Every day it's harder for small-business owners and advertisers to keep pace with all the social-media platforms on the Internet. It started with the personal profile phenomenon, which quickly evolved into video-sharing profiles. Then the floodgates opened, and now Internet users have more than 400 social-media platforms to consider.
Most marketers understand the value of setting up a campaign on these free platforms. However, with so many options and limited time, business owners must have a strategic and targeted approach. Developing a formula will help them create successful social-media advertising.
The Social-Media Advertising Formula
There are six essential platforms business owners must use to really harness the potential of social advertising. Each platform plays a specific role, and the combination of all six is what will take your campaign to the next level.
There is a secret ingredient at play here as well: The formula calls for a touch of optimization on each platform. Optimization allows your social media to work with your website and marketing campaign to dominate the first page of search-engine results. Essentially, this formula will make you the only choice as far as the searcher and Google are concerned.
Social Advertising Element No. 1: LinkedIn
A popular business-profile site, LinkedIn ranks high in search engines and is a great platform for sending event updates to business associates. When optimizing your LinkedIn profile, select one core keyword (or search term you would like to be found under). Use it frequently without sacrificing consumer experience, and watch your profile skyrocket in the search engines.
Social Advertising Element No. 2: Facebook
As a closed community, Facebook doesn’t rank in the search engines and makes the best choice if you want to have a personal profile online. However, optimizing your Facebook profile with your business keyword can make it an invaluable marketing effort.
Optimize your profile for one keyword and become the “go-to” expert in your industry for the more than 22 million Facebook users. Also, include some personal touches, but beware of putting too much personal information online.
Social Advertising Element No. 3: MySpace
As an open community, MySpace ranks great in the search engines and, more important, allows businesses to have fully developed profiles, including designed backgrounds. In addition to optimizing your profile with a keyword, you can search for your target audience in MySpace friends and create an amazing outreach network.
Social Advertising Element No. 4: YouTube
The main video-sharing platform, YouTube, is one of the best forums available to create a viral marketing campaign. From publishing client video testimonials to creating social proof of your abilities, YouTube videos are a great way to get other site owners to link to your website. Each new video is a new opportunity to optimize for a different keyword. For each video, be sure to include your keyword in the title and at least once in the description section.
Social Advertising Element No. 5: Blog
If you only have the time or desire to create one social-media platform, a blog should be at the top of your list. Blogs give users a few distinctive advantages over the other platforms that make them absolutely invaluable in the world of Internet marketing.
First, search engines love blogs. They have plenty of content and are easy for the spiders to crawl and categorize online. Second, consumers love blogs. They aren't hard sales, but instead are a mix of marketing and education online shoppers trust. Third, every blog is a new opportunity for you to go after a new keyword. Whether you want to dominate a search page with one particular keyword or just have a presence under a different keyword, a blog is a free and easy way to get you there.
As with a YouTube video, every blog is a new keyword opportunity. Use a keyword tool and select your keyword before writing. Then, include your keyword in the title and throughout the content. Remember, never sacrifice consumer experience. Also, be advised a keyword repeated too many times will show up as spam in the search engines.
Social Advertising Element No. 6: Twitter
The newest, hottest rage, Twitter is a microblog that limits posts to 140 characters. Although you'll typically hear the most skepticism about Twitter, it can be an amazing tool for your business. Twitter plugins allow you to update your profile and literally push it out to your other platforms, such as Facebook.
Additionally, Twitter posts rank in the search engines. Select one keyword to include in all your Twitter posts. Also, personalize your Twitter background for a totally unique and branded look and feel.
With the combination of these six social advertising platforms, your online campaign is sure to be a success!
Heather Lutze is the CEO of The Findability Group, formerly Lutze Consulting, a search-engine marketing firm that works with companies to attain maximum Internet exposure. A nationally recognized speaker, Lutze is the author of The FindAbility Formula: The Simple and Non-Technical Approach to Search Engine Marketing. For more information, visit www.findabilitygroup.com.