IS Social Media Right For Your Business?

What is Social Media?

Here is a cool video that summarizes what a Social Media is and its effectiveness as one of your 'Marketing Strategies'.

Source : howcast.com

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Although, this is a buzzword, it is actually not anything new. But the reality is that, in the current online marketing environment, this cannot be ignored, if you want a successful online business.

Now a days, you will see many new genres of social media that have gained traction. Examples would be, Social networking sites, social bookmarking, virtual worlds, blogs, wikis, micro blogging and media-sharing sites, etc.

What You Will Read on This Page?

Essential Tools & Resources

How YOU Can Make ‘Social Media’ Actually Work for You..FREE Video Lessons!

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How Do You Know, If, "Social Media Marketing" Is The Right Thing For Your Business?

You know that, many large and small companies are launching blogs, Face book pages, and joining “Twitter”. So, now you want to have a piece of action.

Am I right?

The question is, "Are you ready for Social Media?"

But, firstly, how do you know whether, social media is right for YOUR business?

Did I not talk about having a "Marketing Plan", before?

You must first have a good Marketing Plan before you implement your marketing strategies. No different here with "Social Media Marketing".

I am involved in Social Media Marketing, and, I take this very seriously. To me this has proved to be an effective marketing tool, in leveraging the social and general public power in my niche. They can drive your business like crazy. They can instantly create a "Brand of one" for your business

Initially this was very challenging, as I did not have any formal direction. It is through my research and to a large extent, my Internet Marketing training, that I am able to succeed with this.

Internet Marketing Training From Big Boys

I will regularly update this page and also the links that I am providing on this page at the bottom. So keep visiting them!

It is your responsibility to visit them, study them and implement them as part of your marketing strategy.

Every thing starts with a through research. The logical first step would be, for you, to start monitoring what your current and potential customers are saying "NOW", and track "WHERE" they are saying it.

This kind of an activity, will let you learn, where the social media conversations are happening. You should then give a thought, whether, to pursue this in the same way that your customers are doing.

Look before you leap....

Social Media is not for every Business...

Social Marketing, is a strategic direction for brands to follow no doubt. And this type of marketing strategy can be powerful, but, according to me, this is not always the right way to go for creating brand value.

One reason for that, could be:

> Your target market doesn’t want to socially interact with each other.

A good example; Business-to-business market.

It is this need for social interaction, that is essential for creating a successful social marketing platform.

Therefore, the questions you should be asking are:

-> Do your customers interact with each other or participate in any social networks?

-> What kind of social needs do your customers have?

-> Can your brand play a role in fulfilling those needs?

-> Which of your customers' needs match your brand values and your communication goals?

-> Is your brand capable at all of fulfilling these needs of your customers?

These are the kind of questions you should focus on, and ask first, before creating your social media marketing platform.

And, if you think you want to pursue social media marketing, then you are more than welcome to do it.

Social Media Tools & Resources:

  • Free Video Lessons

   >  Essential Face book Marketing Tools:

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Essential Ingredients to Succeed with Social Media Marketing

Social-Media: Facebook Marketing

Your communication should be focusing on your customer needs and values, and put forth the message before your customers, that, your product/service is capable of meeting those needs.

Communication: Relevant and Meaningful to Your Customer: Appealing to only your customer's emotion isn’t sufficient anymore for a brand to be distinctive and memorable.

Due to internet, consumers have become more knowledgeable. In this context, social media facilitates social needs between people and therefore, is relevant and meaningful.

    • Take for example, the job market. You can see how, LinkedIn is now a days the preferred way for businesses to recruit fresh talent. 

You see how your brand can participate and is relevant in these platforms, assuming you belong to this niche.

The point that I am making here, is to show you, how this thing can facilitate social needs of your target niche that match with your brand values.

How do you define relevance?

Social relevance: The most important one to drive brand value. Brands can be socially relevant for consumers, by adopting a social media marketing strategy. The focus lies in facilitating social needs.

Here are some examples:

>> Nike+running

Don't you think this will help the runners practice their sport and exchange experiences with each other and strengthen the brand value for Nike?

>> Novartis’  CFvoice 

An online community, dedicated to people affected with cystic fibrosis, connecting with each other.

Do you see the power in this?

See how this platform makes Novartis a more caring and evolved brand, giving them valuable insight into the lives of people living with this illness and their medical needs.

Functional & Contextual relevance: Brands can be functionally relevant for your consumers, Providing a product/service that is useful and add value, makes a loyal customer.

This concept is also known as branded utility or brand utility.

>>  Kraft’s crafty Ifood-Iphone app.

This simply enables Kraft customers, find recipes, during shopping and create a shopping list based on that.

OK. So, what’s your take home lesson?

Simply this. Brands that are relevant and meaningful, can have a sustainable relation with their target group. Now this is something really valuable.

Don't you think so?

I am sure you agree. In which way your brand wants to be relevant or on what level, really depends on your social media or marketing strategy.

Internet plays a pivotal role in facilitating relevance.

Finding and proving relevance for your brand, to your valued customer, and be compliant with your brand values, indeed requires a new set of skills and understanding. Not only communication skills are required, but, also knowledge and understanding of your target market's social needs are of equal importance.

Being relevant and meaningful for your target group, will add value, and can be highly profitable.

This will establish a sustainable relationship with your customer, and turns he/she into your loyal customer, rewarding you with repeat business and a competitive advantage in your market. OK.

