As the owner of an SEO writing company, one of the services I’m questioned about by clients is social media marketing (SMM). Many clients now “get” social media – as in, they know that it needs to be part of their online marketing strategy, but they may not know which sites best suit their needs. So what usually happens is they’ll hire a social media consultant to set up accounts on all of them. This usually isn’t the best strategy by the way.
Following are three pieces of advice I dispense to my firm’s small business clients about this form of online marketing.
If you’re a freelancer and provide social media account management services, trust me, you’ll go a long way towards proving you know your stuff if you advise clients who may be unclear on how to properly “do” this kind of internet marketing.
A Dirty Little Secret Many Don’t Know about Social Media Marketing
The first piece of advice is, you don’t need to interact on every major social media site. Yep, you read that right. A few years ago – when there were only three major SM sites – my SEO writing company wrote a report for an internet marketing company that talked about this in depth.
Right now, when most people talk about SMM, they’re talking about five major sites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+. These last two have become popular in just the last couple of years.
With five major social networks in play, this type of web marketing can seem like such a time suck. But, it doesn’t have to be. This brings me to my second piece of advice, which is… take the time to find out which social media networks are right for your business. How do you do this? By digging into the demographics and sociographics of each site.
Let’s use Twitter as an example; following are some demographics of this popular social media site.
- More than one quarter of African-Americans who are online (28%) use Twitter; 13% use it on a typical day, which is nearly double the overall average.
- 26% of Internet users aged 18-29 use Twitter, which is nearly double the rate for those aged 30-49.
- Residents of urban areas are significantly more likely to use Twitter than their rural counterparts. [Source: The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, Winter 2012]
If you ran a business that appealed to young, urban youth (eg, clothes, music, shoes), then Twitter would be a good site for you to spend some time on. But, if you sold financial products aimed at a middle- to retirement-aged demographic, Twitter probably shouldn’t be your go-to social outlet of choice (LinkedIn might be a better fit).
My final piece of advice about this type of online marketing is that you have to test, tweak and evaluate to see what works best for your company. This is true of any form of marketing – online or off.
So choose your site based on its demographics, put together a social media marketing campaign and start engaging. Then gauge those results.
One final thing – it’s okay to have a presence on all of the major SM outlets, but spend the bulk of your time on those that give you quantifiable results.
If you’re a freelancer who offers social media account management to clients, write up a special report explaining these tips to clients. It not only shows you know your stuff, but that you have their best online marketing interests at heart.