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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Staying Relevant for 2012 in the Social Media Arena

Every business needs a social media strategy. It is as simple as that. A new generation of consumer is upon us and they are engaging with social media in increasing numbers each year. Smartphones and other technologies has become a consumer’s go-to device for information.

Small and large businesses can benefit from a comprehensive social media strategy to engage and inform their customers. Your goal needs to be organizing a clear and compelling marketing strategy to garner a greater market share in 2012. Angela West of PCWorld offered businesses five hot tips for developing and navigating the social media market and how to put your business on the path to social media success.

Develop Clear and Precise Monthly Goals
Businesses need to determine what they want to achieve with social media. Are you strictly looking to drive sales, inform customers of product, or simply increase traffic to your website, or are you seeking to blend all three goals? Once you organize your goals, set about defining the goals and committing resources to achieving them. A well-trained staff can influence and target key goals to advance your campaign.

Name Your Numbers
Ms. West suggests products such as Google Analytics and Hootsuite to determine and measure your results. These products can track visitors and give you detailed page hits and origins for free. Recently, Google Analytics included real-time tracking to increase your ability to offer relevant customer information based on consumer needs. In addition, Klout offers a free suite of analytic tools to provide you with data.

Getting to Know You
A successful campaign requires that you engage and inform your customers with relevant and interesting information. This requires you to look beyond Facebook and Twitter and develop sites on LinkedIn and Google+ to increase your web presence. Directories are available to attach links to drive your website traffic and increase your visibility with search engines.

Time to Hire a Professional
Hiring a professional social media marketing firm might be your best bet. Typically, small and midsize companies have a limited workforce and each employee’s job description and workload is full. Spend the resources to hire a professional and let your current staff maintain their positions promoting sales and providing customer service.

An outsourced social media marketing firm can increase and promote your business to its fullest potential. Ask other business associates or your web designer to recommend a firm. During the interview process, ask them to provide references, to quantify their results, and ask what plan they will put in place for you.

Let’s Get That in Writing
Social media is all about subtle self-promotion, so don’t forget to include your sites on all your printed business material. Add your links to Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ on your fliers, business cards, brochures, and any printed material your company uses. Having these links on your printed material will make it easier for consumers to find you on the web.

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