26 Tips for Getting Started With Social Media Marketing

social media how toAre you looking to get started with social media marketing?

Do you want to reexamine how you’ve been using social networks?

In this post, I’ll cover 26 tips, an A-Z guide, to help you understand the backbone of successful social media strategies.

#1: Assess and Reassess

One way to assess whether to use one of the “big four” social networking sites as Samson Lov refers to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, is by looking at the statistics—number of users on each network.

Statistical data is an interesting factor to look at while you decide where to build presences. However, keep in mind it’s one of many perspectives. Some social networking sites may make more sense for your business than others. We’ll discuss this further in Tip #19, Start Somewhere and Start Small.

#2: Build a Group of Followers

Austin Considine reveals the “worst-kept secret in the Twittersphere.” He writes:

“That friend who brags about having 1,000, even 100,000, Twitter followers may not have earned them through hard work and social networking; he may have simply bought them on the black market.”

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are social media followers. Companies should think of followers as something they’ve earned—the virtual pat on the back.

lead

Where you lead, they will follow... Image source: iStockphoto.

#3: Curate Content

The question about original content vs. curated content can be a little confusing at times for businesses starting out on social media. Bottom line, you need to do both. A good rule of thumb is the 80-20 rule—use 80% others’ content and 20% your own.

Eric Savitz explains,

“As content marketing becomes increasingly central to the overall strategy, marketers look to content curation as a way to help cut through the clutter and provide their prospects with the valuable information for which they are looking.”

#4: Dedication for the Long Haul

The problem that many businesses run into is that they start using social media with lots of good intentions, like someone who has made a New Year’s resolution to exercise every day.  They have great attendance at the gym in January, and by February are missing in action.

Develop a reasonable, doable plan and stick to it year-round.

plan

Map out a social media plan and stick to it. Image source: iStockphoto.

#5: Elicit Responses

No one likes to be talked at without being given an opportunity to respond. If you have a blog, let your users communicate and respond to your posts via comments. Ask thought-provoking questions on your other social networking sites that people will genuinely want to respond to.

Ask questions on social networking sites.

#6: Follow Twitter Lists

There are many benefits when you create and follow Twitter lists. Crystal Vogt suggests:

“Twitter lists also allow you to find like-minded followers by perusing others’ lists. The Twitter list function can be an important tool for businesses.”

Twitter lists can provide a great resource for finding other profiles you may want to follow.

#7: Goals Shouldn’t be Hidden

David Meerman Scott writes in his book, The New Rules of Marketing & PR:

“When content effectively drives action, the next step of the sales process—an e-commerce company’s Products button, the B2B corporation’s White Paper Download form or a nonprofit’s Donate link—are easy to find.”

Make your products and services easy to find so users know how to take the next step.

goals

Make calls to action visible and a key part of your social media goals. Image source: iStockphoto.

#8: Hometown Perspective

Sometimes it can be confusing to understand the difference between social networking sites.  I love Jeffrey Hayzlett’s hometown analogy:

“Think of LinkedIn as a sign that you post on Main Street; Twitter, the view from your front porch as you wave when people go by; and Facebook as the den you use to invite special people to get to know you.”

#9: Industry Contacts + Clients = Users to Follow

Georgina Laidlaw offers a list of mistakes that might be strangling your success with social media and includes one major oversight that I’ve seen made repeatedly by businesses: Not following or friending industry contacts (and clients, too).

When you follow your contacts and clients, you’ll have an opportunity to read their news; see first-hand what content is important to their business; and comment, respond and further your dialogue.

#10: Join the Conversation

By now, the phrase “join the conversation” has been added to the ranks of social media clichés. If your company is able to assign a few people who can regularly represent and speak on behalf of the company via social media, you will find many rewards.

Speaking of conversation, businesses who claim a presence on social networking sites need to have a unique and recognizable voice. We’ll talk more about voice in Tip #24, Voice Lessons.

#11: Keyword Research

Caroline and Steve Melberg point out that keyword research is one of the most important parts of the SEO process, “yet few small business owners actually conduct a full and complete keyword research exercise before engaging on their first SEO campaign.”

