving influencers something to talk about.
At this point, the hard part actually starts. The key to your social media marketing plan is to always keep the buzz alive, to keep generating new content and to keep your audience interested. Just when you thought you had come to the last step a successful plan must include going back to step one and doing this all over again!