Social Media Networking

Top 5 Tips for Social Media Planning

Top 5 Tips for Social Media Planning

Top 5 Tips
for Social Media
Planning

Follow the Five W’s and H of social media planning to create your strategic marketing plan and incorporate social media networking into your marketing strategies. This article includes many resource links to help with your research and planning. If you need help, give me a call at (858) 357-9600 or send a tweet to @jdenniston.
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Latest video on Social Media’s impact by Socialnomics. It’s not a fad…it’s the new wave of marketing.

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Twitter and Web 2.0 Tips and Tools

Twitter is one of the social marketing tools that can be useful in helping you build your brand, personal or business, and drive traffic to your website or blog. It also helps you raise your visibility among the search engines. This process is called inbound marketing.

We’re all familiar with outbound marketing: traditional marketing such as direct mail, advertising in print, broadcast and online, and even e-mail marketing. Inbound marketing is the reverse: it’s getting people to come to you, to subscribe to your list, or link to your website or blog.

There are more than 100 social networking sites on the internet today, and new ones are being created all the time. According to compete.com, the top 5 sites are:

Rank   Site name     Unique Visitors        Monthly visits         PriorRank

1             Facebook          68.567 mm               1,191.373 bil                 2

2             Myspace            58.555 mm                810.153 mm                 1

3            Twitter             5.979 mm               54.218 mm                  22

4             Flixster                 7.645 mm                  53.389 mm                16

5             LinkedIn             11.274 mm                  42.744 mm                  9

Source: http://www.compete.com

Facebook is popular among 30 somethings and up, and is used more informally as a way to build community and share videos, photos, and other information. For example, we could have a Teamwork Toastmasters group on Facebook that would enable us to share information with one another, carry on conversations via a discussion board, and the like.

Myspace is predominantly used by teens but is dropping in popularity, largely due to phishing issues. Phishing is when one website pretends to be another site and tricks you into giving them your password or account information.

Flixster is a site that lets you watch movies on the internet and find others who share your interest in movies. It’s just two and a half  years old and boasts being one of the largest movie sites on the internet.

LinkedIn skews older with 40 somethings and up, largely professionals with higher incomes and advanced degrees. This is a great site for developing professional relationships that can help you in your business, career or to find a new job. Example…

Twitter is the new rage among social networkers. While it has fewer than 6 million unique visitors total, it’s getting more than 54 million monthly visits, rocketing it from 22 in 2008 to number 3 in January this year.

So what is Twitter? It’s called micro blogging. Think of it as a short PR blast….a way to quickly communicate information about an event, your blog, some information you found that might be useful to your target market.

The key to using Twitter is build up a sizeable list of followers. It’s called tweeting when you post your PR blast. Find topics of interest to your target market and post those. People who are interested may click on the link you provided and if they find it interesting, they may choose to follow you.

Some useful rules to follow:

First, provide value. Tweet about something that would be of interest to the people you’re trying to attract to your blog or website. Provide a link to additional information that would be useful. As long as it’s useful, it’s ok to tweet your own blog. Just don’t only self-promote.

Second, if you see a tweet that’s interesting, reply to them, and better yet, re-tweet their tweet to the people who are following you. I’ll explain an easy way to do that in a bit.

Third, always respond to someone who has chosen to follow you by thanking them for following you. You can also include the url to your website or blog for more information about you.

Fourth, follow people back who have followed you. While you don’t have to follow everyone, it’s appreciated when you choose to follow those who have followed you. You can be selective, however, and just follow those of interest to you.

Try to tweet daily. The more you tweet, the more followers you get, and the higher you show up in search engine rankings.

With Twitter’s growing popularity, other sites have begun linking to Twitter. You can link your Twitter account to Facebook, for example, so when you make a tweet, it shows up on Facebook for all your Facebook friends to see.

There are many tools for automating the tweeting and following process which are quite useful. Some of these include:

  • Tweeter Getter: This is a viral marketing tool that encourages people to follow you in order to gain followers themselves. I tried it last weekend and grew my follower list from less than 10 to 98. Now I’m learning to maximize the tool to get people to click through to my blogs and website, the ultimate goal.  Click on this link to begin generating followers yourself.I soon discovered it was challenging to keep up. Every time someone follows you, you get an email message notifying you that someone is following you. Twitter etiquette is to reply back, thanking them for following you and giving them a link to more about you. You can imagine how time consuming it would be to reply to each one individually.  Then I noticed a tweet about a great tool to automate the process, called Tweet Later.

  • Tweet Later –  automatically sends your pre-written message when people follow you. You can choose to auto follow them or not when you set up your tool.  The professional version is even more powerful.  For example, you can search the entire Twitterverse and pull in tweets based on your chosen keywords. If you have multiple Twitter accounts, you can take a tweet from one and re-tweet it across any or all of your accounts. Follow this link to sign up for this free tool.
  • Post Later – another cool feature of  Tweetlater, lets you write a variety of posts for your blog and Twitter account, and then select times to post them. It takes the pain out of updating your blog. And you can do it all from the same site, whether you blog in WordPress or Blogger or some other tool.  I don’t know about you, but I’ll get into a writing streak and write several blogs at once. With Post Later, you choose when and to which blog (if you’re like me and have several) to post. You can sign up for this free tool on the Tweet Later website.   Someone else tweeted about another great tool called TweetDeck.
  • Tweet Deck – is an Adobe Air desktop tool that helps you organize your tweets. It has default columns for tweets, replies, and followers and makes it easy to reply and retweet. You can download it free at www.tweetdeck.com.
  • Another great website on how to’s for social media is TwitPwr. You can find it at www.twitpwr.com/ .  What’s great about this, is you can also create your own Twit Power url for viral marketing and when you tweet about it, and people click on the link, you spread your message and reach even more.TwitPWR creates a profile page with links to your website or blog, and lists all your tweets and the last 20 urls you’ve tweeted about. It also creates a url info page that shows your reach, traffic and page views for each url you set up.  It’s a great way to track your success in driving traffic to specific websites, and yet another way to build followers.

There’s more to talk about with Twitter and social media marketing, but this will get you started on the journey. The key points are to give something of value, create links back to your own sites, be authentic, and have fun in the process.

I look forward to tweeting with you on Twitter.
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