Caroline and Steve consider keyword research to be essential to help businesses:

  • Identify the best and most profitable keywords for their campaigns
  • Find missed opportunities that may be profitable for their niche, and conversely, ones that should be scratched from their list
  • Identify the focus and direction of their SEO campaign, and ultimately, the core of their online marketing strategy
keywords

Look for the best and most profitable keywords for your campaign. Image source: iStockphoto.

#12: Location, Location, Location

In one of our earlier 26 Tips articles on the topic of location-based marketing, we referenced Neil Patel’s 8 strategies for local search that provide excellent guidelines to launch local campaigns and are worth repeating here (followed by Tip #13, Market Your Business Locally, with additional thoughts about local listings).

  • Keyword research to focus on industry-specific terms and geo-specific terms.
  • Optimize your website for local search by adding locally optimized title tags and meta descriptions.
  • Create a geo sitemap.
  • Have the best Google Places listing possible.
  • Build profiles on other sites to build citations for local SEO.
  • Get local reviews when you add buttons to your website and encourage reviews.
  • Build links from related local businesses and local bloggers.
  • Optimize your social pages (Facebook Page, Twitter profile, LinkedIn page, Google+, etc.) for local.

#13: Market Your Business Locally

With the rise of smartphones, tablets and mobile devices, local marketing has become increasingly important for businesses. Sian Simon suggests factors that help to get good local listings:

  • Create a profile within the search engines themselves.
  • Get listed in local directories (e.g., Superpages, Citysearch), which give you a chance to be displayed more than once in the search engine’s results.
  • Claim your business listing and create your profile—you can get started with Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

#14: Netiquette and Response Time

Tom Cull offers advice regarding business response time on social media:

“It could be a blog comment, a message through a form on your website or an email straight into your inbox; all potentially as good leads as each other. What the customer wants in each case is a prompt response, which addresses their inquiry and provides a next course of action. If it’s a personal blog, email or even social media, then people generally expect a response in 1-2 days.”

Are you responding within 1-2 days to inquiries that you receive via your social networking sites, blog or email? If not, how can you ramp up your response time?

net etiquette

Prompt response time is an essential part of social netiquette. Image source: iStockphoto.

#15: Objectives for Social Media Success

Forrester Research has analyzed hundreds of companies that have successful social media strategies. From their research, they’ve identified five primary objectives for success:

  • ListeningUse social media tools to research and better understand your customers.
  • TalkingUse social media to spread your brand and company goals.
  • EnergizingFind your “unofficial” leaders and brand enthusiasts and use social media to supercharge the power of their ideas and word of mouth.
  • SupportingSet up social media tools to help your customers support each other.
  • EmbracingIntegrate your customers into the way you do business and give them an avenue to share product ideas and cost-saving tips. This is the most complex strategy; and one, when implemented well, can demonstrate the greatest ROI.

#16: Patience Is a Virtue for Social Media Marketers

Ilias Chelidonis reminds us,

“Anything that is worthwhile takes time to build, and growing tribes and followers on social networks and creating community takes time. One way to think of it is like building a house ‘one brick at a time.’ In the case of social media, it is one piece of content at a time.”

#17: Quick on Your Feet

In Tip #14, we discussed the importance of responding to users’ inquiries within 1-2 days. But social media can also be unpredictable. A negative comment can set off a chain reaction, so you need to be quick on your feet to diffuse things before they get any worse.

Nicholas D’Angelo offers the following advice:

“As a brand, or especially as the social media manager of a brand, having negative comments or a ‘brand assassin,’ can have a drastic effect on the way your firm is perceived by others. As a brand you have to:

  • Be the bigger person
  • Seek resolution
  • Try to help
  • Do everything in your power to turn this ‘brand assassin’ to a ‘brand ambassador’ and take the higher road.”

#18: Round Robin Your Team’s Thoughts

Sometimes, even with all the best intentions, a company doesn’t instinctively understand the value that a social network can provide to their business.

Heather Clifford suggests looking to your internal teams for ideas.

