Social media marketing is not new. We’re all familiar with the basics and brands are actively engaging with their consumers on a daily basis. So, why are people still doing it incorrectly? Here, we share what to do and, more importantly, what not to do when it comes to the basics of social media marketing. Some of this may be second nature to online community and brand managers, but it’s worth reminding ourselves of the basics from time to time.  Taking a step back and reviewing the processes can help make sure your social media  strategy is robust and prepared for the out of the ordinary.

SEO

Recent data from AOL shows how important it is for brands to invest in SEO PR in order to feature well in search engine results. The first ranking position in search results receives 42.25% of all click-through traffic. Results on the first page (first 10 results) receive 89.71% of all click-through traffic. So, what should you do to get that prime first place position?

Do research your key terms. This will give you a clear direction and inform your content strategy and plans.

Do monitor your performance – make a note of where you were to begin with and see how you’re progressing in the rankings. This shows your efforts paying off and also shows where you need to improve.

Don’t rest on your laurels. Keep generating positive and relevant content to help keep your ranking up.

SEO can be a hard to get your head round. SEOMoz has created a great beginners guide to SEO that gives a good understanding of what it is, why it’s important and what you can do.

Social commerce

Social commerce is really taking off. Brands are beginning to see the value of selling through social platforms such as Facebook; ASOS and Best-Buy are good examples of this. It’s still a new area, so what should you be aware of?

Do integrate social commerce into your wider sales strategy and social media strategy. This will make sure all departments are singing from the same hymn sheet and your approach won’t be fragmented.

Don’t jump straight on the band wagon – take time to research social commerce. Ask yourself: is it right for you? How will it fit into your wider sales strategy and social media strategy and is my consumer demographic likely to respond positively?

ASOS is leading the way. Its f-commerce store looks and feels the same as its website, all within its Facebook page, offering a seamless experience for consumers. This type of integration is key. Consumers often don’t see the point of purchasing on a social site if the experience is not like buying from a normal e-commerce site.

Influencer relations

Contacting bloggers and other influencers is becoming the norm among PR agencies. More and more PR firms are conducting influencer relations in addition to outreach to journalists. Gone are the days of press lists. But, should all influencers be treated in the same way?

Do know your audience – take time to research who you want to target. Remember that not all bloggers or influencers think of themselves as journalists so tailor your approach to suit them.

Don’t send a blanket emails – this can be off-putting and gives out the wrong message for your brand, especially when littered with silly mistakes like “Hi [insert name]”.

Doing it right, means great relationships that will be beneficial to your brand. We’re in regular contact with influencers as a social media consultancy and a number of us have a background in traditional PR. We believe influencer relations is about utilising traditional PR skills and adapting them for a new audience.

Community management

There’s a whole world of conversation happening about your brand online, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, blogs or forums. Having a Twitter profile or Facebook page is a given when planning a social media strategy. But, how can you effectively connect with your online audience?

Do research your audience. Find out what social networks they are most active on and this will help inform your strategy. There’s no point setting up a Twitter profile when your core audience isn’t talking on Twitter.

Don’t ignore your community. Listen to what they have to say – their opinions can help build your online presence further and can quickly destroy it too.

We advise all our clients to listen and engage in consumer conversation. A community is a two way street – you have to interact with them so they engage back. You wouldn’t expect the organiser of your local community meetings to dictate things to you, so why should it be any different online?

Let us know if you have any other invaluable tips you’d like to share and we’ll make sure they’re included too.

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