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The 1-2-3 of Managing Your Social Media (A Beginner's Guide)

07 March 2011

90% of your sales will come from word of mouth or digital promotion by 2011. How do you change what you're doing today to be ready for that?' Seth Godin, April 20, 2009

Social media has become a powerful additional communications channel to build relationships with your customers.

Facebook alone has 200 million users worldwide, half of whom log on daily. The fastest growing demographic is 35 years + female.

LinkedIn, described as the 'buttoned down, suited up' version of social media has more than 47 million members with a new member joining every second. Half of all members are from outside the U.S.

Twitter - (microblogs), is one the fastest growing social networking sites in history with millions of users within its first year.

Blogs - (web log) 184 million users globally have started a blog and 346 million people read them1. The majority (77%) of active internet users read blogs. Chances are your customers are too.

YouTube - It has been said if YouTube was a country it would be the third most populated place in the world! 20 hours of video are uploaded every minute2. 100 million unique monthly visits.3. #1 entertainment site on the Internet, #6 largest internet destination.4

So, if you are just starting out or have your accounts already established, the following provides some quick tips on how to make the most of these media.

1. Purpose

Think about what you are seeking to achieve from your social media activity. Are you hoping to: increase customers, sales, awareness of your business or all of the above?

Clarity about your purpose will help refine the type of content you provide and how often you use these media.

2. Plan

Planning is key to optimizing your time and outcomes. Planning for content, frequency and time management will provide efficiencies.

Content Social media is not about selling - but like offline networking - its more

about building relationships and engaging your followers.

Follow the 80/20 rule: 80% of your posts provide information of value, relevant andof interest to your followers, such as articles, links and tips relevant to your businessand industry. 20% of your posts can be about your business including special offers.

How often? To build and maintain a following you need to participate and engage regularly. Suggested: Twitter - several times per day; Facebook - 2-3 times per week.

Time Management Managing social media is now akin to email management. Set aside some time, perhaps 15 minutes twice daily, to answer messages, accept friend requests and make your posts.

Use programs such as Ping FM (www.pingfm.com) which links your social media - enabling your posts to be automatically distributed to your other sites. Twitter can be linked to Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn - so any new posts on your Twitter feed will be automatically updated on your other platforms.

3. Promote

Choose a name for each of your profiles relevant to your business and consistent with your branding. Once you have 25 fans on your Facebook business page, you can claim your url.

To reinforce your branding - keep your profile images consistent on each platform.

Promote your social media addresses on all your written and electronic communication.

Follow up networking events by connecting with new colleagues via these media.

LinkedIn particularly is great for this.

Take advantage of the fantastic technological phenomenon that is social media to build your network and grow your business. Good luck!

Anne Sorensen is Director of Marketing Is Us, a strategy marketing agency. She holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), MBA and is a Certified Practising Marketer with the Australian Marketing Institute.

www.marketingisus.com.au T: 1300 560 277

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