Essential Social Media Resources:

  • Social Matrix – The Complete Guide to Social Marketing
  • Let’s Get Social – Land Your Dream Job in Social Marketing
  • Social Blueprint – Step By Step Guide to Social Marketing Strategies & Techniques – FREE
  • Crowd Conversion - Dominate Facebook & Social Marketing 

Let's now discuss the steps involved in implementing this Marketing Strategy.

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Instantly Effective Social Media Marketing Strategies!!!

Here are some of the Social Media Marketing strategies that you can implement real quick.

1.

Suggestion Box:

What is suggestion box?

This is exactly what the name suggests. You want to invite your customers to submit their ideas and suggestions for new products, services or improvements. The other members in the Community, gets to rate and vote on the submissions. The best suggestions will be voted to the top.

So, what is remaining for you to do is, to simply act upon the best suggestions, ideas or recommendations. This is a great tool for your brands that are open to product/service input.

Here are some good real life examples:

Now, here is how you are going to implement this:

Build your own site or a blog using a content management system. There are plenty of such systems available. My suggestion is to go for the ones that has a "Digg" style submission and voting system as an add-on.

> Site Building Tools <

Invest in the implementation of a few user-submitted ideas as soon as possible. Use your media team to publicize the fact that you're listening. Once people know their ideas will turn into action, it will be easy to motivate participation.

Yahoo answers is an excellent place to start with. Use this Very Effective Tool to discover the Yahoo questions relating to your niche or market. provide your answers to the user questions with a link back to your site.

Here is an excellent tool that will automate the process...

It is not a good idea to build your own submission-and-rating system from scratch. There are lots of turn-key options available.

Before even venturing into this, make sure you can reach out to your potential customers, who are already into social networking and blogs, chats or tweets about your product/service. Or engage someone (Outsource) to do this for you.

2.

Widget:

Social-Media: 

</p><p>Widget

Don't worry if the term is not familiar to you. You have to create an interactive applet or some kind of a badge your customers can place on their social network applications, like, Facebook pages or blogs.

Here is an Excellent Resource for FaceBook

A widget can display your latest news, deals or contests, invite Twitter-style updates, or solicit donations. This is a great tool to Popularize and brand your product/service.

Example of a widget:

>Ask Your Law maker

This is exactly how you will do this: Use a service like SproutBuilder or WidgetBox to create a simple widget with content updates powered by your RSS feed. Or if you want to outsource this, a website/blog developer can create this for you.

Attractive and interactive widget will stand out, and appeal to your customers. Provide incentives and motivate people to install the widget on to their sites/blogs.

Now a days videos are the rage. Create Widgets that support different media formats, like, flash video, WMV format etc. that will serve as your social media marketing needs pretty well.

Video Marketing Tools

There are good tools available for video creation. I will probably discuss "Video Marketing" as a separate marketing strategy in the near future. This will be a killer strategy. So, again keep tuned in for that.

Like I said, videos are great marketing tool, and will produce viral marketing effects beyond your imagination, when they have valuable content and is presented in an appealing manner.

Alternative to doing this by yourself, is to outsource the job to a good videographer, or media development team.

3.

One Time Offers:

Create one-time or limited time offers that instils some kind of an urgency to take action. This could be a discounted offer for your product/service that is highly limited.

This kind of a strategy, will in fact, create an online presence, that will have viral effect in the social media.

Hold such kind of offers regularly, so that, your target audience will be inclined to check back frequently. This is an excellent strategy to leverage on the social media power, and is great for companies looking to establish a web presence with new products or services.

A classic example:

Here is how you are going to implement this "Social Media" strategy:

Firstly, create a Twitter feed or a Facebook page. Announce your special limited time offers there. Update your Twitter or Facebook page regularly, say, daily, once or twice in a week, etc., with your offers.

Promote your RSS feed or page for Twitter/Facebook, to your niche customers, so they can receive your offers in real time.

Twitter is a very hot spot to be in with your marketing messages. There are tools available to manage your Social Media marketing in Twitter. You will get all the details from the "Twitter" page, including some very effective and hardly known techniques to create your targeted Twitter following.

Social-Media: Twitter Marketing

Go to "Twitter" to learn more about 'Twitter Marketing'

The deals that you are offering should be of good quality and value to your customers. You will have to take some cuts from your profits while Offering special price and discounts.

But this short-term loss will prove to be a long-term benefit in the long run. You can outsource this strategy to a proficient 'Social Media' marketer.

I will cover more insider tips on social media marketing on a separate page.

Go to "Social Media Marketing" to read more on the top of the pick tips.

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Social Media" activities can be divided into:

Social Networking:

There are a good number of social networking sites in existence. And, daily new ones spring up regularly.

Here are the most prominent ones in no particular order:

I will list out more on the "Social networking" page. I use most of them for my marketing needs and for creating a buzz for my products that I am involved with.

Go to "Twitter", to discover the tricks and the "Twitter Tools" for yourself.

Spread this message amongst your Twitter friends who are serious to "Make Money From Home" using these new age marketing strategies.

Social Bookmarking:

Social bookmarking actually facilitates the social media marketing and communication, as far as I see.

These strategies will be discussed in its fullest on my forth coming update.

Tools to Build Trust & Following

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I hope by now, you must have realized the power of social media and social networking as your weapons of marketing. Especially in creating a viral buzz about your product or service.

I am yet to discuss some other strategies in tracking, monitoring and managing effectively your social media marketing efforts, that will see your online business soar and establish a firm web presence.

Continue to the links below and be sure to read everything with passion and fervour.

Here is wishing you every success in social media marketing,

CHEERS!!!

Vat-Marketing-Strategies-Expert

Contact Vat Thilek for Questions & Suggestions

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