“Why not host a social get-together with your team and discuss all the valuable aspects of your company? Do a round robin and allow each person on your team to give their thoughts… Harness the value that is right beneath your own roof. Possibility thinking along with group input is extremely valuable today.”

Confer with members of your team about company messages on social media and see what insights you gain.

internal teams

Look to internal teams for product and service information that will strengthen brand awareness and customer loyalty. Image source: iStockphoto.

#19:  Start Somewhere and Start Small

In Tip #1, Assess and Reassess, we discussed social platform decision-making in terms of the size of networks.

Mark Parker offers this piece of sound advice:

“The best place to start is to look at who you want to communicate with, define your typical customer and look at their familiarity with technology and where you are likely to find them.”

He also cautions to not “over-think the interaction… start somewhere, and start small.”

Whether it’s one of the “big four” or YouTube, Pinterest, Yelp or one of the other many sites, choose what’s most relevant for your business.

building blocks

Start small. Image source: iStockphoto.

#20:  Time Allocation

In the fall of 2012, VerticalResponse surveyed 462 businesses with fewer than 100 employees and found that 43% of small businesses are spending at least 6 hours per week on social media.

Finding social media content was reported as taking the most time, followed by learning and education, analyzing efforts, scoping out the competition and responding to questions.

How much time is your business spending on social media? What are the most time-consuming steps?

#21: Update Overload Can Be a Problem

eMarketer reported on a study conducted by SocialVibe that found “one-third of US Internet users who had ended a social connection with a brand did so because the company simply posted too many updates.” Communicate and educate. Don’t inundate.

#22: Voice Lessons

What does your business sound like on social media? Are you professional? Friendly? Friendly professional? Serious? Too serious?

Brad Smith recommends that businesses should have a unique voice and personality.

Does your business sound like someone people will want to talk to? Another way of looking at it—would you want to talk to you?

#23: Ways to Capture Different Kinds of Visitors

Darren Rowse suggests catering to two different kinds of blog readers: 1) the hard-won, single visitor and 2) the generic, viral visitor.

For hard-won, single visitors, Darren recommends capturing their attention with things such as:

  • Link to further readings on the same topic
  • Include signup forms/newsletter subscriptions
  • Provide a contact form for questions they might want to ask
  • Provide free download targeting their need
  • Have active community of commenters or forum members
  • Link to social media/RSS subscriptions

For generic, viral visitors, Darren recommends:

  • Make comments on posts prominent
  • Offer a free download or subscription related to the same content on the same page
  • Follow up with the linking site to see if they’ll accept a guest post, so you can further build your profile with the site’s readers
  • Offer the linking site an exclusive piece of quality content (e.g., a white paper or report that links back to your blog)
hook

Hook your visitors. Image source: iStockphoto.

#24: (E)xplore the Social Media Ecosystem

Danielle Brigida compares the exploration of social media to finding your niche in the natural world—hiking a new trail, observing a stream or other surroundings.

Danielle suggests you use the same tactics for social media exploration:

  • Listen
  • Ask/document questions
  • Experiment
  • Create
  • Assess and analyze

#25: Yield Deeper Customer Relationships Via Social Networks

Chris Brogan writes:

“If you think of social networks as places where things other than your business happen, then you’re starting to get how this all works. People aren’t there to find you. They’re there for their own purposes. Your job is to have an outpost there and to listen, so that when someone expresses a need you can address, you’ll have the ability to start a relationship.”

Are you deepening your customer relationships with social media? What do you need to do differently to make it happen?

#26: Zero Cost of Entry, but Is Social Media Really Free?

Tom Johansmeyer points out that many of the costs associated with social media marketing are not immediately evident. Many of the platforms are free to join and set up a profile, but there are other things to consider:

  • The primary issue is content: you need to be able to publish blog posts, tweets and status updates.
  • You need to think about content promotion— i.e., getting people know about and read your content.
  • There can be public-relations efforts, search engine optimization and community development and management required. This involves more people, more time and more expense.
  • As with any marketing activity, measurement is necessary… Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and time with the likes of bit.ly and Topsy, though free, require someone to look at them, crunch the numbers and draw conclusions. Tom asks, “So, is social media marketing really free?” As he says, “Anyone who’s made a serious effort to do it knows that there are expenses all over the place. Don’t take this as a reason not to hit the social media world to market your company…”
blank tag

Social media may have zero, or little, cost of entry, but there are definite costs. And as many businesses have discovered, it's well worth the investment! Image source: iStockphoto.

