A comprehensive cheat sheet for extending your social network
Social media provides Health Nutrition marketers a unique opportunity to interact with customers in a more authentic way than traditional advertising allows. Unfortunately, there are so many social media platforms to choose from that it can be difficult to know how to get started, which platforms are critical, and which ones aren’t worth the time or investment.
As a Heath Nutrition Marketing and Social Media Expert, I believe in keeping it simple from the start. You can always add platforms once you’ve solidified your overall strategy, but if you start by creating too many consumer touchpoints, you won’t manage any of them well.
The best place to start is by understanding the function and uses of social media tools. So here is the Jessica Clay cheat sheet for building a social media strategy:
These Social Media platforms are specifically used to build a social network from the ground up. They will allow you to share interests, activities, current status updates, and more to connect with your current and potential customers, build your online presence, and develop long-lasting relationships.
- A Facebook Page and a Facebook Fan Page are two things you shouldn’t be without. Your website is where customers do business with your brand. Your Facebook pages are where they experience your brand! Facebook is the social media epicenter for most brands, and customers expect a Facebook logo on your websites homepage (at least). Add on a Fan Page, and you can send “updates” to fans whenever you want. This is a nice way to build a database of people who want to know about new products, website updates and more.
- Google + is very simple way to connect with potential or current business customers. Also, content shared on Google+ will be indexed faster than any other social media channel. Why? Because it is Google. You can use it to improve your search ranking.
- LinkedIn can be used to create groups that include experts in your industry. You may not think this can generate sales, but if your industry is excited about you and your product they will share the news on their social media sites, possibly creating backlinks that can help your search ranking.
- Twitter has yet to prove itself as a moneymaking tool, but it is a great place to get real-time feedback from your customers to find out what they love about and expect from your brand.
- Pinterest allows users to virtually pin items they are interested in to a board they share with other users. Because it is so visually appealing and easy to use, Pinterest drives more traffic to websites and blogs than many other social media sites combined. And users tend to spend a greater amount of time there. This makes it an ideal platform for businesses to round out their social strategy while building a stronger brand personality.
- YouTube has been called the largest search engine on the web because of its vast and varied customer base. Creating YouTube videos lets you showcase your brand or product in a way that is not all business. I suggest sharing the links to your YouTube content on other social media platforms, on your blog, and in email blasts.
Promotional and Non-Promotional Blogs:
Blogs are a great platform for educating, informing and connecting. They can be promotional or non-promotional, depending on how heavy-handed your marketing strategy is. I am a fan of non-promotional blogs that gently lead readers to your product or service. If your content is interesting enough, you will build a base of regular readers. You can then funnel those visitors to your other Social Media platforms and to your website where they can find more information about you or your company.
Keywords are very important to work into blog post titles and content to ensure quality SEO. When you create your blog, decide which keywords you will use and stick with them. This will also keep you focused and help you build a targeted audience faster.
I use WordPress as the host for my blog because it is free, easy to use, and it has the functionality I need. There are dozens of options, so do your homework and decide which blog host offers the tools and pricing you need.
Email is a great tool for promoting and sharing the most popular posts in your blog. Doing this keeps new and fresh content in front of your audience and keeps your brand top of mind. You can also use email blasts to announce events and new products or to direct customers to a microsite dedicated to special events.
I use Constant Contact for my email blasting. Be sure you have a relevant prospect/customer list before you spend time and money creating an email.
Hootsuite is another important tool that allows you to manage multiple social media channels through one dashboard. With this tool you can also Schedule Facebook posts and Twitter messages and track keywords, mentions, and trending topics.
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