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The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing


April 26, 2010
By Pam Lontos

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April 26, 2010 – If you haven’t gotten on the Social Media
Marketing (SMM) bandwagon yet because you think it’s just a fad with no real
bottom line benefit, think again.



One professional speaker has been using SMM for less than
six months and has received two book contracts with mainstream publishers, has
contracted four full-fee speaking engagements, has secured a keynote for a
large international convention, has been contracted for a monthly column in a
large distribution magazine, has received a consulting deal in a new niche
market, and has contracted with two foreign governments for consulting services
… all because of social media marketing.

“But that’s just a fluke,” you may say. Not so … the fact is
for those who do SMM regularly, these kind of results are more common than
you’d think! If you’re ready to receive some serious benefits from your SMM
campaign, adhere to the following dos and don’ts.

Don’t be unpredictable. You want people to know that they’re
going to get a message from you every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (or whatever
days you decide). So pick a distribution schedule and stick with it. If
necessary, put reminders in your calendar so you remember to post your
microblogs on those days. 

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Don’t abandon your traditional PR. Don’t assume that you can
abandon everything outside of the social media marketing realm once you start
having some success. SMM is just one part of the funnel that brings people to
your product. It’s a useful and cheap part, but you also need the credibility
and marketing from other traditional publicity tools, such as print publicity,
radio interviews and television appearances. 
In addition, some online reputation sites will give you a lower ranking
if you don’t have anything in the “real world.” Just remember, you still need
media exposure and a physical presence, in addition to your online presence.
Acclaimed financial expert Suze Orman is at the top of her game because you see
her name everywhere – she’s interviewed in magazines and newspapers, is seen on
TV and heard over the radio. That’s why so many of us rely on her advice; she
is seen as the financial expert because she is all over the media. So, be sure
to keep getting publicity in print and other traditional media, in addition to
generating attention with SMM.

Don’t be negative. Unless your image or brand has something
to do with complaining, don’t do it. Only complain if complaining is what
you’re known for. It’s better to give positive reinforcement in your microblogs
because people are bombarded with negative messages every day. You don’t want
your message to be lost among the other negative ones. You want to be the one
positive thing in people’s day. You want them to look forward to the next time
they get your message.

Do follow the right format for your microblogs. Be sure that
your micro-blogs include helpful advice, insightful tips or unique trends that
your followers will learn from; this kind of information will grab their
attention and make them want more. Each microblog should be 140 characters,
including punctuation and spacing, in addition to your website link at the end.
The more helpful and unique your messages are, the more interest you will
generate, thus bringing more people back to your site.

Do funnel your SMM contacts to your website. The goal of
your microblogs is not only to reach your target audience and help them solve
their problems, but also to drive them back to your website to sell your
products or services. That’s why it’s so important to include your website at
the end of your microblog message. So, when your readers want more information
or want to buy your products and services, they can go directly to the source:
you!

Do have a place to collect all your postings. Anytime you do
a post on Twitter, Facebook or any of the other SMM sites, you’re really
creating a microblog. You need a place where your microblogs collect. Twitter
provides that service, but if you use theirs you’re giving them all the
traffic. Rather, have your microblogs collect on your own blog. Then you can
have your long posts there, as well as your shorter microblogs.

Do devote enough time to your SMM campaign. Individuals who
are successful with SMM spend an average of five to seven hours per week
developing and working within their network. If you can write your microblogs
quickly you won’t add too much time. 
Remember, it’s not always about the number of contacts you collect, but
rather having the “right” contacts and reaching your target audience.

Do make sure your profile is 100 percent complete. You won’t
get ranked in the social media searches unless your profile is 100 percent
complete. Realize that a photo for your profile accounts for 20-40 percent of
your ranking, so if you don’t include a picture, you’re setting yourself up for
failure. Therefore, the biggest profile factor after your name and e-mail
address is your photo. And by the way, logos don’t count as a photo, even if
your logo includes a picture of a face. The bottom line is if you want your
message to spread through the Internet, make sure your profile is complete.

SMM is a vital addition to any PR campaign. When you follow
these simple dos and don’ts, you’ll get people following your every move, which
will lead to more customers and higher sales – the exact payoff every business
needs.

Pam Lontos is
president of PR/PR, a public relations firm that works with speakers, authors
and experts. She is the author of “I See Your Name Everywhere” and is a former
vice president for Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting. PR/PR has placed clients in
publications such as USA Today, Entrepreneur, Time, Reader’s Digest, and
Cosmopolitan. PR/PR works with established speakers, as well as those just
launching their careers. For a free consultation, e-mail Pam@prpr.net or call 407-299-6128. To receive
free publicity tips, go to www.PRPR.net and
register for the monthly e-newsletter, PR/PR Pulse!