What resonates for you? If your business is getting started or refreshing your social media marketing efforts, what aspects do you need to focus on more intently? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

Images from iStockPhoto.

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About the Author, Debbie Hemley

Debbie Hemley is a freelance writer and social media coach. She helps businesses develop and maintain social media content strategies. Follow her on Twitter @dhemley & Facebook. Other posts by »




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  • Matt Coffy

    Great all-in-one resource for anybody who’s thinking to start or re-organize their social media strategies, Debbie. Social media is believed by many as this year’s major factor to impact the search industry but sadly, the undeniable fact still remains that most are struggling to find the right approach for their particular niche market. Thank you for putting together this list; will be sharing with my networks. Cheers!

  • http://www.SelfEmployedKing.com/ Mike Kawula

    Awesome actionable advice.  For #3  just read the similar 80/20 recommendation last week on  SeoMoz’s blog. My question is when you’re starting off what’s a rule of thumb for frequency? (#tweets per day, post) Really enjoyed Michael’s podcast with Mark on Twitter and had the same question during the podcast.  Thanks! 

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Great tips Debbie! I believe that social media marketing will forever be a learning process, so my team and I make it a point to study new things that are being suggested by authority figures on social media and to integrate the important ones into our marketing efforts. It’s really great that we have SME to keep us updated on the latest changes in the social media marketing world!

    ~ John Lee Dumas 

  • deb1221

    Great point. Business approaches to social media need to be looked at on an individual basis– with the willingness too to adjust and adapt when need be.  Thanks for reading! –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Mike, Thanks for your question. When working with clients I often advise anywhere from 5-10 tweets per day. Some days there may be more info you want to share than others and that’s okay. I’d just be sure to spread out the tweets over the course of the day and not have one Twitter blast of tweets coming from your company.

    And when it comes to the 20% of your own content, it’s good too to go back and recycle some of your older blog posts, too, if you don’t have something current to share on a given day. Hope this helps. I don’t think there are any real hard fast rules, ultimately you’ll see what works best for you. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    John, Thanks for your comment. I agree, social media is definitely a moving target and it does take a fair amount of energy and commitment to stay up-to-date. And, having reliable, go-to resources like SME for information makes it a much more doable process and more fun to be learning with others.

    Just when you think you’ve got it all covered and understood is about the time a new network emerges or one of the old stand-by’s adds some new must-know features! Debbie

  • http://www.kagraphicdesigns.com/ Kelly Ann Jones

    Really great article. It was interesting as well as very informative. I am always looking for great social media tips to share with my small business clients.

    Thank you for a great and article and resource.

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  • Frazergrant

    This is very useful, thank you.

  • http://writtent.com/ Sergey

    Very deep article, gives complete useful advices, thank you.
    But, is it really important to stick to social media plan? I mean, it can be rather hard, especially when you use 80/20 tactics. You cannot be sure that you find enough of something worth posting every day therefore you cannot be sure that you follow your social media plan. 
    Thank you in advance.  

  • deb1221

    Thank you, Kelly Ann!

  • deb1221

    Glad to hear the article is useful to you. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Sergey, Thanks for your feedback and interesting question.

    A few thoughts–a social media plan, will be just that. A plan, an intention to post worthwhile content. But on some days if you’re more pressed for time, or you don’t feel there’s as much in the queue for you to access, that’s okay.

    I think the plan part of it, comes into play by committing to having a regular content strategy and not falling into long silences.

    That being said, I’m often surprised how one link can take you to the next, and the next, and before you know it you’ve stumbled across some info that really speaks to you, answers the questions you’ve been struggling with, or better yet, informs you about something that hadn’t quite made it onto your radar before. And, that’s when sharing the material (e.g. statistic, research results, alternate perspective) with your followers is so worthwhile, and the time you took digging is that much more appreciated.

