Social media marketing and optimization provides an incredible opportunity for web designers who want to make a big impact without spending a lot of money to advertise. The idea here is to create a basic plan that anyone can follow for real results.
1. What You Want from Social Media
We are at a stage now where many companies that have online operations are aware of social media. Many companies we’ve come across are aware of the need to establish themselves on it; bookmarking icons have been placed and websites have become buzzword compliant. This is all good, but they haven’t asked themselves why they want to become involved.
Once companies clearly know why they want to incorporate social media into their strategies, quantifying gain becomes a much easier task. In most cases we associate Social Media Marketing with generating a lot of traffic, but traffic in itself is worth very little. Ideally, this traffic will be converted into something useful, such as subscribers, inbound links, branding, name recognition, or even sales.
2. Take Some Social Media Sites to Target
If you try to use as many as of different social media sites, you’re unlikely to get decent results with any of them. Take some of the major social media sites to target (StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Delicious, etc.) and one or two smaller second-tier media sites .
Most people tend to attract towards Digg because of its popularity. It takes a lot of time to spend building a profile or a large and well-established network of friends that use Digg. My recommendation is to make StumbleUpon your first priority with the major social media sites, and pick one or two niche sites .
StumbleUpon is much better than Digg for the average blogger, StumbleUpon has big potential, similar to Digg, but there’s also a middle ground for pages that can still produce considerable results.With StumbleUpon it only takes a few thumbs up to get some decent traffic, and the algorithm loves new sites. Each time a StumbleUpon user gives thumbs up to a particular site, it will gradually have less and less impact. As a result, new sites can fairly easily get a lot of traffic because everyone that gives thumbs up to one of its pages is doing so for the first time, and that carries more weight with the algorithm.
Additionally, StumbleUpon has so many different categories that anything can have a home there.
3. Continue to Use Your Targeted Social Media Sites Everyday
You’ll now need to continue to visit them on a daily basis and become an active user. Leave comments on submissions, add friends, and even submit some items if you find any that would be appropriate for that particular site.
The target here is to be truly social and get integrated into the communities of your targeted sites. Each social media will have its own community, and in order to help your chances for success, you’ll need to be useful member of the community.
You don’t need to spend hours at these sites each day, but set aside at least a little bit of time to start to build a profile. As you’re on these sites each day, continue to pay attention to the types of content that are doing well and to the content that is not doing well. Knowing how an audience will likely react to a submission is a huge part of the process.
4. Take One Idea and Develop a Post
Now you should have a better idea of what types of content are getting results for others, so you’ll want to take that into consideration as you choose the first idea to develop. Of course, you don’t want to copy the ideas that others have had success with, but you want to pay attention to the type of content
Before you start to write the post or put the content together, take some time to plan out the post to make sure that it is well thought out. You’re developing the content. It’s better to put in twice as much time and actually get positive results than it is to rush through it and wind up with something that doesn’t generate much interest.
Titles can make or break the success of a post, so don’t just give it the first title that comes to your mind. This is another area where it is helpful to observe what types of titles are drawing results at your targeted social media sites.
5. Publish and Submit to Your Targeted Sites
Once your post is ready, you’ll need to decide on a time for publishing. Timing can play a factor in terms of how much exposure it will get with social media. Typically, the weekends will draw less traffic, and Monday through Thursday will be the best days for getting exposure.
Once you’ve published the content you’ll need to get it submitted to your targeted social media sites. Many established blogs do not worry about getting their content submitted because someone will do it anyway, but for newer bloggers who don’t have much of an established audience are unlikely to get their content submitted to social media if they don’t give it a boost themselves.
6. Get Traffic
You’ve now taken the time to target the right social media sites, and published and submitted the content. In order to get anywhere, you’ll need to get people to see your content.
It’s important social media votes come from a different sources. Some social media users will see content on the upcoming page and vote for what they like. Other votes will come for visitors on the website or blog itself. To help your content out and give it the best chance for receiving votes, consider sending a request to your friends that are social media users.
7. Check Your Stats
In order to improve your results, you’ll need to know what worked and what didn’t. Pay attention to your stats. See where your traffic came from, how long people stayed on the site, how many pages they visited, how many subscribers you gained, etc. Stats can’t tell you the whole story
Even if you do everything right and you create a great blog post, it’s possible that you won’t get the results that you want. Especially for small blogs that don’t have much of an established audience, achieving success with social media is a challenge. If it doesn’t work on your first try, don’t get discouraged. Just learn what you can from your experience and keep trying and tweaking your approach as needed.
When we talk about SEO we not only talk about On-site optimization but SEO also include Off site optimization (like submitting to various social bookmarking services, adding valuable comments to other blog for the benefit of the readers etc.).
And when we club these two, we say we are Social media marketing (SMM).