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There’s no doubt, the Social Media is alive and well. Everyone from the independent musician to the corporate giants utilize the Social Media to accomplish otherwise difficult or impossible marketing strategies, and it looks like this aspect of the Internet marketing world is here to stay, at least for awhile.

When engaging in a campaign that targets and utilizes the Social Media, it is important not to jump the gun. As quickly as a brand or name can be rocketed to the top, it can be crushed before it ever gets a foot out the door. For this reason, preparation can be the difference between success and defeat. In the same regard, it’s not just about what you do or how you do it, but what order you decide to accomplish each leg of the journey to Social Media Marketing success. Here are some tips:

  • Cover Your Bases– A lot of people have the tendency to jump into every Social Media site they can find and try to make friends, send messages, join groups, etc. The problem with this approach is that the best impression should be your first impression. If you plan to have any lasting standing with the people you encounter on these sites, you need to have something to offer. Depending on your niche, it may be handy advice, a free download, or maybe even a how-to guide. It really comes down to the people who would be interested in you or your business, and what they can get from the connection. Take the time to set up your own site, populate it with rich, valueable content, and make sure your best foot is forward. You wouldn’t show to a wedding wearing half of your tux or dress – don’t show up to the Social Media party unprepared!
  • Choose your Friends Wisely – There are a lot of tools available online that one can utilize to track what people are saying about them. Sites like Twitter are a lot easier to track, when they’re all about the talk, but you will never know what is being said before it is said, posted and set in “stone”. Blogs are a large part of the Social media, and everyone has one these days. If you upset the wrong person, they can ruin you, easily. After that, you may have a world of Reputation Management in front of you, but it’s better not to let it get to that point. Be courteous on the sites you join, and be responsive to those who are interested in what you do or have to offer. It’s important to filter out users that it wont benefit you to interact with, and it’s equally important to keep up the communication with those that will.
  • You Have To Earn Trust– Every business starts somewhere, and generally, an up-and-coming business, large or small, earns their reputation and much of their clientele from word of mouth, but more specifically, from providing good service and/or products. Likewise, your “image” on the web will have a lot to do with you. If you want your name to be recognized and associated with good opinions, interact in kind. In time, users will stumble on your name and know it because their friend told them about you, or because they saw it on another site. Whatever the case, the best way to brand is by doing what you do, not necessarily better than anyone else, just better than most people would expect. This leaves quite the impression and can make a Social Media effort much easier. SMO is not meant to replace all other forms of advertising, branding and customer relations – it is simply a catalyst for more leads, exposure and ultimately, sales.
  • Put In The Time– It may be a no brain-er, but what you get out of your Social Media campaign is what goes in, and time is no exception. For many, time is a luxury, one which that many cannot afford to dedicate enough of to a self-propelled SMO campaign. For a lot of businesses, hiring an Internet Marketing Firm is the way to go, since not only will this save the business the time that goes into it, but these are trained professionals that have experience and knowledge to get the job done right.

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