    Hope this long-winded answer helps!–Debbie

  • heidicohen

    Useful list for diving into social media.

    A word of caution with regard to curation. Content curation is broader than social sharing. Curating content is like being the editor of a media entity. It requires adding a perspective and understanding your target audience. 

    Social sharing is one way to curate content. On social media platforms, the rule of thumb is you should share your content once for every ten pieces of other people’s content. When you share other people’s content, you should provide attribution. 

    Happy marketing,
    Heidi Cohen

  • Fred Felton

    Some wonderful social media insight Debbie 

    Thank you 

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Heidi. And good further explanations regarding curated content. Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

     Thanks for reading, Fred.

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  • http://www.postplanner.com/ Scott Ayres

    Well the problem is most are trying to be on every platform when maybe all they need to be on is one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottwayres Scott Ayres

    Yeah my rule of thumb has always been that I share other people’s stuff 9 out of 10 times. That lets them know I see others as important and will motivate them to share my content.. But it is hard to stick to that all the time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottwayres Scott Ayres

    Wow!!! this could be 26 blog posts with each point standing as its’ own post!

  • deb1221

     How true!

  • http://www.wirelessemporium.com/ Bernice McMillan

    Great article! #4 is incredibly important–we’ve found that fruits of our labor on social don’t show its full impact for months down the road, so it’s vital to keep at it! 

  • Barry Overstreet

    Excellent article!

    Social media can be extremely difficult to master as fast as it changes. What works now often won’t work in an hour. It can definitely be overwhelming to people who are new it. But, it’s worth the effort as social media clearly isn’t going anywhere, and is only going to grow in importance.

    I like #19. It’s important to get moving somewhere. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, but do something. It’s often easier to make corrections once you get going than it is to get started in the first place.

    I also like what Bernice said, keep at it. Consistency is a huge key. To be able to see any results, effort have to be consistent over the long haul.

    Thanks for sharing such excellent information.

    ~Barry

  • deb1221

    Hi Bernice, Thanks for sharing your experiences about the need to keep at social media. Curious–was it an issue of time, and/or any particular modification of what you were doing that made the difference?

  • deb1221

    Hi Barry,
    Thanks for your comment. It’s hard to try and be all over the place, especially when first starting out. Somehow the “more the better” mentality became attached to social media and as many can attest, some networks work better for them than others.

    Being willing to make corrections along the way is key. I heard from someone today who from all intents and purposes is doing a fine job on Facebook but this just may not be their network, where their customers and prospects are spending time. Better to find out now then investing a lot more time doing the same thing.
    –Debbie

  • http://www.facebook.com/henri.craemer Henri Craemer

    Talk about tips of icebergs – all 26 of them! Your article offers so many points of engagement.

    #5 cuts across every discipline of social interaction. On can go even further and offer a kind of survey method of measurement. If you take a topic you can start by asking for general opinions. You can offer a qualitative interpretation by looking at themes in answers, or take a quantitative approach by simply listing the frequency of ideas (from most to least), The latter offers an opportunity to incorporate relatively easy opportunities for graphic representation of your findings or views.

  • http://internetdreams.com/ Samuel

    Social media is a great medium to connect with others and share our information with.

    I like how you emphasize that it takes time to create a quality following.

    A quality following that is engaging and responsive is what will separate the successful people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikedriggersjr Mike Driggers

    Great Blog! You can flat out build your friendship base and reach more targeted prospects in less time using social media!

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  • deb1221

    Henri, Thanks for adding your insights here re: surveys and measurement. There are so many wonderful opportunities for learning about interaction within social media. –Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I like how Darren Rowse (in #23)  differeniates 1) the hard-won, single visitor and 2) the generic, viral visitor.

    And, it does take time to create a quality following. Showing up regularly delivering content people want.

    Yesterday when SME’s servers were having technical difficulties, there were people who were literally knocking on SME’s Facebook door. Now, that’s a good following! –Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    Thanks for your comment Mike. Great points re: friendship-base building and more time effective ways to reach targeted prospects. (Kind of like the image of the hook in #23 versus a large fishing net.)–Debbie

  • http://www.trainersonsite.com/ Rob

    There are so many amazing tips here. Where do I start?  Maybe I should leave this up to a virtual assistant or do you suggest I work at it myself Michael?

