This is the third installment of my blog series on using social media to promote your brand or business. The first two parts are here:
- Which Social Sites Should I Use? Part 1: An Introduction to Social Media
- Which Social Sites Should I Use? Part 2: Breakdown of the “Big 5”
Now that you know how to setup your social accounts and who the main social players are, it is time to tie all of your accounts together.
TwitterFeed is a program that allows you to syndicate several RSS or Atom feeds and sends them directly to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook (and a few others) This allows you to produce a steady stream of content to your social sites that will help to increase your level of activity. You will also want to check each social platform you use to see if you can like other social sites you are using.
- Use only high PageRank news feeds from reputable sites. Ensure that the feeds are not coming from your competition as they will invariably contain promotions which may lure your readers away. Stay focused on relevant news topics to keep your readers engaged.
- Include your company’s blog feed into TwitterFeed. This is the best way to not only keep your followers tuned in to current news about your industry, but enables you to send out specific, content designed to convert your followers into customers.
Most social platforms allow you to spread your updates across other networks which can lead to syndication loops. An example would be syndicate your TwitterFeeds to Facebook and Twitter and then inadvertently telling Facebook (or LinkedIn, etc.) to send status updates into Twitter.
Because the RSS feed comes into Facebook as a status update, you get the same RSS going to back to Twitter. This can have the unwanted effect of you being penalized for distributing duplicate content which can severally affect your site’s search engine rankings.
The real secret to success with social media is to stay actively engaged with your audience on a consistent basis. The more you participate, the greater the reward will be. You should consider spending at least a few days per week engaging, responding and generally participating in all of the networks you are connected with. The real “trick” to social media is to be consistently involved with your community by sharing content, Tweeting (and retweeting), commenting on other posts and producing high quality, relevant content for your followers to share.
It is one thing to stay actively engaged across your social networks, but how do you measure success? Indicators for measuring your success may include the number of contacts and followers you have, the increase in conversions, or the number of likes or retweets your posts are getting.
If you are wondering about your progress once you step in to the social world, you can use a web utility like Klout.com to follow your progress. The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you create content or engage you influence others. The Klout Score uses data from a variety of social networks in order to measure:
- True Reach: How many people you influence.
- Amplification: How much you influence them.
- Network Impact: The influence of your network.
- It is important to keep your public and private networks separate and distinct. Do not use your personal Facebook page to promote your business. Create a separate, personal space where you can chat with grandma and put up those pictures from your “crazy weekend.”
- Choose a marketing representative or individual from your company that does not mind having a public profile linked to your business account and that you feel will portray your company in the best light.
- Build up your marketing representative’s online persona by following only legitimate, valuable businesses and people. It is of vital importance to aim for quality or quantity.
- Avoid promotional networks on Twitter such as #TeamFollowBack and similar groups that attempt to lure you in to following them in return for gaining followers from them. These may have a short time gain, but if you cannot vouch for the validity of each and every member of this network you may find yourself associated with those that do not share your ethics or personal values. It is also an attempt to game the system which will inevitably lead to several penalties.
- Once you have a solid, well-developed persona, complete social profiles and have gained a some followers, you can create a business page on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php ) and Google+ (http://www.google.com/+/business/ ) and consider getting involved in a few secondary social networks.
- Ensure that your website keeps your viewers socially engaged with social media button that readily allow them to share, like and otherwise spread your content.