Social Media Strategy
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A social media strategy should not be your ONLY strategy!

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Seduced by social media? Don't leave your website on the back burner when considering a social media strategy.

Many businesses are being seduced by their local social media specialist, or guru. They are blinded by fear of not being involved and bedazzled by smoke and mirrors when they hear this new language of buzz and blogs.

Facebook

Social Media Strategy Many are being advised that they can shortcut their customer acquisition program by using Facebook as the central collection agency.

This strategy has a few holes in it. Yes, it is comparatively easy to collect thousands of fans. But if you make any social network the centre of your customer universe, you will very quickly create some major headaches for your business.

First, the network owns your customers - you won't have the necessary information to build a rich database within Australian online privacy guidelines.

Second, hard to believe, but Facebook may not be around forever. People are already showing signs of social media fatigue. There is a feeling that there will be another shiny new social network along in a minute.

Third, keeping your company knowledge and customer interaction on Facebook will do nothing to maximise your leads from search engines.

Search engines are still the biggest source of leads for most businesses - that's why fast moving consumer goods companies invest millions of dollars every year keeping their brands on page one of Google. The latest stats show that even though people consume news on social networks - it almost always came from a traditional media source.

Social networks provide some useful ways to connect to customers, but think of these as the satellites orbiting your website planet.

If you do not make your own property the centre of your universe, you risk losing your contacts when people move on.

You need a mailing list that is independent of social media

Successful social media strategists use their networks to drive people back to their own websites by putting their special offers, giveaways and competitions on the website. They then use web forms and surveys to make sure they have validated contact details for direct marketing.

Likewise, a blog is a useful tool, but you should make sure you host it on your own domain. This will both improve your search engine results - probably dramatically if you post regularly - and it means your blog host (Wordpress, Blogspot, Notepad, etc) won't have control of your content.

Setting up a social network is extremely easy, otherwise hundreds of millions of people would not be doing it.

Social Media What makes it difficult to claim social media success is that you ned to make it a strategic part of your marketing effort and ensuring your staff are supporting you and not undermining you.

There have been some train wrecks in social media and it's not pretty, ranging from identity theft to personal attacks, which in some cases, tragically, result in suicide and other violence.

The most important bullet to bite is to set in place a strategy for the production of quality content, whether in writing, video, audio or images - or even better, a combination of all three.

Search engines base their rankings primarily on the availability of quality, fresh content-Real people also love great content, so if you base your strategy on quality content you can't lose.

Online Press Release The best person to create good content is a PR person or other professional communicator, but you should ask how they plan to measure success in this highly measurable environment.

Article Author - Leila Henderson

Leila Henderson is the founder of NewsMaker, Australia's top-ranked* press release distribution service.
(*Oct, Nov, Dec 2010 TopSEOs Survey)

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Rob - JustWeb

03.12.2010
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