  • http://writtent.com/ Sergey

    Thank you for your answer, Debbie  

    Yes, I think of social media plan as a tool that helps you being consistent when it comes to posting content on social media channels, but it is never a disaster when you don’t follow your plan at some point. Sometimes you find more of worthwhile content, sometimes less.

    Again, very interesting article.

  • Marcelrichardjunior

    Thanks very Helpfull !
    Marcel Jr. Richard

  • http://twitter.com/RaginaSmith Ragina Smith

    Great post! I’m currently helping my company refresh their social media marketing efforts. It’s been stagnant for months and they don’t have many followers. I’m really hoping that I can make a difference for them.

  • http://www.wirelessemporium.com/ Bernice McMillan

     Hey Debbie! I think it was a combination of the two. I’ve seen that what many companies struggle to understand with social is that it takes time to cultivate a robust and meaningful audience. In our case, we’ve maintained a consistent overarching strategy regarding our social media channels in the last year but it’s really only taken off in the last few months. Sure, we ran a relatively successful promotion on platform that served as a catalyst but it took months upon months of building a foundation of audience beforehand. Too often people expect social media to provide instant gratification but if we are to look at social as a meaningful way to represent a brand, that’s inevitably going to take patience and time.

    Hope that helps! :)

  • http://serbaanekainformasi.blogspot.com/ M. Abdul Khaliq

    Great tips, it’s not only a post but can be a lifetime guide book.

  • deb1221

    Thanks, Rob. Yes, you can do it!

  • deb1221

     Marcel, Happy to hear the post is helpful to you. Thanks for reading and commenting. –Debbie

  • deb1221

     Ragina, By wanting to make a difference, I’d say you’re well on your way. Best of luck.–Debbie

  • deb1221

    A lifetime guide book. I really like the sound of that! –Debbie

  • http://serbaanekainformasi.blogspot.com/ M. Abdul Khaliq

    Wow, you also very responsive,you really did what you wrote, thumb up. Keep writing great niche idea, I’ll support you as Social Media GURU. Good luck.

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  • http://groutcleaningmelbourne.net.au/ Becca

    Every business starts small.  To achieve success
    in social media it is important you should know what you want to accomplish.You need to figure out where you are going
    before making harbor.
    Thanks for the share.

  • Kate

    I too have gotten great insights into SMM from this article!  The frequency Q is an unknown as well touching on the analysis factor to really know what tools to use to measure results. As a small business owner, I can say having a presence isn’t ‘free’, the cost is time and knowledge….How many hours is it going to take to master these tools and pages pulse run the business??? 

  • Kate

     Hi Debbie, regarding the 80/20 rule….can you offer a few tips on sourcing properly, credits and all for the 80%….I’m still struggling with RSS…not a webmaster and it shows…. I’m all ears

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  • deb1221

     Hi Kate, Just want to make sure I understand your questions. When you say “sourcing properly” are you asking where you find the content for the 80%?

    If so, what I recommend is setting up some google alerts on topics (http://www.google.com/alerts) that are instrumental to your business and customers. Read through the articles that are referenced in those alerts, if you think there are good articles, share those on your social media accounts. And, give credit to where the article came from, e.g. great article via @smexaminer.

    Follow hashtags on Twitter related to your industry e.g. #socialmediamarketing When you come across an article that you think your followers would benefit from too, share it again, with attribution.

    The amount of time that businesses will spend will naturally vary. But, I think it’s realistic to assume that you’ll want to spend at least 30 minutes a day (sometimes more) catching up on your reading. It was like this pre-digital data. I remember working in a company many years ago where they circulated a large pile of industry journals and someone had put yellow stickies on the articles they thought we should read. This is really an extension of that kind of thinking. And a whole lot easier than trekking around a pile of journals.

    Re: RSS feeds, here’s the link to a youtube video that might be helpful for you re: keywords and feeds: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Npbez-kWiA (if the link doesn’t appear when I post this, search for this title in youtube, Setting Up RSS Feeds for Keyword Searches in Databases.)

