Thought of the day: “All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU.”

SECRET STRATEGY GUIDE FROM THE SOCIAL MEDIA MAGNET

How to Find the Right Social Media Tools for Success

We all know that social media plays an important role in your marketing success. However, with so many different options it can be difficult to know just how to create the right strategy. In addition, each service has numerous tools that can make the service easier to use and more effective — but which ones are right for you?

Instead of getting lost in confusion, it’s time to map out your path to success. With the right approach and the right tools, you can make social media work for you and it can help you accomplish your marketing goals in less time and more effectively.

Are you ready to get started?

Creating a Content Hub With Your Blog

The first phase in your social media strategy should include creating a blog. This is going to be the content hub for all of your other efforts. Your blog should be attached to your company site and should be easily accessible. The key is to make this the central location where your customers go on a regular basis.

While there are literally hundreds of different blogging platforms out there, only one is used by companies like CNN, eBay, Playstation and even People Magazine — WordPress. By far, this is the most robust blogging platform, and it is designed to be entirely customizable, based on your unique needs. No matter what marketing goals you want to achieve, WordPress can make it happen.

There’s far more to WordPress than simply a way to publish your blog and integrate it into your site. With the use of plug-ins and extensions, you can literally make it your own. Since there are tens of thousands of these extensions available, let’s focus on the ones you absolutely need to have. You can add others as you see fit, but these should be the core of your blog.

The Like Button – You want to be able to have your readers easily share your content with their friends, so you need to make it as easy as possible for them to accomplish this. Use the Like Button on every single one of your posts and pages. It saves you time and easily convinces people to share your content.

S2Member – Have you ever wanted to create a subscription, member’s only site? With this extension, it can be done in a matter of a few clicks. You’ll have a place to store exclusive content and you can manage your member database, all in the same place.

Discus – What’s the point of social media if you don’t make it easy for people to discuss your content? With the Discus plug-in, you can easily manage your readers comments, and they don’t have to worry about logging in time after time. Their one Discus account is used to manage all the comments they post on blogs using this plugin.

Utilizing LinkedIn Correctly

The next step is creating a LinkedIn profile. This will be used not only to increase your findability, but also to present a professional face to the public and make it easy to interact with other business owners as well as consumers. The groups on LinkedIn are a great place to learn more about networking and marketing and you’ll find some amazing people to connect with on this service.

LinkedIn is an absolute Must-Have if you are in the B2B marketplace. You’ll never find an easier place to connect with your target market.

Even if you’re in the B2C marketplace, you’ll still be able to use LinkedIn effectively.

The Power of Google+

Google+ is still gaining steam and when compared to the growth of Facebook, there is the potential that it will overtake it soon. Instead of being a “social” network, Google+ is evolving into a “content” network. The more you use the service and the more shares you get, the higher your content is weighted in search results. It’s a win-win for the site owners who are utilizing it to help broaden their base and connect with new users.

At first, Google+ was scorned and laughed at. It was a place for techies that were too cool for Facebook. Now, however, it has become clear that Google+ is far more powerful than Facebook in many ways and it isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

Include the ability for your readers to share your content on Google+, right alongside your Facebook likes and Twitter re-tweets. You’ll be glad you did.

What YouTube Can Do For You

YouTube continues to evolve and right now, it’s an incredibly powerful place to promote your content. It’s the 3rd most popular site on the internet and right now, more than 35 hours of videos are being uploaded every minute of every day.

If you haven’t gotten in on this revolution yet, now is the time. Create your own YouTube channel and begin producing video content. It gives your readers a new way to view your marketing message and it opens up incredible doors of possibility in reaching a new audience. Even better, it’s absolutely free to put your content up and you don’t have to worry about paying for streaming bandwidth.

Getting More Out of Facebook

Facebook has more than 750 million members worldwide, and around 57% of those users are female. It’s the 2nd most visited site on the internet and we all know just how addicting it can be. Currently, more than 35 million posts are shared on the service every single day. If you’re not using this service to help promote your business, you are definitely missing out on an incredible opportunity.

The first place to start is to create your company’s Facebook profile, if you haven’t done this already. This will be the core of your Facebook activity. Next, you’ll need to create a Fan Page for sharing content and connecting with your fans.

Once you’ve got this set up, you can begin integrating your other efforts into Facebook to create a seamless loop that will center around your content hub. You can include your YouTube videos, use TwitterStream to cross post your Facebook content on Twitter, include your blog posts through Networked Blogs and much more. You can even take it to the next step by using Facebook’s advertising system to further promote your efforts into your key market target group.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to sell your product or service right from your Facebook page? Instead of having people click-through, with the use of Payvment Ecommerce, you can install buy now buttons, linked to your PayPal account, right from your Facebook fan page.

It’s also important to be able to analyze just how well your efforts on Facebook are working. With SocialBug, you’ll be able to gauge your current reach and determine which posts are working for you and you can even check to see how well your competitors are doing. Over time, you can keep track of your results and watch for improvement.

Making Twitter More Powerful

Twitter is yet another factor in social media success that cannot be overlooked. Right now, 1.3 million tweets are being posted every hour, making Twitter the 8th most visited site. This particular site is a little different however. You’re going to want to fine-tune your approach. The key is making sure that your ratio of informative and useful posts far outweighs the amount of marketing posts you have. This will ensure that your feed gets followed, instead of ignored.

There are several tools you can use to get more out Twitter, and make it even easier to use. TweetReach allows you to see just how many people read and acted on your tweets, and even allows you to pull a report using your hashtag and username to discover who is talking about you.

Send Social Media allows you to manage your followers more effectively and keep them engaged. As soon as they start following you, it will automatically send them a welcome message, auto-follow them back and even lets you manage multiple Twitter streams from one location. JustUnfollow is another follower management system that you can use to periodically go through your list of followed people and unfollow the ones who are not currently following you.

Ever wonder how well your Twitter efforts are paying off? You can utilize TweetGrader to compare yourself to other Twitter users and see just how effective you are. This can be used to help you fine-tune your campaigns and chart your progress over time.

TweetChat is an innovative app that allows you to pick certain hashtags you’re interested in, such as #socialmedia. You can instantly join in the conversation with other users that are talking about the same thing and make yourself more visible on the service. This is one of the easiest ways to meet new people and get new followers.

Putting it All Together

Now that you’ve got the resources you need, it’s time to get to work. Remember, social media is only effective if you make use of it on a regular basis. You’ve got to keep your blog current, your tweets fresh and your Facebook fan page updated. By spending time managing this content, you’ll be able to grow your audience and reach more customers. It does take time and effort, but with the right strategy and the right tools, you’ll be saving time and giving your readers better content that is designed to reach them more effectively.

Becoming a social media success may not happen overnight. You now have what you need to be a success, it’s time to get to work and start making your own waves in the social media sphere.

Going Deeper

These tools will help you get started and help you get your footing in social media, but they are just scratching the surface of all that you can do. If you are interested in finding more tools that can help you become more effective at managing your social media campaigns, check out Web Media University. They let you search for available tools and extensions that will help you get even more about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites. Simply input your business type and you’ll instantly learn more about tools that are designed for your unique business.

Web Media University also contains numerous resources that are designed to make the sometimes complex world of social media easy to understand and easy to use. Whether you need to know more about the potential of Twitter and how it can impact your business, or you need to know what strategy is more effective, Web Media University puts everything you need, right at your fingertips.

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