Whenever I hit the speaking circuit about social media marketing, I try to impress a couple of key things to the audience. First, plan your social media marketing with clear goals. Know what you want to achieve, whether it is brand recognition, sales, crisis communications, or just higher search engine results. These goals can save you a lot of trouble when it comes to doing it all, because you can eliminate social media sites that do not accommodate your goals.
Second, I always suggest that everyone or every business register an account at Facebook, Twitter, and SmallerIndiana.com to secure your business name or some version of it at several different sites. There’s a great website at namechk.com that will allow you to see where your name has been taken and where it’s available. Use it to find something catchy or unique available at the majority of the sites and then start registering.
Once you have an account at these sites, then you can start using the Internet to listen to your customers. Social Media Monitoring is one of the most important aspects of using social media. In the beginning it may be the only use that Social Media Marketing has for you. It’s a great way to get acquainted with the social media stratosphere.
Facebook, Twitter, Smaller Indiana all have excellent search engines that you can use to determine if and what kind of buzz is being generated by you or your business or employees. You will also want to use Google and Bing just to see what’s out there and how the search engine rankings compare.
Of course, you want to look for any mentions of your business name, your name, or your brand, but you also want to find out where people are talking about your area of expertise. If you are a plumber, you want to know where people are talking or asking questions about water problems. This can also help you to understand where you might be effective in social media.
You might also search for a competitor name – even the big boys – and see where the public thinks your competitors are weak. That’s a niche market served up on a silver platter.