Friday, July 31, 2009

Social Marketing 101


Social Media Marketing

I've noticed that a lot of people in the soap and candle industry are generally aware of social marketing. And there are many that have blogs, facebook pages, and even twitter, but I have noticed that there are a lot of small business owners that find social marketing daunting and not sure what exactly to do with any of it. So to take the guess work out of social media, I am going to provide a series of blogs on the subject, specifically geared with the soapmaker or candle maker in mind. In other words, it will be simply put, relevant information with industry-related examples, although you need to decide which venues will work for your business since I will still try to include a broad range of them.

That being said, let's first define social media marketing. Basically, you are trying to drive traffic (and hopefully sales) to your website, by using social media and networking sites, such as blogs, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and more. The marketing is two-fold - you are sending potential customers to your site and you are link building.

Traffic to your site will obviously lead to people looking at your fantastic soaps and purchasing as much of your products as they can buy - well that's your hope, and you can certainly dream. But the fact of the matter is, while not everyone that goes to your site will buy from you, the more traffic, the more likely someone will buy.

Link building works differently. The more links you have for your website or blog somewhere on the internet, the better positioning you have on search engines. Search engines, such as Google, send out "spiders" looking for keywords and site links. The more your website's links appear on the web, the more successful the spiders think you are, thereby placing your website higher in the ranking when someone searches for candles. Put in plain English, this means you'll eventually show up on the first few pages of a Google search as opposed to the 59th page that most people never get to in order to find you.

Once you understand how these things work, then you'll better understand what you need to do to be successful at social marketing. Below is a list of some of the different marketing I will discuss, some of which you may have heard of and some of which will be new to you:

  • Social Bookmarking
  • Social Networking Websites
  • User Generated Content Sites
  • Blogging
  • Forums
  • And more!
We'll walk through everything together, from definition and benefits to set-up and follow-through. Social marketing is a process that requires a little commitment to be successful, but once you see how easy it is, you'll be happy to give it a little time each week in between batches of soap.

Although I will be writing some content for beginners, I will include a lot of info so that even you seasoned pros can benefit, and if not, then you can throw your two cents in, and we'll learn from you.
In the meantime, let's start some link building. Remember, you are trying to get your link out there often to get more traffic to your site and to rank higher in search engines. One way to do this is by posting (not lurking) on other people's blogs. Now don't just write "Me, too" posts. Try to put something semi-meaningful down.
It's time for a post. Now make sure that when you are filling out the post that you actually type in your website address, etsy page, or blog address or something. Even though your name will show up as "Erica" your website URL will be hidden on the page's html (as a link) where search engine spiders can find it, and people can click on your name to find your site, if they find what you have said interesting. So now is your chance to market yourself.

What social marketing have you already begun to promote your business? What are you interested in learning more about?

Homework: Post on 3 other people's blogs this week, making sure to include your URL.

2 comments:

  1. Great topic, Erica! I've been doing a lot of research in this area and your tips so far are right on! Looking forward to seeing your future posts on this topic!

    -Michelle
    www.getsoaked.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Michelle. Please let me know if I miss any tips along the way.

    ReplyDelete

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