A to Z of social media marketing

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 07, 2013 05:57 hrs

The first part of the report (A to P) was published on Wednesday

Here is a checklist to help small business owners get as much as possible out of their investment in social media marketing.

Quality. If you are going to publish a blog, make sure your posts are top quality. Readers have other ways to spend their time.

Recycle. People learn different ways. Some like to read, others like to listen, some like to watch. If you write an article, turn that same content into a two-minute video. If you conduct an interview, transcribe that podcast into a blog post. If it's helpful, people will want more of it.

Share. Share other people's content. Spend time "friendraising" before you start developing original content. Take the time to earn the respect of other industry experts in social media by sharing other people's content. Use a 4:1 ratio of sharing other content over your own. Be sure to comment on other people's blogs too.

Time. You must put the time in to your social media platform. It probably will take 12 to 18 months of consistent activity before you start to build traction.

Use technology tools. There are many plug-ins and apps that will help you share your content more efficiently. Here are three I suggest: Hootsuite to schedule content sharing, Backupify to back up data for your cloud apps (such as Google Apps, Salesforce, Facebook), and Tweet Old Post to make sure your content is circulated through Twitter 30 days after it was posted.

Video. The Internet is the new television. YouTube is the second-most-searched site on the Internet. If you want to stay relevant online, video should be part of your strategy.

Write. The more you write, the better you will write. If you can, set aside a day to develop content each week.

X-Ray. Think x-ray when you search for data within your social media networks. Use Google Analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of your blog. Pay attention to what content is shared most often and give your audience more of it. Scout LinkedIn to find groups that your target customers join. You can filter search results on Facebook by people, groups, pages, events and even posts.

Go to www.Facebook.com/search to get started.

You. Your personal story is the most valuable element of any content you develop. The more authentic and transparent you can be, the more your content will be shared. The truth is always better than anything you make up.

Zingy. Every year, give your blog and your social media profiles a zingy new look. Update your bio and head shot, too. You want to show growth and that you are constantly investing in your brand.

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