With social media increasingly becoming the go-to for brand awareness, it comes as no surprise that online marketers have shifted their focus to include it in their marketing strategies. In a world where it was once enough to have a high page ranking and several quality backlinks, the landscape is slowly changing. Nowadays, search engines are looking at more than that to determine a brand’s online presence.
As in real life, a good social network reputation can go a long way. On the flip side, a bad one could potentially taint your brand forever. Consider these few things before running your social media campaign and you might just be able to avoid getting burned:
1) Get a good grip on your goals: Rushing headfirst without setting clear objectives will make your entire campaign look disjointed, confused, unfocused, and unsexy. Make sure you know what you want to achieve, whom you’re targeting, and where to find those targets. Considering that you’ll be spending time and money on this, you may as well get it right on your first go.
2) Listen: Feedback is important, but what people are saying about you will be useless if you don’t take heed. The buzz is there if you know how to search for it. Google Alerts and Hootsuite for Twitter are some popular applications that can help you with this.
3) Be newsworthy: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Don’t share useless content. It won’t be re-shared, which defeats the purpose. You want people to be able to take something away from your content, so make it worth reading and make it good. Adding new, exciting content to your blog or website, that you know is current and relevant, will catch the attention of people and urge them to like, reply, or retweet it.
4) Talk to the people being talked about: You want to approach individuals who are credible news makers. These people already have a lot of followers. People listen to them and share their content because they’re authorities in their fields. They’re practically social media goldmines, with existing fan bases you’d be lucky to tap into. Share their content, leave meaningful replies, make friends with them. They may take notice of the things you share, which they will then pass along to their own community.
5) Monitor your progress: To make sure you’re in line with the goals you’ve set, double check your work. You can use basic Google analytics to track your growth or complex applications like Radian6.
6) Improve: Take your negative feedback and turn it into a lesson. Listen to your community and allow them to help you for free. Respond to complaints as quickly as you can and resolve issues expediently. Don’t delete negative comments, even if you think they may harm your reputation – people notice and they’ll wonder. You don’t want to be looked at as some fly-by-night scam operator, now, do you? Leave it there, address it quietly, fix the problem, and let the community judge your service themselves.