new businessGet your audience to like and trust you by helping them solve their problem(s) and grow their business.  The best sharable social media content revolves around your audience’s pain points. This takes a little creativity and imagination.

Blogging

Blogging is part of search engine optimization (SEO), content strategy and social media.  The reasons I start with blogging are it is “owned” media, the basis for social media postings, and provides content for email marketing.

Website content is static (doesn’t really change), informative, and has a goal of converting traffic.
Blogging is better suited for everything else.  It can be text, video, images, or a mix of all types of content.  By blogging, you are telling Google to stop by and visit your website because there is something new on it that needs indexing.

You can use your blog for all your audiences and control it using the categories feature.  Tags are in addition and help further explain the blog post.
Blog content can be broken down easily into tweets and status postings on Linked In, Facebook and G+.  You can pull one or more blogs into your email platform to quickly create a newsletter.

Click to Tweet.  Embed tweet postings into a blog to make it easy for a reader to tweet out something.

Articles do not have to be posted on your website blog.  You can also post on Web 2.0 sites and Linked In Pulse.

My suggestion is to establish the editorial calendar focused on various target audiences, then create content to reach the various, wide-ranging audiences.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are very specific website pages designed to do one thing – convert traffic.  The content on the page is narrow and very focused on one audience and generally one keyword (or a couple of keywords).  There is a strong call to action, an offer, and a contact form.

The offer.  This can be an ebook, white paper, report, list, checklist, webinar, video, email newsletter signup.  As you know, it must be something they WANT; something strong enough they are willing to give you their email address in exchange to get it.

Landing pages are awesome to promote on all social media.  The more variety of landing pages, the better variety of social media postings.

Linked In

Building relationships is being a community manager; taking time to comment on someone’s post, like a post, and @mention a member.

Your overall marketing strategy should include creating content targeted to each specific audience and have strong calls to action for each.
o    Post articles on your blog designed to provide value and share in the Linked In group
o    Post article directly on Linked In in the Pulse section to be seen as a Influencer

Above I talked about @mentioning people.  If you are personally connected with someone, you can @mention them to get attention.  This also helps you be seen in their news feed, hence you get in front of their followers.

To build a relationship, find a company you want to get in front of.  You CAN @mention a Linked In company page.  This is building your Tribe – specifically targeting a business.  If someone is in the group who works for the business, you can @mention them.

Another idea for Linked In is using Survey Monkey.  Since everyone loves to give you their opinion, play with survey ideas.  Will people answer the survey questions with or without incentives.

The Company Page.  Utilize this page so you don’t miss out on opportunities.  This page can have weekly updates.  You can also set up a product page to focus on a specific product for a targeted audience.  By consistently posting, you should be able to increase engagement and followers.  They tend to follow when they see activity.

Twitter

If you are currently pushing only your newsletter or Facebook posts to Twitter automatically, stop.  It’s a really bad strategy.  People will not follow you if they see this.  It signals laziness.

Twitter is very good for customer service.

It also is a great way to get noticed by @mentioning people and brands.  You will get more engagement on Twitter than on any other platform.

Hashtags are so very important, especially for growing your audience and getting noticed.  They are a way of categorizing your postings.   People use Twitter to search for information.  My suggestion is to use hashtags that other people also incorporated into their message so your content can get found during searches.  Save using custom hashtags for events so that people can find the tweets easily.

Lists.  Lists are a way of getting attention.  They are also a way of connecting with influencers.  The community manager should categorize twitter followers into lists for better targeting.

Facebook

There are currently only 3 ways to grow an audience and get attention on Facebook. Of course this is my humble opinion.
1.    Advertising
2.    Contests
3.    Viral Content that is shareable

Facebook advertising is easy to implement plus the ability to target content to your audience is powerful.  You can put code into the website to build custom audiences.  Once the audience is built, we can target them with specific messages.  Sort of like retargeting on Google Adwords.

Contests are only good once you have high engagement and reached “critical mass”.

Viral content are the videos you have and landing pages with valuable content.

Email Marketing

Even though, over time, the open rate of emails has declined, it’s still a very viable tool in your overall marketing strategy.

Have a purpose for each area of email marketing such as newsletters, lead gen from drip campaign, or targeted audience campaigns.

For a newsletter, the content source can come from blogging.  This is a very good monthly newsletter strategy because once you have a template and blog at least 2 times a month, it shouldn’t take longer than a half hour to put a newsletter together.

Landing Pages are designed with a call to action, specific audience, and web to lead form.  Leads go into the database and an automated drip campaign starts.  Generally 7 emails are sent out over a period of time all with calls to action and lead nurturing.

Targeted Audience Campaign.  This is a focused email (maybe as part of a larger campaign) that is sent to a segmented part of the list.

Email marketing is a terrific tool for cross promotions.

Google Plus (G+)

G+ Business Page.  This is a page just like having a Facebook Business Page.  It gives you a place to post your content.  The reason to use this page is for search engine optimization (SEO).  These postings are “open” whereas Facebook’s postings are “closed”; meaning Google can see what is posted on G+ and not on Facebook.  The G+ postings are actually indexed like a blog article would be.  They are not sustainable, meaning they don’t seem to last long (probably due to the volume of postings and the date).

A community is a group of like-minded people similar to Linked In groups.  Linked In Groups offer only a straight news feed so older posts are pushed down.  G+ Communities have the ability to categorize the posts and search the entire community.  These 2 features are why I like G+ communities better than Linked In Groups.

Participate in G+ Communities. Join communities where a segment of your target audience is.  I’d suggest getting deeper into your audiences.  For example if you are trying to sell exercise equipment, obviously the fitness communities are ideal but what about the weight loss communities.

Google Hangout on Air is a recorded webinar that can have up to 10 participants but unlimited viewers.  You could have a host and then guest participants to interview and talk with.  The event page allows viewers to post comments and questions.  I like to incorporate Twitter as well for live tweeting or for people to search the hashtag on Twitter afterwards.

Hangouts are not hard to do once you have them figured out.  I have developed a system for inviting guests, starting the hangout, promoting it, and marketing the video afterwards.   As an added benefit, this might help the sales person stay top of mind with referral partners.

Video Marketing on YouTube.

If you already have several videos that will be used to help promote the company,  YouTube is a great place to hold your videos since it is highly discoverable if the title is correctly labeled.

Embed the video into a blog.

Facebook
•    Post link to video from YouTube,
•    Post the video directly on Facebook (not from YouTube)
•    Embed the video into a Tumblr Blog and post on Facebook

Promote in Newsletter.

Post on Linked In company page.

It’s all about being creative and providing value.  Thinking deeper into who you are trying to target is the real key.  Don’t forget to use your company’s current sales data to help drill down into your audiences.  Most people just want the “meat and potatoes” of strategy, however the more quality time spent figuring out who your audience is, the better the responsive on your social media.

If you have questions about this content or would like help with social media and integrating it more effectively into your marketing mix, please contact here.