Lee Odden

Social Media Marketing Basics: Facebook & Blog Promotion

Lee Odden     Social Media

Social Media Marketing Basics As companies grow their confidence and familiarity with the social web, there’s a bit of a mental hurdle they pass in accepting that it makes sense for their organization. It’s not unlike 10 years ago when companies finally started to “get” the need for a company web site.  And just like a web site, building it doesn’t mean “they” will come, so the logicial next step is:

“Once you start a social media effort, how do you promote it?”

The reason for a company or brand’s social media participation, the audience they’re trying to reach, budget/resources and the actual social platforms being used will all flavor how a social media program can and should be promoted. This can be resolved with a few key questions that should be a part of a social media strategy:

  1. What is the primary goal? Secondary goals?
  2. Where does the target audience spend their time on the social web and what do they do there?
  3. On what social platforms is your company already participating?
  4. What existing resources can be repurposed or adjusted and what new resources will you need to forecast and budget for?

As a tactical example, let’s say a fan page has been created on Facebook to promote a specific brand / product. The promotion of that fan page could be accomplished through:

On – Facebook:

  • Facebook advertising
  • Contest or giveaway promotions that encourage fans to share links back to the fan page
  • Participation in groups and other fan pages that reach the audience being targeted
  • Leverage mailing lists of other group or fan pages for the same brand
  • Creation of a widget that provides the ability to interact, offers value and invites users back to the fan page.

Off – Facebook:

  • PPC on major search engines to a landing page
  • SEO and link building to landing pages
  • Press release optimization & promotion
  • Email promotions to segmented lists
  • Cross promotion to Facebook fan page from other social media properties

Of course, there are many other Facebook marketing tips available, so check them out.

Another example might involve a newly launched company blog. A blog should have content when it goes live, so anywhere from 5-15 posts can provide a good kickstart. Those pre-launch blog posts are great practice to iron out everything from creating an editorial schedule to familiarity with the blogging process itself for contributors.

Getting attention to a new blog with content can involve both active and passive blog marketing tactics:

  • Make valuable comments on other relevant and influential blogs with a similar target audience. Comment forms often include the opportunity to link back to your blog.
  • Link out to other influential blogs from your own blog posts and/or a blog roll. They’ll notice.
  • Leverage other social channels that you’re participating in (such as Twitter) to promote particularly useful blog content.
  • Contribute posts to other blogs. This builds your visibility to a new audience and links back to your blog.
  • Include the blog URL everywhere you post your web site address: online AND offline.
  • Have employees add the blog URL to their email signatures as well as online profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Write great content on a regular basis. There’s no substitutre for attracting attention than publishing content worth sharing and linking to.
  • Contact existing customers, marketing partners and industry peers and let them know you’ve launched a blog. Profile them in a blog post to give extra meaning and incentive to pay attention.
  • Promote your new blog and the value of its content via email to prospect or customer lists.
  • With PR efforts such as media relations pitching of journalists or press releases, include a link to your blog in those communications

This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to ongoing blog content marketing and promotion.

The key to answering the “how do we promote our social participation” question is directly tied to goals, audience, tactics and resources. Promotion will impact awareness, buzz and traffic directly and indirectly. Analytics and monitoring need to be in place from the start as well as ongoing to track progress and refine just like any other digital marketing effort.

For other social media Q and A, check out “Answers to Social Media Questions You Should Know“.

Do you have questions about Social Media, SEO or Digital PR? Send them to [email protected] and we might select your question to feature in our next post.

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. Good approach. Too many social media “gurus” try to tell us there is only one right way (and a million wrong ways?) to do social media. But every person/organization will have their own reasons fand methods of participating, and this gives them a framework for fine-tuning their tactics.

  2. This is a pretty comprehensive list. Integrating your social media program into your overall communications strategy is the best way to increase your frequency and reach. Many times companies overlook promotion efforts through traditional channels, like regularly scheduled customer e-mails, etc.

    • I think it’s one of the most effective things you can do, integrating social media efforts with traditional communication channels. One can be successful with each individually, but together, there’s a significant opportunity to amplify the effects. An example would be real world events captured digitally and then promoted online like the T-Mobile flash mob dance and karoke videos in the UK.

    • ‘Traditional channels, like…email’ – probably the first time I’ve heard email referred to as ‘traditional’. The world is certainly moving at a rapid pace, isn’t it?

  3. Thanks for the suggestions. As David also pointed out in his comment, there are a million ways to do social media. These suggestions are a great place to start. Trial and error is the best way to figure out the best way for your company to be involved in social media.

  4. Mary Ann Halford says:

    Lee, I agree that this time is like ten years ago when businesses began to realize the need for a website. Many are now waking up to the need to participate in social media, but social media is not linear in the way a website can be. It is far more interactive than most business leaders are used to. You provide a good lost of questions as well as suggestions to help make it e aside to understand and execute. Thanks.

    • Thank you Mary Ann. The more savvy we can make our potential customers through this blog, the more they get out of TopRank when we’re hired 🙂

  5. I think that there is a HUGE misperception that anyone can get traction using social media without a lot of effort. Our clients will oftentimes tell us that they are going to launch a product using awareness through a newly created blog – they think they are going to get thousands of prospects and leads when the blog is only a few weeks old.

  6. Thank you Lee! Woow, the web is so interactive now days and there are great groups, forums, walls to participate in. I believe this comes with caution with whom you befriend or follow, etc. All of this could be a lot of clutter and noise in your day.

