track your marketing
So it is 2011 and the social media crazy has settled down a bit. We are all on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc. Now what do you do? How are you going to maintain your social media? How are you going to track it? How much time do you have to devote to it and are there short cuts that can be taken to free up your time?
These are all really good questions and all very easy to solve. So let’s look at them one by one.
First are you even on the correct media to begin with. I have a few rules of thumb I give clients to choose the right Social media to be on. Facebook is a definite. With the age demographic now from 18 to 75 and with people using over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook, there are 206.2 million US internet users on Facebook. That means 71.2% of the US web audience is on Facebook. The stats go on and on.
Twitter is wonderful to be on if you need a local, national, or international combinations of clientele or if you have a website or blog based business. If you’re only looking for local customers don’t wait your time.
Myspace is still the “Artsy” place to be. If you are in the arts or sell something that is in the “arts” criteria this is something you should be on. Also if you cater to a young demographic from 16 to 30 this is the place to be. Myspace is definitely going through a lot of changes since Facebook has taken over the site.
Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitplaces, Google Places and Facebook places are a must if you are looking for local business for your brink and mortar. They allow you to post real time specials and coupons for your customers.
Yelp,CitySearch,Merchant Circle, Insider Pages, and Yellow Bot are for any business that would normally advertise in the “Yellow Pages” but want a more track able way of marketing. Also you can add coupons, Specials, Announcements, Newsletters, and so much more depending on the platform you are using.
If you are a food vender there are also a set of review sites to be on as well ad realtors. Authors have their own set as well.
So as you can see when someone says social media most people think Facebook or Twitter but there are so many more platforms out there for your business to be on that will get you the exposure your business really needs.
Now that we have covered the platforms, how do you maintain it? Each platform is different. Twitter allows you to tweet three or four times a day without losing your audience, where Facebook Fan pages have a general rule of one posting a day. Myspace is up to two times a day as a rule. So do you need to post this often? The answer is YES. The traffic your social media sites bring to your business can be quite substantial. Every time you update your social media sites you get a search engine optimization to all sites linked to the site you updated. So if you want to move up in the organic SEO keeping up your social media is the best and cheapest way to achieve this task.
There are ways to short cut of course. Hootsuite, SocialOOMph, etc all allow you to schedule posts to the most popular social media sites for up to a year in advance. These sites can go down without warning so you must maintain them or messages may not be sent. Also platforms like Facebook need a live presents 70% of the time. People want to know you are there checking your page and posting live or you may lose fans and traffic. However, platforms like twitter are less finicky about scheduled posts.
You can outsource this work to a social media specialist and spend usually $5-10 a day and have it all posted and tracked for you. It just depends on your marketing budget and your time management. Trainings in social media can also help save you time. When you understand how to use the platforms and how to track your progress it frees up more time for you. Review the options and chose the best route for your company.
I mentioned tracking a minute ago. Social media sites have come a long way this year with tracking. Facebook and twitter now have insights for you to track things like demographics, page views, etc. Attaching a Hashtag (#) o your tweets can also be tracked at Hashtags.org. Places like Bitly.com can track your clicks for links you post in your social media platforms. SM2 can help you track all Google links and seo for up to 1000 clicks for free. Google Analytics can track customed tabs along with your website. Social mention can let you know when and where your name is being mentioned on the web. Google alert can help track SEO links you are attached to. Review sites like Yelp, Merchant circle have tracing as well as the option to add a code to your coupons for tracking. So basically knowing what you are looking at and if you should continue on that platform is really the challenge. You can seek advice from a social media specialist or just simple trial and error works to define where you should be, how often you should be there, and if your marketing is effective enough. There are site that can grade your twitter, Facebook Fan page and its content along with your website. You can visit websitegrader.com to find links to all these graders. This can also help you gage the effectiveness of your social media marketing. Lastly never forget to simply ask you client or customer where they found you or how they heard of you or your business. Remember keeping track of everything is very important to your social media success.
I use my knowledge to assist clients in this new wave of web marketing. I also put my five years of upscale retail management experience to work bringing a higher level of success to everything I touch. My three years of experience in the hotel industry (Sales Department, Accounting, and concierge) helped to polish my business savvy. Although my main focus is social media, I has a strong background with fundraising for a large non-profit organization and chaired several events. I am a proud mother of three beautiful children. I live happily in Santa Clarita Valley, California.
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“Virtually” everything you need in socail media.