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Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies

Social media marketing is more complicated than just making a few Facebook or Twitter posts and hoping that your customers will see them. Web 2.0 social networks include a broad range of different web formats, from blogs and forums to social bookmarking sites, as well as social networks and 2.0 information sites. Marketing your business in these social media can expose your business to a huge audience, but to do it right takes time and requires a plan of action.

The first thing to do when you start out in social media marketing is to familiarize yourself with the current conversation on the web for your niche. See who is saying what, listen to the industry buzz, read your competitors’ posts and find out if your online reputation is good. There is a growing number of social networks, so it pays to determine which one has the most interaction and traffic in your niche. Facebook is by far the largest network with over 800 million users, but for some industries, Linkedin may be a more useful site. It is probably best to use more than one network to get the most practical combination of social media features for your individual business.

Once you know where you want to market your business online, and what the current conversations in your niche are, it is crucial that you develop a clear plan that defines what sort of content you intend to use, how you plan to engage your network of customers and what goals you hope to achieve with your social network marketing. It is important to provide quality content that will be genuinely interesting or useful to your customers and for every post to encourage some sort of interaction, whether it is as simple as a comment or an opinion, or more valuable like an e-book or video download. It is also important to have a way to measure how much traffic your social network marketing is driving to your business, like having online coupons for internet customers that make a purchase.

The foundation of all social media marketing should be the company blog where the complete marketing message should be made. In order to improve the blog’s SEO it is a good idea to factor some time into the marketing strategy to interact with other bloggers in your niche and to leave comments on forums that relate to your business. This not only establishes you as a knowledgeable source of information but creates links back to your website. Your blog is your chance to make your voice heard in your niche and to start the conversations that you want to have with your customers and even your competitors. Sharing your blog posts on your Facebook brand page via RSS is also a way to increase your blog traffic while improving your SEO at the same time. It is also possible to repost your more significant blog posts on sites like Hubpages and Squidoo to generate more interest and improve your SEO, while adding links to your blog posts on social bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon will also increase the awareness of your brand and give your page an SEO boost.

The most vital part of a social media marketing strategy is to publish quality content that engages your customers. People are more likely to make a purchase from a business that they feel like they have a relationship with. The real point of all of this social networking is to convince people to purchase your products, and converting readers into customers is the result of having good quality content that encourages them to engage with your business.

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