Thursday, June 28, 2012

10 Ways to Improve Social Media Marketing

I'm reposting these great tips on improving your social media marketing from the Online Marketing Institute and instructors they have lined up for an upcoming social media intensive. For those who have dabbled in the waters of social media but feel like they aren't going beyond "social media 101," it isn't just about posting and updates, it's about providing varied and relevant information, making your community feel appreciated, and partnering on events, projects, and goals, to gain important visibility for both entities.

10 Ways to Improve Social Media Marketing  focuses on Google Hangouts, distinct personas for each social media platform, getting to know Fans, setting and measuring goals, using the Open Graph, listening, and continuously growing your community. Setting and measuring goals is also important. I would add to the mix the importance of having a distinct voice, varying your content between photos, videos, text, and other multimedia, keeping your toolkit up to date, and being a first adapter to apps that look like they're here to stay a while, such as Pinterest and high SEO blog platforms like Tumbler and Wordpress. Yes, blogs are social media as well, although for some reason people are debating this.

I think we also underestimate the importance of our own websites, and the realization that this is the ultimate destination in terms of where we are leading people. Facebook may be gone tomorrow, or next month, or next year, but your website is your online real estate, and you should treat is as such. Social media is still the very tasty icing on what should be a delicious cake!

In my social media experimentation and experience with other organizations in a wide variety of niche areas, as well as individuals, here's a quick shoutout to those who have stood out so far:

*Virgin America, for seeing my tweet where I was not happy about being hung up on during a telephone chat. I got a nice email response from customer service, and a $75 credit. I still ended up flying United on a recent trip, but thanks for paying attention.

*Author and entrepreneur Sean Platt, who retweets and publicly thanks those who have retweeted him. He also tweets out great info for authors, writers, and publishers.

 *Constant Contact: Great customer service, and they always reply to any question I have within a few hours on e-mail. They are friendly, and provide detailed and personalized answers each time.

*Sprinkles Cupcakes: OK, they haven't personally commented to me, but their "whisper and get a free cupcake" campaign is ingeniously simple. Talk about chocolate marketing.

*Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project) has a great Facebook page and great interaction. I loved meeting her in person, and I have her latest book, and I also love the variety of content she posts. 

What say you? Who do you think is doing it right, and what tips do you have that have improved your social media marketing?

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