Top 10 Ways to Incorporate Social Media in Your Marketing or Public Relations Campaign
Top 10 Ways to Incorporate Social Media in Your Marketing or Public Relations Campaign:
Create profiles on social networking sites. MySpace and Facebook continue to dominate the social networking scene, and both remain great platforms to showcase your brand, music, or product. Both have respective Pay-Per-Click programs in place so you can advertise directly to your target audience. Every social networking site has its own threshold regarding just how much you can “pimp your profile,” but take advantage of any wiggle-room they give you to make your profile stand out from the crowd – be unique! And remember that the Big Two aren’t the only games in town. Social networking sites are popping up everywhere, with all kinds of niche markets, so find yours, or create your own (more on this below)!
Create your own social networking site. Can’t find any social networking sites that speak to you? Now, thanks to Ning.com, you can create your own – for free! Build your own niche social networking destination – no technical skills or HTML knowledge required! For those who want a little more freedom, you can buy the Ning for Business option, which allows you to control your own ad content (or remove it altogether) and have a non-Ning URL for an added fee.
Send updates via Twitter. A powerful “micro blogging” tool, you can use Twitter to promote your product, share your company news, recent press coverage, or announce special offers or promotions. If you don’t want to join in directly, you can always monitor what other people are saying about your company and “follow” them without actively participating yourself.
Create a YouTube channel. An invaluable tool for budding musicians, comedians or visual artists, YouTube’s greatest benefit is that it’s a free-for-all territory. A video of a teenage boy rocking out on his electric guitar in his bedroom (46.9 million views) beats Rihanna’s Umbrella music video (with “only” 44.7 million). And that’s what viral marketing is all about – you can pit your home-made video against that of a celebrity’s, and still come out on top.
Participate in online forums. Find out what others are saying about you or your company and join in on the conversation – preferably as yourself, and not under a fake identity (Whole Foods CEO John Mackey taught us all that lesson). It’s even easier to do now with the new site Twing.com that lets you search your keywords in its database of online forums.
Submit your news to social news sites. Sites like Digg, StumbleUpon and Reddit allow you to submit links to online content (like your press release, recent media coverage or any other news-worthy piece of information) and allow others to cast their vote on it. The more thumbs up or positive votes you get, the more prominent it will appear on the site and the more people will see it. Be careful again with trying to “beat the system” – especially with Digg. They won’t hesitate to delete your account, and permanently ban you if they even suspect foul play (and forget about complaining to Digg’s customer service – it doesn’t exist).
Blog. Blog. Blog. If you can put a sentence together, then you can blog. No technical know-how needed. Just sign up for one of the free blog hosting programs (I like WordPress, it’s the most Google-friendly). If you know a bit of HTML, or can afford a web designer, then I suggest you host your own blog. You’ll not only have your own domain name, you’ll also have full control over it, and you can drive more traffic to your official site/business. Pick a subject you want to blog about (preferably something you have some interest in and knowledge about), pick your title and tagline, pick your background theme, and start posting! The key is to post as often as possible. Search engines love fresh, frequently updated content, and blogs in particular get preferred treatment in search engine rankings. Spend some time reading other popular blogs out there to get a feel for what it’s all about. Join in on the conversation and introduce yourself or your business/product (as long as it’s relevant). If you play by the rules, generate fun or informational content, your readership will grow.
Create podcasts. A combination of the words ‘iPod’ and ‘broadcast,’ a podcast lets you turn your music, interviews or other audio clips into files that can be distributed over the web (via syndication feeds) for playback on mp3 players, smart phones, computers, etc. It basically offers your customers direct access to your message and makes them feel empowered as they can control how, where and when they listen to it. So place podcasts on your official site, or in directories like iTunes so you can reach an even broader audience.
Syndicate all your web content. Enhance your company’s image and increase your search engine visibility by syndicating your web content with RSS (or Atom) feeds. It’s the easiest, and fastest way to deliver your content to your target audience or the media. By subscribing to your RSS feed, your customers will automatically be alerted to any update made on your site or blog. It also helps optimize your site in terms of search engine rankings. Sites with RSS feeds are crawled and archived more efficiently.
Send social media press releases. A social media press release differs from a traditional one by forgoing marketing-speak in favor of more straightforward, informal tone. They’re more to-the-point and can incorporate multimedia as well as social bookmark links. Bloggers are particularly averse to traditional, long-winded and jargon-heavy press releases, so by sending them an easy-to-follow, link-filled press release that speaks to their interests, they’re more likely to respond. For an example of a social media press release template, click here.
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on Wednesday, August 6th, 2008 at 7:20 pm and is filed under Public Relations, Social Media.
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