Make Social Work for You: Pushing Content and Maintaining Relationships

Internet marketing offers businesses a plethora of options to consider. Social media has quickly risen to the top as the most popular online marketing option, but simply having a presence on these sites isn’t sufficient. You need to use them effectively while also tying in other online marketing endeavors.

The various forms of online marketing at your disposal are not mutually exclusive. Social media brings people to your business, while blogging and email marketing retains those contacts. Understanding the way social media works and the relationship between it and other marketing platforms is the key to your online success.

Social Media Is About the Relationship

Social media is at its core, social. It’s about building relationships. People didn’t join Facebook so they could become a fan of your business. They joined it to build relationships with people, to find that long lost high school acquaintance and to create a social network they can interact with.

To make the most of social media marketing, you need to focus on relationships. You need to be on your social media sites, interacting with people regularly, doing more than just promoting your product. This helps prove your worth and show that you and your fan page are helpful to your potential customers.

Practical Relationship Building Tips

How does this look in a practical sense? Consider your Facebook fan page. Facebook currently has over 300 million users, so it’s a virtual goldmine for the marketer, but only if relationship-building is the focus. Are you simply sending status updates that promote your product, or are you seeking to help your customers? Helpful tips, surveys and questions that demand a response are all tools you can use to build that relationship.

Pinterest is another relatively new player in the social media world, and again, the goal here needs to be to build relationships and offering value. Rather than blatantly promoting your product, which is against the policies of the site, build relationships with active pinners, repinning content that could be helpful to your own followers and commenting on the content of other boards. The more active you are, the more helpful you will seem to those who visit your Pinterest boards.

Finally, make sure you are making the most out of your business Twitter account. You can easily get lost in Twitter and fail to make connections with the people you need to reach, so use tools like TweetDeck or Tweetie to organize your followers and search hashtags to get to the meat of what is being said about you. Again, pay attention to others, retweeting helpful tips and inspirational quotes, so you appear to be a team player rather than just someone who is out there pushing a product or service.

Tying in Other Media Platforms

The most effective social media campaigns are those that tie in with other platforms, like email marketing and blogging. Email marketing has become less popular with the rise of social media, but this is a mistake. The two can work hand in hand. Once customers already have a relationship with you through social media, they will be more inclined to open the email. Social marketing gets your name and information out there, and email marketing helps solidify the deal and keep the customer with you through helpful articles and special offers.

The same is true for blogging. If you can post fresh, relevant content on your blog, then use your social media contacts to get people to it, you can build a reputation as an authority in your field.

These two venues give you a bigger space to solidify yourself as an authoritative voice, while also branding your product or service and creating a need in the mind of the reader. This keeps your contacts with you, thus furthering your online marketing goals. In this way, social media and other more traditional online marketing options work together to help you reach your online marketing goals.