    Does this help?

    Best, Debbie

  • deb1221

    Hi Kate,
    I just replied with a kind of lengthy response but because the response had a couple of links it needs to have an administrator review the content before it appears here. I wanted you to know that I did respond and should have made a copy of my reply!

    Let’s see if I can recreate–in terms of content for 80%, you can set-up google alerts, targeted keyword searches for rss feeds, follow twitter lists, follow relevant hashtags, etc. Always making sure to give credit to the source of the article. You’ll see sometimes when someone shares a link on Twitter that you can add something too in parentheses, e.g. sometimes I’ll write something to the effect,  (Very valuable resource!)

    There are some good videos on youtube to help show you how to set-up alerts, how to set up keyword targeted rss feeds.

    In terms of how much time, I’d say it’s realistic to expect spending at least 30 minutes a day monitoring the info you’d like to share. And sometimes, more.  But I did include this analogy in my other reply worth repeating here, I think. That when I worked at a business many years ago, pre-digital age, that the company subscribed to a lot of industry journals. Every day someone’s job was to read through the journals and earmark with a yellow stickie articles that thought staff should read. The pile of articles were passed, desk to desk and essentially what we’re doing with the digital follows is the same. It’s now a whole lot easier. And not as heavy to trek around.

    Does this help? (keeping my fingers crossed that this posts, but making a copy now in case it doesn’t!)

    Best, Debbie

     

  • http://www.lodgit-hotel-software.com/ Carolin Geissler

    Thank you for this article!
    I really like that you added point 26, because this is one so many overlook: Yes, the entry fee is zero for social media marketing, but it’s still a time-consuming task and takes much longer than traditional marketing efforts. Often if costs arise or there are no immediate results, people get discouraged or angry and claim that ‘it doesn’t work’ (I see this very often in the hotel business).Every marketing method will cost something and they’ll work differently. Social media is a method that doesn’t cost nearly as much as an ad in a newspaper on tv/radio or online; but it’s not an immediate fix. As with everything, it’s the right mix between the methods that will bring the most success.

  • http://www.digitalfrisk.com Mark Rafferty

    Content curation I struggle with but working on finding more and more ways to curate.

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  • deb1221

    Once you get into a rhythm with content curation, I think you’ll find that it’ll go fairly smoothly. Good luck with it!

  • deb1221

    Thanks, too Carolin for reading and commenting. Great points.

    Social media can be very time-consuming. And you have to account for the cost of a person’s time. And make sure that it’s not an after thought for your business, making it truly a part of a person (or a group’s) job responsibilities.

    There’s the whole syndrome too of giving it to the young person on the team because “they live and breathe social media don’t they?” What businesses fail to see is that their young team player may not have the foggiest idea of how to use social media as a marketing channel and what content is good to share, etc.And that if they’re the one to be doing it, there very well will be a learning curve, too.

    Best, Debbie

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  • http://twitter.com/stephLgoodman Stephanie Goodman

    Great post Debbie! Lots of great content and share-able material for those who are just getting started and are familiarizing themselves with social media. One tip I’d love to add is setting an intention for each platform.. this would probably come after a bit more research and once you’ve had some time to play around with what works for your company. Setting intentions could be things like: Using Facebook to promote your company culture. Using Twitter to communicate and interact with your audience/community on topics related to your industry, etc.

    Again, thanks for the great share!

  • deb1221

    Hi Stephanie, Great tip! Thanks for sharing. –Debbie

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  • Deborah Murray

    Thanks for the information. I know nothing of other social media except for facebook. This list helped a lot.

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  • http://www.onlinebusiness.org/ Gaurav Gurbaxani

    Great Tips Debbie! Thanks for putting this together… it really is an all-in-one resource!

  • Lens21

    Sorry, there were so many phrases and technologies that I am not familiar with, I could not continue through your list. I have a really good start in my niche but need the media to get broader coverage. Could you recommend some elementary reading or sites?

  • http://www.onlinebusiness.org/ Gaurav Gurbaxani

    Point #3.. Content Curation is gold! If done well, content marketing can become a breeze…







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