How To Build Your Social Media Presence For an Abundance of Free Targeted Traffic

Where to Focus Your Attention: Top 5 Social Media Sites

There is an ever-increasing number of social networking sites, but paying attention to the top 5 will create the most opportunities for building your brand and promoting your business, in order to increase reach and profits. Currently, the top 5 social media sites include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. Let’s take a closer look at each of these to help you decide where to focus your social media marketing attention.

Facebook

Facebook now has more than 1.1 billion users. It allows individual and corporate pages, and a variety of written, video and promotional content. Despite reports that Facebook is decreasing in popularity amongst a younger audience, it is #1 in the world and #1 where it counts-with consumers who have money to spend. The audience tends to consist of more women than it does men. Both use social search to learn more about products and services and get recommendations. Women socialize more, and keep in touch with friends and family through their account. They are also more likely to access their account on a mobile device. They participate more in groups, polls and surveys and tend to respond better to ads. The ads at Facebook are highly targeted and a good deal cheaper than the Google AdSense network, so making the most of all the free as well as paid marketing opportunities at Facebook is the best way to build your audience rapidly and stay connected with them.

Twitter

Twitter has 310 million users. Many people like it because they feel it is fun and easy to use. The posts, called tweets, can only be 140 characters long, so it is a fast way to update your followers about your business. More women than men are on Twitter and tweet more actively. They also re-tweet, or share your tweets. This helps you to reach a wider circle of people. Twitter also has an easy-to-use advertising program to help gain followers and feature tweets.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn, geared towards businesspeople, has 255 million users with more men than women using the platform. LinkedIn works well to connect with people you know and tap into business-to-business opportunities. They recently added advertising to their offers in relation to lead generation, that is, focusing on getting people to sign up for your email marketing list. They also bought SlideShare, the #1 site for sharing PowerPoint presentations. Use all 3 opportunities to build your brand and reach if your product line appeals to business people.

Pinterest

Pinterest is a social media platform that focuses on images. It has 250 million users, with women accounting for 80% of users and a majority of this sector is over 35. It is a visual social network where people pin pictures related to products, services, and more to virtual pinboards related to particular topics. They also re-pin to share interesting content with their social circle. Studies have shown that around 60% of users have made a purchase based on what they saw at Pinterest, with an average payment of $55. If your products are highly visual, ideal for women, or you wish to tap into a female-centric market, this is the site for you.

Google+

Google+ (pronounced Google PLUS) is the youngest of the top 5 networks, but already has 120 million users, mostly men. It links to all your Google activities through your free Gmail account. This also means you can connect it to your YouTube channel if you have one. YouTube is the #1 video sharing site in the world and the third most popular site on the Internet after Google and Facebook. Google+ Hangouts and Hangouts on Air allow you to use video to attract an audience and meet with prospective customers. Good social media marketing is all about making connections. If you’re not already using these 5 top sites, open an account to test things out. You may find that you have tapped into a true social media treasure when it comes to finding and connecting with your target market. Social media has become firmly established as an effective way to market almost any business, but there are so many sites, tasks, profiles and publishing to manage every day, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. The most successful social media marketers have several habits that enable them to do it all successfully. See how many you’re already doing, and add those you aren’t to your day to see what a difference they can make.  

Using Social Media to Establish Yourself as a Thought Leader

Becoming a thought leader in your niche or industry is all about establishing yourself as someone worth paying attention to in your niche or industry. If you think of yourself as a brand in your own right, not just your company as a brand, imagine instant name recognition by those in the know in that niche. If we say Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, most people know who we are talking about and what they are famous for. Becoming a thought leader in your niche may take some time and effort, but the financial and professional rewards can be well worth it long-term.
  • Do your niche research. Where do people interested in your niche spend their time, and money? What social networks do they visit? What do they talk about? What are their pain points and problems in relation to the niche? What solutions are they willing to pay for and how much will they pay? Who are your main competitors and how good are their products? What are niche customers saying about those products? Can you come up with even better ones?
  • Create great content. Use your niche research to create content readers/ followers want. People learn visually most of the time, but offering a range of content gives them a choice. The more content you create, especially free content, the more traffic you will get from search engines and social sites. Seeing your name and (good) content appearing repeatedly will make potential customers check you and your item out more closely.
  • Connect on social media. The secret to success in social media is in the name itself: social. People are on social networks to connect with others, not to see your latest promotion. However, people are always on the lookout for products and services that make their lives easier. Be helpful in all your interactions and people will appreciate and remember what you do for them.
  • Make the most of groups. Are there social media groups you can join in order to connect with your target audience and other like-minded people? Facebook and LinkedIn have some very active groups. Some popular Pinterest boards allow guest pinners and can provide another way to get you noticed.
  • Convert connections. Rather than focusing on quantity of posts, tweets, and pins to convert your connections into email subscribers, focus on quality. Use the information you gained from your research and insights to provide a special offer that is specific to your followers on a particular social media platform. For example, a cooking related niche could provide an exclusive and free offer, available only to Pinterest followers who sign up for updates during a specific time.
Using social media to establish yourself as a thought leader can take time. However, the more quickly you get started, the more quickly you will arrive at your desired destination. Put these ideas into action to begin your journey to success.

The Eight Habits of Successful Social Marketers

1. Know your niche

Know what the people in your niche are most interested in, and come up with content that satisfies those needs. For example, any new golfer will want to know about perfecting their swing. Think beginners new to your niche, and intermediates, and you will become a magnet for them as they look for solutions to their main issues.

2. Block time on your calendar

Make an appointment each day with your social networking profiles. Thirty minutes per day 2 or 3 times a day will prevent you from getting distracted and eating up your time. Log in, look around, and interact as needed. Don’t constantly crank out content with no thought to what’s actually happening in the account. For example, if you have a Tweet that is getting a lot of traction, don’t tweet more items that are just going to push it down the page. Instead, let it ride as long as it can.

3. Leverage advertising as needed

Even a small budget can go far with the right content on the right network. Using the example of the hot tweet above, consider turning it into a sponsored tweet. Also consider running a campaign to add more followers while the tweet is prominent, in order to give it more exposure to those interested in your niche who are on the network but not connected with you yet.

4. Using automation as needed

A growing number of tools will allow you to manage multiple social media accounts, with just a few clicks. Pay particular attention to publishing content during the times you are not online, for around the clock marketing.

5. Think engagement, not just eyeballs

Your content should have a high potential to evoke a response, such as a comment, like or share. Make your calls to action obvious to get the response you want.
  • Poll
  • Survey
  • Provocative or thought-provoking question
  • Sharing interesting articles and other niche-related content, and encouraging others to as well
  • Creating a range of content at your site and sharing it
  • Comment on a recent news item
If you get a comment, reply to it as appropriate. Stuck with a troll? Don’t engage on their unprofessional level in front of the entire world, just delete their nonsense and block them. In the posting, give a clear call to action, such as “Like or share if you agree.” For more details, invite them to share more with, “Let us know what you think in the comments box below.”

6. Follow others and engage as needed

See what others are doing and be helpful in all your interactions online, and people will soon be checking out your profile and starting to follow you because you look like someone worth paying attention to.

7. Connect with thought leaders

Connect with the top people in your niche. You can learn from them, and will be keeping good company, which over time may result in a range of profitable opportunities.

8. Track your results

See how many engagements you get from each activity. If driving traffic to your site, create a unique URL for each network campaign so you can see the results from each network quickly.