Stepping into the social media marketing universe can be intimidating. Facebook has 1 billion members; Twitter
has about half that number.
Creating a social media account for your business means starting from scratch. Of course, shortcuts (such as buying Twitter followers) exist, but they are not recommended. Businesses should build a group of fans and followers related to their products and services.
Whether you're just starting out or looking to bolster your following, these five tips will help you find social media followers who are right for your business:
1. Be specific.
Using the right keywords is essential. If you sell musical instruments and use the keyword "music," you will get lost in a deluge of results. Instead, use the keywords of your inventory or specialty.
For example, the keyword "Les Paul guitars" will cut through the fluff and bring you that much closer to your target audience. Don't rely on a single keyword to do all the work. Your keywords should include specific promotions, the name of your company, other products and services, and spokespeople for your brand.
Google Analytics shows which social media sites refer traffic to your website. (Image courtesy of John Jantsch)
2. Check the metrics.
Knowing which social media sites your customers use is half the battle. Sure you can ask them, but there is a more scientific way.
Use Google Analytics to see where traffic to your website is coming from. Knowing which social media networks send you the most customers will clue you about where to concentrate your efforts. Follow these steps to see how you can use Google Analytics to segment your visitors by the social networks that referred them.
3. Search social media.
Social media is a 24x7 parlor that savvy marketers can sweep for intelligence about their business and products. Customers air grievances, recommend products, and ask for advice when using their social networks. Searching for keywords on each social media site will help find those conversations and prospective customers.
4. Adjust to trends.
Yes, keywords are king when it comes to keeping up with the latest social media conversations about your industry. Unfortunately, their reign doesn't always last long. Industries change as trends come and go.
Even the way people search for things change. With static keywords, you could miss the shift. Develop and adjust your cache of keywords by regularly monitoring social media and identifying industry and search trends. This will give you a leg up on your competition.
5. Produce content for your ideal customer.
Keywords are just the first step in the battle for brand recognition. Social media listening skills not only teach you what your target audience wants but also can help you reach it.
Produce social content that closely matches the interests and needs of your target audience members. If you're communicating to them in their language, they will find you as they look to engage with a brand that truly understands them.
Brian Conlin is a copywriter at Vocus. A version of this article originally appeared on the Vocus blog.