The top five social media tips, 2012
Getting more traffic and more followers via social media is a critical part of any Internet marketing campaign - regardless of whether you are a blogger, entrepreneur or traditional business.
Granted, there might be small differences in the way each of us need to approach social marketing, but fundamentally, we all have a lot in common too.
This article is going to list five of the most important techniques you can use to start connecting with people in a meaningful way (meaningful in the driving traffic and making money sense... and making friends along the way, of course).
1. Get to know influencers in your niche
Take the time to find out who is making waves. Who's up and coming. Who's knowledgeable and established. Who blogs regularly. Who has a huge Twitter following. Who has a popular newsletter. Who is well trusted.
Finding out everything about the people in your niche takes time and effort, but it can be fun and will be very rewarding. Once you know a good deal about the people who are in a position to influence your market, you are in a position to engage with them meaningfully.
2. Engage with influential people in your niche all the time
You might know about an upcoming online seminar someone is offering and mention it in one of your blogs. You might include their latest book in a list of recommended reading.
By knowing something about a person, you are better able to leverage their own goals to bring goodwill. Goodwill from the top people in your market is worth... well, it's worth a lot.
Engaging with influencers, and people who have authority and trust, provides:
- trust and authority by association
- inside connections to fast-track your growth in the market
- Powerful new allies
- Exposure to a larger portion of the market
In effect, knowing who the players are, and helping them out, gets your foot in the door much faster than any other method.
3. Don't be a shrinking violet when it comes to being social
There is absolutely no point in helping other people by blogging about them, or linking to their products and services, if you aren't going to let them know about it.
Talk about someone, and then drop them an @ tweet to tell them #mentionedyou.
Share this great article with people you like!
For example, I recently wrote an article entitled "Guest blogging is critical to marketing and business". Because I specifically referenced the excellent Search Engine Watch in the blog post, I sent out this tweet "Guest blogging is critical to marketing and business growth. http://j.mp/HSR3l9 #mentionedyou @sewatch".
It resulted in SEW:
- following me
- favoriting the tweet
- adding me to one of their lists
Not bad for a tweet that took about thirty seconds to send.
4. Take care to notice who you learn from
If you read something that is useful to you, it's going to be useful to other people too. Instead of moving on, take a moment to retweet it. Comment on it. Follow the author on twitter. Reference that post in your own content - then tell the author about it.
Doing all this is not promoting the author of that content, it's putting you on their radar.
I try, as far as possible, to retweet and follow back anyone who has taken a moment to share something I wrote on their own blog or social networks. That's because I know we are likely to share common interests.
Since I started sharing other people's content, my own social engagement has increased quickly, and traffic has jumped almost on a weekly basis. It's incredible how potent the effect of sharing can be.
Talking of which, you might want to check out these great social marketing blogs, that have often provided great content for me - they'll do it for you too:
5. Be relentless in your social marketing
People are busy. I spent this morning creating the beginnings of an evolutionary algorithm to solve the TSP problem for an online vehicle tracking company. In the afternoon, I worked on a startup project creating contextually aware blocks from views that are to be displayed in mini-panels on organic group node pages in Drupal.
It's quite possible I missed out on someone who retweeted an article of mine. I don't mean to, I simply don't have enough time in the day. But that doesn't mean I won't catch it the next time.
You can't give up. Social marketing success that drives huge traffic volumes, leads to a huge social media following, with all the associated business goodness following swiftly behind, doesn't happen by chance. It happens because you know everyone in the industry and you make sure they know you - and like you (that's also important).
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