    Overall I think integrating your social media program into your company’s marketing is the way to go. Mostly it is free and time invested to participate.

    Thank you very much for the list .. am working towards to implement them.

  7. Wellwoods says:

    My team and I have a small social networking business and are having a hard time to get our members to understand about how important blogging and commenting on blogs is,if their looking to be noticed. Many don’t even take the time to use the blog or use the forums except to try and sell something.
    Witch I guess is OK, but its kind hard to comment on a sales pitch. Any ideas that just might help?

    • Gary, you could publish best practices content in text or even video on a regular basis. Also, find community members that are “doing it right” and draw attention to them. If they are particularly active, ask if they’ll be moderators or give them more access/responsibility. Showing by example and giving recognition can do wonders for reinforcing community behaviors. All that said, if all they’re interested in is selling to each other then maybe you need to provide a marketplace for them to do that to make it easier.

  8. It’s still kinda the “wild west” out there, even though blogs and social networks have been around for years. My clients always ask the basic questions – who’s going to do the blogging and engagement, and how do I know whether or not it’s paid off? So you have to start with education – what works and why. Then create a strategy and a framework that works for the client and build a plan with measurable ROI based on their business goals. Anything less organized than that may well lead to disappointment.

  9. This was one of trhe most helpful articles I have read on how to expose one’s blog. I have read quite a bit, but this was one of the most informative with data I can actually implement.

  10. We like to say: “The website is like a first date, and a blog is like a second date” up ’til death do us part! A blog functions as a perfect tool for allowing prospects to determine your credibility.

    As for the death-do-us-part part: If you’re not skilled at creating content regularly (as in weekly), or you don’t have the time, there are methods to help sustain your blog:

    Establish an editorial calendar, for example.

    Set aside writing time, say once a month, and bang out a slew of “evergreen” posts that can run anytime.

    Create idea queues where you’ll stash writing prompts.

    Just 2 cents, which I hope will help!
    Suzanne

  11. I am just beginning activity with social media and really appreciate this valuable blog. All of this marketing because of a little green book and all that writing because of a little brown horse. Again, thank you for the tips!

    Pamela

  12. Hi

    We sell products for the home which are model specific. Our business is based on price and service and we are finding the subject of social media very difficult to harness. How do you make an ink cartridge interesting enough to talk about, and who would want to read? As if that were not difficuly enough, the concept of monetising this seems even more difficult.

    We have not given up on the idea, but it is difficult to prioritise it with a small team.

    Any comments on our situation / stance would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
    Stuart

    • Stuart, the key to using social media to grow your business is to harness the priceless dialog of questions and answers that occur when your company provides great service. Tell stories about those interactions and harvest the Q and A to create content. If customers buy from you because of price, show them other ways to save money. If they buy for the service, be sure to tell great customer service stories and testimonials from customers.

  13. This is a splendid list and I can’t wait to try the pointers provided herein as soon as possible.

    Lee, thanks for sharing this. This is one timely post most social media enthusiasts will surely find useful and relevant.

    Keep those posts coming!

  14. Hi Lee

    Thanks for the specific guidance. I have been braistorming today on strategy and your guidance has a strong fit.

    Many thanks
    Stuart

  15. Lee,

    I have been reading your blog alot and really like the advice. Just got into the Social Media Scene and I am kind of uncertain about it all in general. What if the business topic really isn’t something that the general population on facebook would be interested in? Is this a negative promotion or would it still be positive? Thanks!

    Bryan

  16. In any kind of marketing, there is always a corresponding cost in it. Even in facebook, some uses Fan page or Groups but the effectiveness of using facebook advertisement is far better than of using free marketing campaigns.. 🙂

  17. Suzanne Lamoutte says:

    Trial and Error is the only way for you to learn what will work for you. What works best for someone else might not work for you. But their success is a great place to start your search.

  18. Many people don’t understand that social media is just that..being social. There is no right or wrong way to be social but you have to use common sense. You wouldn’t want someone trying to sell you the world when you’ve just met would you??

    Most relationships take time to develop and similarly, so do the relationships that you make using social media.

    Great post Lee!

  19. I think the biggest thing people neglect in social marketing campaigns is providing quality content! Part of the value of having a presence on things like Facebook and Twitter is branding yourself as an expert on whatever goods or services you’re offering.

  20. Every business is going to have a different type of approach to their social media marketing. Some efforts are going to work great with some businesses but not with all.

  21. Thanks for the great post… However, I think that printed material can also help in a way to promote social marketing efforts. Having your social networks printed on your business card for example can bring awareness about your business.

  22. This is really a great tips for improving my marketing business. Thanks for this useful post. I have bookmarked this for future reference. You are doing very well job! keep it up.
    ____________________________
    Email Marketing Software

  23. Jerry Suhrstedt says:

    I’ve been in marketing for 25 years ( http://www.heavygu.com ) and have been trying to find some simple, straight-forward social media marketing basics. Thanks Lee, great job.

    Even us “marketing experts” need experts.

  24. David Pearson says:

    I have been marketing for about 10 years (www.marketingsolutionz.net) and there are so many ways to promote but it seems tht the latest and most consistent is always Social Bookmarking sites people just love to interact to other people and I think tht sparks an interest to the reader you have laidout a very good blueprint here…..TY

  25. Finally! Someone thought about setting goals before starting a blog. All too often marketing gets measured without first establishing what unit of measure to use. Great Job!

  26. Finally! Someone thought about setting goals before starting a blog. All too often marketing gets measured without first establishing what unit of measure to use. Great Job!