Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones

There’s no mystery behind the draw of marketing within social media networks: within minutes, an ambitious web marketer can set up a free profile on any online social network to gain instant access to millions of potential customers. But the ease with which one can make a profile on a social networking site belies the difficulty in marketing your product or service to others on the same service. In short, making an online profile is easy; getting people to view your profile and buy into your message is quite another matter.

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Users on social media networks aren’t as likely to click blatant advertisements or endorsements simply because the space is more conducive to socializing and networking. An effective marketer on Facebook, Twitter, or Chime.in must therefore promote their product or service while simultaneously engaging the consumer on a personal level. It’s a delicate balance to maintain, but it can be done. Here are a few points to build into your marketing strategy.

Write with a voice to your target audience

Strike a casual tone when you speak to other users about your product or service. Remember that you’re looking to attract users to your profile (and subsequently to your product) in a social atmosphere, so engage them in a way that will generate genuine interest on their end. You do this not by posting general exclamatory statements (“Need help with auto insurance? Check out my site!”), but with direct statements to the individual user (“User123, I sympathize with your auto insurance woes. If you’re looking for alternative solutions, consider our service”). On social media networks, users regard marketing attempts with hesitant skepticism at best and abject annoyance at worst. Your job is to convince the user that you’re promoting something useful for them as an individual, that you’re targeting this user personally because they themselves could benefit from your product.

You can more easily build trust among users in a social network by targeting those who would most likely be predisposed to your product. To expand on the above example above, if you’re marketing an auto insurance website, you probably want to market your services in more professional social networks like Twitter and LinkedIn. Users on more socially lax networks like Facebook would be less likely to indulge in a pitch from an auto insurance provider while they browse pictures and wall posts.

Tasteful Twitter usage

I firmly believe that Twitter is the single best web marketing tool for any person looking to promote their product or service online. But web marketers can’t realize Twitter’s unlimited potential without adhering to some basic guidelines that ensure effective usage of the service. For instance, web marketers need to follow popular industry Tweeters in order to stay abreast of the latest trends and hype surrounding the topic of the day relating to their business. To further extend the auto insurance example, the savvy web marketer armed with a Twitter account would want to follow all the major auto insurance providers (GEICO, Allstate, etc.) so as to remain aware of their offerings and deals. This way you can effectively set up your marketing strategy in competition with rivals knowing the trends that dominate the market.

Of course marketers should always tweet about their product, but they need to do so in continually variable ways so as not to sound like an ad machine. I recommend retweeting users when they say something that works as a perfect lead-in for your product. A user complains about hikes in their auto insurance policy, and you retweet the complaint, adding something along the lines of “For more competitive rates, visit our website.” The key to successful Twitter marketing lies in the user’s ability to incorporate the fast paced and spontaneous nature of the service into their strategy, ready to capitalize on a valuable tweet or a new user whenever they arise.

Utilize fresh and new social media services

You may have wondered about the service “Chime.in” that I referenced earlier. Chime.in is an up and coming social media service aimed at connecting users on a purely interest-based level. Users find other users not because of mutual friends or business contacts, but because they share a common interest in any subject from gardening to current European politics. Users essentially “chime in” to conversations generated by people about a subject of interest and begin developing a online social report with them.

Chime.in is only one example of the many new social media services looking to make a name in the online networking market. With thorough research you’ll find that you can utilize a service to your professional advantage, one that fits exactly with your product and target audience.

Author Bio:

This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.

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