August 31, 2016

Social Marketing Tools That Build Your Reach and Credibility


social marketing tools

As an early adopter of media since the early 80s, I love everything about media, its immediacy, urgency, fluidity, and ability to impact the masses and unify people and ideas in real time, in the moment.

Social marketing continues to be a powerful force for good, but as we know it can be a dangerous platform for bad too.

Through prior careers in entertainment and broadcast radio sales, and celebrating eight years in my current social media consultancy, social marketing clearly is the most effective way to build branding, credibility and the bottom line.

Below are social marketing tools that can build your reach and credibility in today’s business world.

LinkedIn

This is by far a “must have” out of all the social marketing tools for anyone in business.

LinkedIn is a professional platform, that has become a standard for presenting and promoting yourself and your professional career. Not only can it be your online hub and resume, but it can be a content marketing platform, with it’s Pulse publishing feature.

A professional head shot, developed profile and consistent posting activity are what make you stand out and build your following on LinkedIn.

Facebook

Probably the most evolved social platform since it’s inception, Facebook combines the ability to get more personal, have a little fun, and promote your business now in an educational way. The benign monster of social networking, Facebook has and will continue to be a must in the world of social marketing tools.

A branded timeline photo and profile picture and defined content strategy can build a following and make your Facebook page grow.

Twitter

Still the most effective, real time, immediate, “in the moment” source and tool for getting and receiving information, alerts, announcements, events and using hashtags (#) to aggregate people around a particular topic or community. You can say a lot in 140 characters. Twitter is the viral platform of choice.

Tumblr

According to Tumblr, “We’ve made it so easy to use it’s hard to explain.” This community is for anyone who wants to have a blog and put anything they want on it. Content, pictures, video, gifs, music, links, surveys, art, deep stuff, shallow stuff are all allowed as Tumblr has built and created an amazing blog community.

Instagram

We feel with our eyes. Nothing is more powerful than visuals, pictures and video and the popular mobile app Instagram is the most active, fast and fun hub for posting them with some highlighted text. Its slogan, “share your life” kind of says it all. In this case, a picture is worth a thousand words. Careful with what pictures you do post, especially since they can impact your brand and professional image immediately.

Blogging

By far one of the most effective activities that can establish your authority, credibility and stature as an influencer. With content marketing’s purpose to educate, inform and inspire, blogging is tops on the tactics that can really make you stand out, get noticed and remembered more. You can launch a blog, guest post on established blogs, or join a blog community, like Tumblr).

The stats speak for themselves when it comes to blogging. According to the 2014 The Blogconomy report, 77 percent of Internet readers read blogs, 61 percent of U.S. consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post, and 70 percent of consumers learn about a company through their articles rather than their ads.

Email Marketing

Building permission based email lists and harnessing them into professional email marketing programs, is one of the most effective ways to directly and personally communicate and build trust with people. Companies like iContact, Vertical Response, Constant Content and several more offer Free and low coast programs to set up an email marketing program.

Podcasting

Twenty-first Century radio that is archived and saved, podcasting is on the rise and is becoming a very popular format for content, interviews, features, profiles, and education across any industry. Adopted by sports, music, business, politics, as well as food, hospitality and several smaller niche industries, podcasting is easy to do, easy to find and podcasting communities such as Blogtalk Radio, Spreaker, and iTunes are thriving.

Listening to the spoken word is a more personal experience.

Video

Again, we feel with our eyes. Watching and listening is still the king of content. Recently, YouTube has been greatly challenged by some newer players including Netflix, Vimeo and Yahoo Screen. Again, let the stats speak for themselves:

  • 1.8 million words – the value of one minute of video, according to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research
  • 45.4 percent of Internet users view at least one video online per month, according to comScore
  • 100 million Internet users watch a video daily
  • According to the Online Publishers Association, 80 percent of Internet users recall watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days.

If you own a small business or are in business for yourself, there’s a lot of compelling evidence suggesting that online video marketing should be in your marketing mix.

Networking

The trend is shifting back to networking in person, either at events and groups, or in small groups and certainly one on one, or on the golf course or at a sporting event. Nothing accelerates a relationship or connection more than meeting in person. Owning our time with people in person allows us to personalize and maximize our time. Social media is an amazing, effective bridge, but ultimately the goal should be phone calls or in person meet-ups.

Finding that right balance of online and in-person networking is essential to stay in touch, grow relationships and make new ones. Get more social, visible, and engaged in your community, industry, and primary social communities to reap the benefits of being “top of mind.”

Speaking

If you are comfortable with speaking in public, it can really open doors and give people a glimpse into your personality, story and style.

Volunteer or submit yourself to speak and if chosen, prepare focused content that gives people good information, tools, tips and insights that can help them grow their business or brand.

Training

Opportunities to educate, train or facilitate builds interest, credibility, and trust. If you have a training idea, workshop, webinar, course, or outline, find organizations, companies, or groups that can benefit from it. If you want to stand out, get noticed and be remembered, educate and help people learn something that can help them be better at what they do or be more successful.

Get out, get involved, show up, join, share, connect, help, educate, inspire, and watch what happens.

Choose the social marketing tools that work best for you, your community, and your customers.  Focus on, own and commit to a few as your key hubs for activity and engagement and become known for them.

Social Image via Shutterstock

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Deborah Shane


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane is a Top 100 Small Business Champion, Top Small Business Podcast, Top 50 SMB Influencers on Twitter 2015 (Dunn and Bradstreet), career transition consultant, personal branding strategist and social media specialist. Deborah hosts her Top 100 Small Business Podcast weekly and her book, "Career Transition: Make the Shift" is available through all major book sellers.

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4 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    This is a given. Now that it is 2015. Almost all businesses are required to have these tools for their marketing strategy. It all boils down to how well these tools are used for the benefit of the business.

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