Social Media Marketing (SMM) is one of the fastest growing forms of marketing in today’s online social world and it’s only going to become more and more important as time goes on.

Here’s the problem though – so many businesses either don’t have the knowledge and expertise of what goes into an effective SMM campaign, or they simply don’t have the time to keep up with it because they are too busy running their own business.

What is SMM?

Social Media Marketing is the process of marketing your business online using social media sites & tools such as

  • Facebook,
  • Twitter,
  • Google+,
  • YouTube,
  • Blogs,
  • LinkedIn, and more

The idea is that you create interesting content that you can share, post and distribute through these sites which in turn creates a buzz about your company and helps you keep in touch with your clients. Content can includes articles, newsletters, tweets, posts, press releases and more.

How do I start a SMM campaign for my business?

First you need to decide if you have the time and expertise to do it yourself, or if you want to hire a professional to do it for you.   If you want to do it yourself, you’re going to need to spend time each week creating interesting content in the form of articles, tweets, blogs, newsletters, etc. that your clients are going to find interesting and useful.  Then once you create this content, you need to get it out there through social media sites, newsletter feeds, and blogs.

But if you find yourself like most other small business owners, without the time or writing expertise, then I recommend you hire a web marketing firm to manage this for you on a monthly basis as it can be a time consuming task.

What does it cost?

If you do it yourself – then just your time and effort.  But if you hire a professional to do it for you, then you need to discuss what type of balanced campaign approach works best for your business, and then a monthly fee can be workout out.  The great thing about social media is that there are often many social media managers that will have pre-packaged campaigns available that have a range of pricing to work within most budgets.

What to avoid?

One of the most important pieces in an effective social media campaign is creating good content and remaining active.  In order to do this, you must be very proficient in writing, research and editing skills.  Here’s what to look out for:

  1. Make sure the copywriter you use has English as their first language.  There’s nothing worse than putting out a piece that was written in some overseas country and then translated into English after the fact – this can really make both you and your company look bad.
  2. Understand the importance of social media etiquette.  Your online reputation is very important – one bad post can really affect your company’s image.  Ask yourself before you post something “Is this in any way offensive to anyone?”,  “Am I sure about the facts I’m presenting?”, and “Does this content represent both me and my business in the manner in which I want others to see me?”
  3. Don’t overdo it!  Post content regularly but not so much that people just start to get irritated and treat it as spam or ignore you.
  4. Make sure your content is interesting and informative.  Ask yourself – “Would I read this if I were the client?”.  And avoid using industry terms or jargon in your content that no one understands.
  5. Keep the posts short and sweet.  No one reads long drawn out posts.

Summary

Social Media Marketing is a really important part of any online marketing campaign and should be given serious consideration. If done right, the long term benefits can really pay off and help grow your business.


This is PART FOUR in a 5-part series on Online Marketing. Click below to skip to the next section:

  1. The Important of Online Marketing for Small Business
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The Slow & Steady Approach
  3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM): The Quick & Easy Approach
  4. Social Media Marketing (SMM): Creating a Buzz with your Clients
  5. What Do I Do Next?