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How can businesses effectively utilize social media, specifically LinkedIn, as a means of promotion?

By: Ed Fox

 

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How can businesses effectively utilize social media, specifically LinkedIn, as a means of promotion?

 

Answer: 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:
1.    Set up a Twitter and Facebook account.
2.    Create a blog to allow yourself an engagement platform.
3.    Insert buttons on your website pages and emails that link to your social media accounts.

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.

Keep your followers engaged once you have a base. Are you trying to increase customer engagement with your company through social media? If so, then you already have the platforms in place, and you are just trying to “stitch” it all together. Here is how to keep them engaged:

•    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.
•    Share blog posts on both your Facebook and Twitter accounts. It’s important to share relevant, non-sales information with your audience.

Industry tools: 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:

1.    Goals and Objectives
2.    Market Analysis
3.    Social Media Campaign Implementation Plan
4.    Resource Planning
5.    Review Process and Delivery

Social media account set up: The first step to implementing a comprehensive social media communications strategy is to simply sign up for accounts on the main social media sites. The next steps involve creating a business website along with a blog. After you have created and published your website, you can then begin to leverage your social media accounts:

1. Facebook: You should have a Business Page for your business, which can be achieved here:

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.

Facebook Fan pages:

2. LinkedIn account:  Below are seven steps 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 products/services for search purposes.
Brand your company page and keep it active – create a products/services tab and consistently update your status.
Identify prospects through LinkedIn Groups.
Use LinkedIn advanced people search to add people who fall in your target market and begin to interact with them.
LinkedIn Advertising – engage your network with effective targeted advertising.
Converting ‘weak social-ties’ into ‘strong social-ties’ – 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.

3. Twitter account: You can easily use tools such as Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to manage your Twitter account. It can be useful to follow other relevant companies that your target audience would be interested in.

 4. Blogs: 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:

 5. 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, and Twitter. 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 & info related to the industry that your business operates in.

Published: September 30, 2013
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Ed Fox

Ed Fox is the Director of Technology for Tarkenton. To assure users of a rich online experience (whether they are customers, employees, partners, or suppliers for a business), Ed combines knowledge of coding language, development and design, content management, and other critical tools. He also focuses on creating an effective website through search engine optimization and a deep and thorough understanding of web analytics. Connect with him on .

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