5 Steps to Social Media Success

While doing some research on social media, I came across this factoid:

Social media’s influence on driving business via the web is expected to surpass search engine optimization (SEO) in 2013, according to eMarketer

If you’re not engaging with social networks yet, or if you have let your networks gather dust, now is the time to move forward or be left behind in the world of search! In an effort to assist you, here are some steps you can take to be social.

Step 1 – Who are your customers?

  • Create a persona of your ideal customer – are they household consumers? Business principals?
  • What is their average age?
  • What social networks do they use?
  • What are their biggest concerns, needs, and interests?
  • How can you reach them –search engines, social media, blogs
  • What kinds of content do they prefer?

These types of questions will help you develop buyer personas and determine which social networks will be of most value to you

Step 2 – Determine which social networks to join

  • New social networks pop up each week. It’s a waste of time to join every new social network only to find you have no time to manage them.
  • Find out where your most active customers & influencers spend time online – then listen and take notes.
  • Some tools you can use to tune into the conversation: Google Alerts, Technorati, Google Blog Search, Bloglines,
  • The most popular social networks now are Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest
  • Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest are great for reaching household consumers, Linkedin, YouTube, and Twitter for the business community
  • Once you’ve determined which social networks you want to join, setup your account(s)

Step 3 – Join the conversation

  • Engage prospective customers by answering questions, providing insights etc
  • Add value to the community – answer questions and help others where you can
  • Your posts should not always be about “selling” your business
  • When you start listening to conversations, you might hear some things about your company you won’t like – but that’s OK!
  • Find a way to help and be willing to acknowledge mistakes when they happen – you’ll be seen as a hero
  • Recognize happy customers and reward them if possible with something like an added-value offer only available to those who follow you on Twitter
  • If you find something interesting posted elsewhere, share it

Step 4 – Create and post content

  • Whether you publish videos on YouTube, start a Linkedin Group or post to Facebook, the more content you produce and publish, the more traffic you can attract back to your website.
  • If your site is designed well to convert visitors into leads, these activities will help you increase sales
  • Make sure to provide links from your website to your social media networks

Step 5 – Monitor & Revise

  • Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube offer analytics for you to see how many people have viewed your videos, how many people you’ve reached with your Facebook page etc
  • Use free Google Analytics on your website to see where your traffic is coming from
  • If possible, keep track of how your customers learned about you, and which social network, if that is how they found you
  • If you see that you’re spending a lot of effort on a social media network with no return, then eliminate it and focus on the network that brings you the most traffic and/or where your customers want to engage with you

 

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Social Media Marketing: Restaurants

The first in a series of posts about Social Media Marketing for Restaurants

By day, I work for a marketing communications company. The clients are primarily franchises, and they are mainly restaurants.

Though using Social Media is catching on in restaurant marketing, I notice that many clients are hesitant to use Social Media Marketing in their marketing mix. Their reasons:

  • Their customers don’t use Social Media
  • They don’t understand it or how it can help their business
  • It’s overwhelming and don’t have the  time to plan and implement campaigns

Social Media is  Just for Kids

In conversations I’ve had with various clients, one misconception is that the “social web” is just for  kids.  This is not true. Take a look at the stats:

  • The September/October 2010 edition of Canadian Restaurant News, reported that 50% of restaurant patrons are between the ages of  25 – 54, and that 52% of patrons are female.
  • The average age of a Twitter user is 39.  The average age of those on  Facebook is 38 (Source: Royal Pingdom).
  • 42 million women in the USA engaged in social media networking at least once a week (Small Business Trends).

Clearly the average restaurant customer does use  Social Media in one form or another, whether that form is Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube or a combination of these and other Web 2.0 applications.

Whether you serve kids or middle aged adults, integrating Social Media into your marketing mix is something that you shouldn’t ignore.

Need help with  your Social Media Marketing? Want a custom Facebook Business Page Designed? Contact me at ginaprestonmarketing@gmail.com

Fun with YouTube-Creating a Custom Video Player

The other day I placed a video on my gardening hobby blog, The Bloomin’ Blog. I noticed that the video player was too large for the blog’s template.

Book cover

YouTube & Video Marketing An Hour A D

Ever the intrepid, sometime web geek, I had to find out how to correct this problem. What I discovered is that you have to change the video embed code’s object width and height.  I discovered this nugget of information in the book, YouTube & Video Marketing an Hour a Day.

This lead me to learn about how to go one step further and create a custom video player from YouTube. There are certain benefits to going through with this exercise, rather than just embedding the code per video:

1) You can create visual standards for the the videos that you embed in your website or blog, including sizing and colours. These remain for all YouTube videos you may post. For branding purposes this is a bonus.

2) Viewers have the option to select other videos you may have posted or “faved” on YouTube allowing more opportunities for your videos to be viewed.

You can watch a short tutorial below (another thing I taught myself how to do today-forgive the low quality!):