Consultant’s Corner: Online Marketing through Blogs and Social Media
Question: How can I effectively utilize social media, specifically LinkedIn, as a means of promotion?
While LinkedIn is one social media tool for marketing your business, there are other social media resources you should utilize in conjunction with LinkedIn.
General Social Media Marketing Considerations
The specific social media methods and tools that you plan to use will influence your marketing plan. Here are a few tips from our experience in addition to the industry resources that we provide below:
Establish your goals. Are you trying to gain an audience through social media? If so:
- Examine the makeup of the audiences on different social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Don’t waste time on a network if your audience is not there. Instead, devote your time to the network(s) which should yield the best results.
- Create a blog to allow yourself an engagement platform. Create blog posts that relate to your audience. For example, if you are a plumber, writing a post on the top 5 preventative maintenance tips may make sense.
- Insert buttons on your website pages and emails that link to your social media accounts.
- Add share buttons to your blogs so readers can easily share them with their networks, furthering your organic reach.
Creating a Social Media Plan
Using industry articles and detailed explanations as exhibited on the following websites will you help develop a successful social media marketing plan, which includes these basic components:
- Goals and Objectives
- Market Analysis
- Social Media Campaign Implementation Plan
- Resource Planning
- Review Process and Delivery
You can review more information on creating and implementing a social media marketing plan in articles like these:
To stay relevant and consistently post on these platforms, you should create a blog that ties back to your business website domain name. Consider putting a “Blog” button within the navigation bar of your website. You can review how to create a blog at this website:
Offer helpful tips and relevant industry information through your blog without “giving away the farm.” The goal of your writing here should be to showcase your expertise and even help people with the easier tasks within your industry, but to also put yourself in the top of their minds when it is time to make a buying decision.
Creating Topical Articles
It’s good practice to post industry related articles on all forms of social. Once everything is setup, you will want to write blog posts on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Think of each post as an opportunity to communicate with your followers. After writing blog posts, you would share each of them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the prospect of maintaining a blog for your company. A blog post might consist of 2-3 paragraphs about a topic that is relevant to your audience. Topics might include: top ten tips, opinions on the industry, and stats & information related to the industry in which your business operates.
Since you mention LinkedIn specifically in your question, we will start with this network. However, you may be well served to consider using other popular networks like Facebook and/or Twitter. Before deciding which network(s) you will use, do a thorough examination of the types of people on the network and how they might benefit your goals.
You can learn about creating a LinkedIn Business Page and gain insight into the basic workings of LinkedIn in our free LinkedIn Business Marketing Guide. You can download this below:
As with any social network, it is important that you remember the audience makeup on LinkedIn — primarily a business crowd. Keeping this in mind, craft your posts to appeal to this type of reader. A common approach is to link your blog posts on this and other social networks in an attempt to bring readers back to your website, where they can purchase something.
Below are 8 basic tips to maximize the effectiveness of marketing your LinkedIn account and maintaining active engagement with your network to stay fresh on the minds of your target market:
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile – adequately describe your business and include any relevant terms for search purposes.
- Brand your company page and keep it active – Make a point to consistently update your status.
- Identify prospects through LinkedIn Groups.
- Use your LinkedIn personal profile to share content from your business page and connect with people who fall in your target market and begin to interact with them.
- If possible, use LinkedIn’s blogging platform to reprint blogs written by you from your website. Include a link to the post on your site at the bottom of the post.
- Use LinkedIn advertising to engage your network with effective targeted advertising.
- Start a LinkedIn Group with your prospects and allow them to see customer testimonials.
- Be Patient – social media takes time to develop, but the long-term ROI is worth it.
See more information on using LinkedIn for business marketing at these links:
You should have a Business Page for your business, which can be created here:
You can learn more about creating a Facebook Business Page and gain insight into the basic workings of Facebook in our free Facebook Marketing Guide. You can download this below:
A Facebook business page will allow Facebook users to “Like” and follow your updates. A Facebook business page is different in that it is public and Search Engines can see business pages, which is great for SEO.
Review the links below for more information on Facebook Fan pages:
Run a Facebook ad campaign that encourages people to like your page. You can accomplish this by sending ads to a targeted audience. For example, males ages 18-24 who live in the western half of the United States and like to snowboard. After creating a targeted fan base, use blog posts and other content to encourage engagement and interaction with your brand’s page.
Many people use Twitter as a source of news and information. This is a good place to post your blogs about current events and industry trends. This is not to say that other post types will not do well, though. Don’t be afraid to tweet multiple links to the same content, however, you should vary the message that accompanies them. As you post consistently, you will begin to develop a sense of the type(s) of content which are most beneficial here.
You can learn more about the basic set up and functions of Twitter in our free Twitter Marketing Guide. You can download this here:
Social Media Management Tools
Managing multiple social media accounts can easily become a full-time job. To avoid this, consider using social media monitoring tools such as Hootsuite or Google Alerts. You can find a more detailed write up of tools like these in this blog post, “4 Free Social Media Listening Tools Every Small Business Should Be Using.”
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