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Social Media Advertising Strategy
by Heather Lutze

The six must-have social media profiles for a great marketing campaign.


     Every day, it’s harder and harder for small-business owners and advertisers to keep pace with all the social media platforms on the Internet. It started with the personal profile phenomenon, which quickly evolved into video sharing profiles. Then the floodgates opened, and now Internet users have more than 400 social media platforms to consider.

     Any marketer worth his/her salt knows the value of setting up a social media advertising campaign on these free platforms. However, with so many options and limited time, small-business owners must have a strategic and targeted approach to social media advertising.

     Business people need to develop a Social Media Advertising Formula, made up of the sites that all advertisers, Web-site owners, and business owners must have in order to run a successful social media advertising campaign.

Social Media Advertising Formula
     There are six essential platforms that business owners must have in order to really harness the potential of social advertising. Each social platform plays a specific role, and the combination of all six is what will take your social advertising campaign to the next level. There is a secret ingredient at play here as well: The formula calls for a touch of optimization on each platform. Optimization allows your social media to work with your Web site and pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns to dominate the first page of search-engine results. Essentially this formula will make you the only choice as far as the searcher and Google are concerned.
 

Social Advertising Element No. 1: LinkedIn
  A popular business profile site, LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) ranks very well in search engines and is a great platform for sending event updates out to business associates.

Directions: When optimizing your LinkedIn profile, select one core keyword (or search term) you would like to be found under, use it frequently without sacrificing consumer experience, and watch your profile skyrocket in the search engines.
Social Advertising Element No. 2: Facebook
 

As a closed community, Facebook (www.facebook.com) does not rank in the search engines and makes the best choice if you want to have a personal profile online. However, optimizing your Facebook profile with your business keyword can make it an invaluable marketing effort.

Directions: Optimize your Facebook profile with one keyword and become the “go-to” expert in the floral industry for the more than 22 million Facebook users. Also, include some personal touches, but beware of putting too much personal information online.

Social Advertising Element No. 3: MySpace
 

As an open community, MySpace (www.myspace.com) ranks well in the search engines and, more importantly, allows businesses to have fully developed profiles, including personally designed backgrounds.

Directions: In addition to optimizing your profile with a keyword, you also can search for your target audience in MySpace “Friends” and create an amazing outreach network.

Social Advertising Element No. 4: YouTube
 

The main video-sharing platform, YouTube (www.youtube.com) is one of the best forums available to create a “viral” marketing campaign (a campaign that gains widespread popularity through Internet sharing, typically via e-mail or instant messaging, blogs, and other media-sharing Web sites). From publishing video testimonials from your customers to creating social proof of your abilities, YouTube videos are a great way to get other site owners to link to your Web site.

Directions: Each new video is another opportunity to optimize for a different keyword. For each video, include your keyword in the title and at least once in the description section.

Social Advertising Element No. 5: Blog
 

If you have the time or desire to create only one social media platform, a blog should be at the top of your list. (Enter “Start a blog” or “Create a blog” into your favorite search engine to find help on starting a blog.) Blogs give users a few distinct advantages over the other platforms that make them absolutely invaluable in the world of Internet marketing. First, search engines love blogs. They have plenty of content and are easy for the spiders to crawl and categorize online. Second, consumers love blogs. They aren’t hard-sales but instead are a mix of marketing and education that online shoppers trust. Third, every blog is a new opportunity for you to go after a new keyword. Whether you want to dominate a search page with one particular keyword or just have a presence under a different keyword, a blog is a free and easy way to get you there.

Directions: As with a YouTube video, every blog is a new keyword opportunity. Using a keyword tool, select your keyword before writing. Then, include your keyword in the title and throughout the content, but never sacrifice consumer experience. Also, be advised that repeating a keyword too many times will show up as spam in the search engines.

Social Advertising Element No. 6: Twitter
 

The newest, hottest rage, Twitter (www.twitter.com) is a micro blog that limits posts to 140 characters. Although you’ll typically hear the most skepticism about Twitter, it can be an amazing tool for your business. Twitter plug-ins allow you to update Twitter and literally push it out to your other platforms, such as Facebook. Additionally, Twitter posts rank in the search engines.

Directions: Select one keyword, and include that in all your Twitter posts. Also, personalize your Twitter background for a totally unique and branded look and feel.

With the combination of these six social advertising platforms, your online campaign is sure to be a success!

Heather Lutze has spent the last 10 years as CEO of The Findability Group, a search-engine marketing firm that works with companies to attain maximum Internet exposure. A nationally recognized speaker, she is the author of “The FindAbility Formula: The Simple and Non-Technical Approach to Search-Engine Marketing” (John Wiley & Sons). Ms. Lutze is a lead speaker for Pay-Per-Click Summit, and she previously spent two years speaking for Yahoo! Search Marketing. For more information, visit www.findabilitygroup.com.


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