SOCIAL MEDIA: GETTING IT RIGHT

‘Social media’, by itself, is the catch-all term for sites that provide various social actions. For instance, Twitter is a site designed to let people share short messages or “updates” with others. Facebook, in contrast, is a full-blown social networking site that allows for sharing updates, photos, events and a variety of other activities.

While you think through the options for getting involved in social media, let’s get to understand its broad categories.

Social Networks

Facebook and LinkedIn are classic examples of social networks. These siteshelp you connect with peoplehaving similar interests and background. To use them, you may have to create a profile, setup groups or participate in the existing ones and utilize the available features to communicate with others.

Bookmarking Sites

Sites like Delicious and StumbleUpon that allow you to save, organize and manage ‘links’ to various websites fall under this category. They allow you to “tag” your links to make them easy to search and share.

Media Sharing

Services that allow you to upload and share various media such as pictures and video. These sites may have additional social features such as profiles, commenting, etc. YouTube and Flickr are the most common ones.

Social News

These sites that allow people to post various news items or links to outside articles and then allows its users to “vote” on them. The voting is the core social aspect as the items that get the most votes are the ones that are displayed prominently and it’s the community that decides which news items get seen by more people. The most popular are Digg and Reddit.

Microblogging

Theservices focus on short updates that are pushed out to anyone subscribed to receive the updates. Twitter is the most popular example.

Blog Forums

Online forums allow members to hold conversations by posting messages. These can be termed similar to Social news sites, except that the discussion centers around the topic of the blog posts.

But they may overlap each other, like for instance, Facebook has microblogging features with their “status update”, whileFlickr and YouTube have comment systems similar to that of blogs.

Most of these platforms can be effectively used to elevate your audience and customer base in a dynamic way. But it’s vital that you understand the fundamentals. Here are some of the rules which you can’t afford to ignore while venturing into Social Media Marketing –

1. Listening:

To succeed with social media you are requiredto listen and understand your target audiences, joining discussions and learning what’s important to them. By doing this you’ll be able to spark conversations that add value to them.

2. Focus:

You need a highly-focused social media and content marketing strategy. An approach that attempts to be all things to all people may not always work.

3. Quality Trumps Quantity:

If you publish amazing, quality content and work to build your online audience of quality followers, they’ll share it with their own audiences on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, their own blogs and more.It’s better to have 1,000 online connections who read, share and talk about your content with their own audiences than 10,000 connections who disappear after connecting with you the first time.This sharing and discussing of your content opens new entry points for search engines like to find your site in keyword searches. Those entry points could grow to hundreds or thousands of more potential ways for people to find you online.

4. Spotting the Influencers:

You may have to conduct some research to find the online influencers in your market who have quality audiences and are likely to be interested in your products, services and business. Connect with those people and work to build relationships with them.If you get them on radar as an authoritative, interesting source of useful information, they might share your content with their own followers, which could put you and your business in front of a huge new audience.

These directives may perhaps be quite useful if you wish to use Social Media to build a strong brand online. You might fumble your way to get it right but that shouldn’t be a deterrent to give it a shot. if you need a professional support.

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