Friday, June 18, 2010

How to implement a successful social media strategy leveraging open source solutionsNo Commentscomments

Launching a successful social media presence should not require significant investment in capital, people or technology. The level of effort to implement the social media strategy should be driven by the initial investment in the product/website/business. If the product costs millions of dollars to produce, spend a percentage of that budget. There are cost effective ways to leverage social media regardless of the size of your marketing or technology budget. To successfully execute the strategy, make sure your organization has the operational processes in place to manage your ongoing communications efforts.

Social media should be intentions based like everything you do in life. You want to have social interactions that drive the audience and participants to your product or website so you can covert them into a customer or user. To be successful, you will need a hub and spoke strategy. Leverage the social media channels to carry out the message and have your hub clearly communicate your message when they arrive.

First, use the social media channels as “spokes” to engage discussions:

1. For your brand/business/product: register a domain if you have not done so already.

2. Use your Facebook account to create a Facebook Page for your product or business. Begin inviting your friends to “like” the pageand begin the discussion. Setup the Facebook Page to be enabled to import your blog posts or blogs related to your target audience. Consider adding the “Reviews” tab if you want to solicit reviews and candid feedback from your fans.

3. Create a Twitter account for your company or product if you have not already done so. Review Twitter discussions and identify trends related to your productor service offering. Begin to interact with other Twitter users and earn the community’s trust.

3a. If your product involves multimedia, setup a You Tube channel and Flickr album. Always upload your media to these sites to increase awareness and be found via organic search.

Now that the social media channels “spokes” are active, set up a website as a “hub” to communicate your messages:

1. Setup a website built on WordPress to serve as your communications hub. Here are the following reasons why WordPress is a great tool for this: WordPress is search engine friendly; easy to setup; has thousands of social media plugins meaning minimal programming to connect to Facebook, Twitter, etc.; out of the box syndication capabilities with RSS; built in SEO; and extremely easy to use from a business user perspective.

2. Configure WordPress to have the following plugins: Facebook Page, Twitter feeds and mentions, Flickr, YouTube, and whatever channel you wish to engage your discussions.

3. Use your website built on WordPress as a tool to create valuable content communicating directly to your prospective and existing customers. Properly categorize and apply appropriate tags to the content you’re publishing on the website/hub. Creating valuable content on a search engine friendly tool like WordPress will increase your page rank if you follow search engine marketing (SEM) best practices.

To complete the hub and spoke strategy, you will also want to make sure your content is syndicated to the proper social media channels and related websites. There are free tools available in the marketplace that allows you to send your WordPress post content via RSS to Facebook

and Twitter (i.e., TwitterFeed.com).

Finally, you should also make sure your content from the hub reaches content aggregation and news websites – other hubs where people go to view content. For example, Digg and Technorati. Submitting your blog post or company news to Digg furthers your content reach to your customers and prospects.

The simple steps described above can be easily implemented at a cost effective way. Developing a strategy and the plan is the easy part. Executing the plan and providing ongoing management of the message is the art to success.

For the past few years, Invogen has been developing and implementing social media and marketing strategies for its clients across many industries. Invogen has helped its clients launch new products, websites and brick and mortar businesses. Invogen can help your organization realize the marketing plan and goals, and provide ongoing support to your organization’s social media needs.

Posted in gdu at 8:08 am No Comments comments

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