Here’s another dispatch from Gabriel Roberts, vFlyer Customer Success Rep and resident social media guru:
If you’re reading this post, you’ve probably heard plenty about social media. You’re most likely aware that it’s an incredible phenomenon, privy to some fantastic tales of success, and evaluating your role in it all. Here at vFlyer, we want our users to be equipped with the knowledge and tools to succeed online. To that end, we’ve put together an article outlining some best practices for social media marketing. We call it “Social Media 101 for vFlyer Users.” Below are some of the highlights. To read the full article, head on over to vFlyer’s help center.
Think of your web presence as a house in the midst of a block party. Inside your house are your friends and family – your existing customers. You want them to have a great time; you want them to feel welcome, special, and happy. But you want your party to be the biggest and best on the block! People walking by (casual internet visitors) need to see how much fun your guests are having and want to come inside. Social media can help your guests have more fun and attract passers-by to join the party.
An effective web presence should include the following components: a website, blog, Facebook Page, and Twitter account. Your website is the center of everything, and the end destination for the traffic you attract. Your blog (on ActiveRain, say) is your official voice, whether for yourself or your company, and your Facebook and Twitter accounts are outposts in the raging rivers of social media. Start with this basic framework, then gradually add more as needed.
The content built on this framework should address the following questions: Who are you? What do you do? and What’s happening now? Your content should also offer visitors something they want, be it news, inspiration, humor, advice, or resources. Most importantly, keep your content fresh! Even if your readers are just a select group of friends and family, get in the habit of creating new content. One day, thousands of visitors will traffic your site, and you’ll need to serve up fresh content to keep ‘em coming back for more. Fresh, clean content! Not a bunch of ads or a six-month-old blog post.
Online, one should be bold enough to write about something already covered by 100 other bloggers, real enough to state his or her true intentions, and outgoing enough to friend, follow, and comment on anything and everything he or she finds interesting.
Finally, focus on yourself! This may sound selfish, but I think Chris Guillebeau got it just right: your message is what people want to hear. If I’m interested in what somebody else has to say, I can follow somebody else. I’m following you because I want to hear what you have to say, so say it!
Genuine humanness is what we all respond to online, so here’s another piece of advice: throw all the social media advice you receive, including our article, right out the window, and just be your own crazy self on the internet. Nobody’s made it very far without ignoring at least most of what they’ve been told. In any case, let us know what social media strategies work or don’t work for you – we’d love to hear about it.