While starting an online business may seem like a sprint – a blur of ups and downs, run and gun – Your social media marketing campaign should be more like a marathon. Building your social media brand takes time: Become relevant, have conversations, build loyalty; it’s a process that, if done correctly, will yield you positive results. You’ve got 25 miles to go so don’t gas out on the first lap.
“Full social media integration often happens in stages — it’s an evolutionary process for companies and consumers alike.” – Mashable.com
A marathon requires training. You start small, 3, 5, 7 miles and work your way up to the full thing. Similarly, when you first step into the social media arena, you may be a bit underprepared for the whole shebang.
Even so, you know some basics, right? You’ve heard of Facebook, more than likely you already have a personal profile. When you set out on your social media marketing campaign, it’s important to start in a place that you’re familiar with, perfect that and then expand.
Start with What you know
- Facebook – your customers are on Facebook, you’re on Facebook, and now your company will be too. It’s a familiar platform and with over 800 million users, you can build a significant following.
- Twitter – Even if you’re not already on it, Twitter is simple to use. Blast out new product info, engage with your followers and watch your Twitter brand grow.
Go All In
Once you’ve mastered the half marathon, you’re ready to give it your all for the full run. In your social media campaign, once you’ve perfected those two, it’s time to go for the next big thing.
YouTube is slowly becoming a popular place for businesses to grow brand awareness. According to Gigaom.com, “You can use it to show off your expertise, share knowledge, market your products and connect with customers, colleagues and prospects.”
Aim for: Viral video
- Get networking. Prep those who have a large online following, and be sure they are ready to get the video out in social land via Twitter, Facebook, etc.
- Create a short, interesting video. Topics to consider: controversial, humorous, exciting.
- Get it up and out. Monitor the reactions and views. Keep re-tweeting it, and spread the word for others to do the same.
Keep At It
Once you’ve finished the marathon, it’s time to maintain. If you’ve had a video go viral and have a loyal following on Twitter and Facebook, you should plan to sustain. In social media however, this means adapting.
As new platforms come onto the scene, it’s important that you learn them, use your current social outlets to market them, and work it into your overall marketing plan. The two standout platforms of 2012 thus far may still be foreign to you.
Focus on: New platforms
- Pinterest – With a predominant female user base, this outlet may not be ideal for your business. However, as the prodigy social platform of this year, it’s worth looking into.
- Google+ –Google+ offers a smart platform to interact with customers in their everyday lives. Once you’ve learned the basics, you’ll be able to grow as the network does.
Social media marketing is a marathon, and process of ups and downs. However, taking your time to build a loyal following and learn the platform will make you successful in the end. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, on the road and in business.