Social Media Marketing is mostly used to increase the visibility of your products or services and to influence perception of your company brand.  Social Media Marketing is also used to interact with people that could be interested in your products or services.  Social Media is a powerful method to bring targeted traffic to your website or profile and you can increase the search engine rankings of your website or blog with it.

Social Media Marketing is not just about Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  You should always take some time to research and plan what you want to accomplish with it. How are you going to launch your Social Media campaign?

Purpose

What will be your topic? What do you want to achieve with your Social Media Marketing campaign? Are you only interested in inbound link? Subscribers? Improving your brand perception and visibility? Always settle on one primary purpose and 1-3 secondary ones. You can firm these into measurable goals such as to attrack 500 links to your company blog within a couple of months.

Audience

What do you know about your targeted customers? Will they be interested in what you have to offer? This goes well beyond age, income bracket and education level.  What interests those customers? Where do they spend their time discussing, reading and learning online?

Where

Research and investigate where the conversations are happening.  Are they mainly on blogs or forums? Are discussions happening on Social Networks? Are answers being sought on LinkedIn answers or Yahoo answers? By finding out where people are searching for answers is where you want to start your Social Media Marketing campaign.

Participate

Become part of the community by joining the dialogue. The amount of influence you exert will be based on how actively you join in the conversations and contribute. Comment on your own blog and on others.  Join in on forum discussions related to your niche. Follow and Tweet on Twitter become active on Social Networks. You can even create your own dedicated YouTube channel.

Monitor

It is important to setup your own monitoring and listening system.  Use Google Alerts or other paid tools to track brand mentions, social or tweets and blog conversations. If your goals are around Search Engine Optimization, measure and monitor links and rankings. What you measure and monitor will be based on your purpose and goals. Always measure your progress toward your goals.

Download a whitepaper created by Gary Levine titled: Leveraging Social Chatter: Online Brand Reputation Monitoring and Management for more information on monitoring.

Leave a comment below if you require more information regarding Social Media Marketing.