This is the first, of a series of articles, that will discuss social media marketing best practices for software companies. In future articles I’ll cover social media PR, using del.icio.us, blogger relations, viral marketing, and more profitable social media tactics.
Social media marketing is a big topic to cover, so we'll start at the very beginning by answering two primary questions: what is social media marketing and why do it?
What Exactly is Social Media Marketing?
Like most recent Internet developments, the definition of social media marketing is in flux. Because of the slippery nature of this definition, I'll turn to Wikipedia the free encyclopedia that is continually updated by volunteers from around the world.
"Social Media Marketing (SMM) is a form of internet marketing which seeks to achieve branding and marketing communication goals through the participation in various social media networks, social web applications (webapps), as well as within 3D virtual worlds..." Read more >>>
Why Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Optimization (SMO) is an important Internet marketing strategy that helps B2B organizations achieve their revenue goals. Benefits include the ability to:
* Generate leads at a lower cost.
* Increase online visibility and rankings on Google and other search engines.
* Engage prospects in conversations.
* Establish your organization as an industry leader and content resource.
* Build awareness and need for software offerings.
* Drive traffic/brand impressions from the social network.
* Build viral word of mouth.
* Increase links (critical to high Google rankings).
* Manage online reputation.
* and, reach B2B buyers where they are, online!
Social media marketing starts with content that is on target for the audience. The content can come in many forms, from articles to video, to press releases to podcasts. However, whatever forms are selected, it is critical that the content reaches the needs of your audience.
If you are uncertain at all as to who your audience is, and what challenges you can solve for them, it helps to build a persona for each target market. Once you've defined the characteristics, and more importantly the problems, of the market, you can get started on the content and then on the optimal distribution and promotion strategy. Social media marketing tactics include:
* Killer content. Think video, webinars, podcasts, blogs, virtual events, ebooks.
* SEO press releases
* Del.icio.us page
* Social media newsroom
* Corporate blogging
* Social media news release
* Viral marketing
* Social news sites
* Blogger relationships
* Guest blogging
Each of these tactics will be covered in future articles. You shouldn’t do every social media tactic. Pick those that work with your overall marketing strategy and resources. Come up with some killer content ideas. Leverage current marketing efforts to reach more prospects, and gradually shift resources dedicated to traditional tactics to online programs.
Do this well and you will have a lead on your competitors that will be hard to overcome.