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5 Steps to getting started with Social Media Marketing


By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk

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Today I'm going to be presenting a training session on social media to a small group of people that work for the University of Rochester and are involved in their sustainability program. Rocky is their mascot. Today's session is an overview of the basics which I've titled "Demystifying Social Media". I'll be going back in a week for session two which will delve a little more into the area of how they can specifically use social media for marketing and how to sustain a presence.

So since I have this presentation rolling around in my head this morning I thought I'd share part of it with you. I created these five slides titled:

5 Steps to getting started with Social Media Marketing.

Step 1: Define your goal. Why do you want to use social media? Just like all other marketing and PR tactics, you need to outline your objectives and stay focused:

  • Increase in brand awareness
  • Brand engagement (pages viewed, time on site, items shared)
  • Publicity, positive buzz and word of mouth (often uncovering brand evangelists)
  • Build Relationships
  • Drive traffic to a website
  • Convert sales – both online and offline
  • Strengthen inbound link generation, which benefits SEO
These are key indicators that when identified up front key help gauge your ROI.

Step 2. Identify your audience. Clarify who you need to reach and how they use social media. Start with your existing communication tools and channels:

  • Can you include a survey in an e-newsletter?
  • Interview a cross-section of your customers/members by phone to understand how they’d like to interact with you? You can get some valuable insights just by asking.

Step 3. Research and develop your network. Decide which platform(s) you want to use by first reviewing existing social media campaigns and start to listen in on some. See what others are doing in your industry field and then engage in the conversation when you feel comfortable:

  • Research, read, & comment on other blogs of similar topics. Technorati is great resource.
  • Check Facebook and LinkedIn for fan pages and corporate pages
  • Search on Twitter to see who is sharing good content and follow them.
  • Look for existing niche social networks that other companies in your field many have. Ning is a good resource.
  • Check out Flickr and YouTube and see who are using images and video to help communicate what their business is all about.

Step 4. Integrate with existing marketing communications. We all have limited resources so utilize whatever assets you’ve developed for other media and make sure the message is consistent. Don’t reinvent the wheel and create a totally different brand image for social media.

Step 5. Measure and refine. How do you measure social media? Don’t just add up the number of Facebook fans or Twitter followers. You need to track the amount of engagement that you have facilitated, not just eyeballs!

  • How many comments have you received on your blog and are they positive?
  • How often is your company/organization being mentioned and by whom?
  • For non-profits, has your volunteer base increased and is your board participating and has it become easier for them to become advocates?
  • Has your website traffic increased or your rankings on search engines?
  • Are you gaining new leads – by email, phone, messages from SM
Just remember, social media is all about the people and a great way to build strong relationships because it enables two-way conversations. I hope this overview was helpful for you. If you know of any good blogs on the topic of sustainability and green initiatives, please pass them on to me. We want to start a good initial blog roll for the U of R's new Green Notes blog. Check it out. Thanks.

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