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Three Keys That Make Social Marketing Easy

Bragging just a little, we’ve had some solid success with a series of six-month social marketing test programs implemented for a few clients. This typically involves setting up and managing a blog presence and Twitter feed, and wrangling the content development and accompanying social media amplification.

Clients have expressed real satisfaction with the results, which we’ve been able to measure in terms of increased website traffic, lower bounce rate, greater time-on-site, a jump in Twitter followers, and several other metrics. In a couple of cases, the connection to increased sales opportunity was evident in as little as two months. So what we’re saying, in not-so-modest terms, is that this stuff works.

But there’s a catch. It only works if you’re on board. Good news? Getting on board is painless. Here are three things to keep in mind (and that we keep in mind) if you want to test out a social marketing effort:

1. Blog post credibility is more important that post frequency

It’s better to put up a single, substantive post once a week than to just reverberate and reference other posts every day. There is certainly value to pointing out existing content, especially if it’s relevant to your audience, but don’t get topheavy with it. That means that you’re off the hook in terms of developing new content every day. Steak is more satisfying than sizzle, so latch on to the big ideas that can spotlight your expertise, instead of thinking you have to inundate with inanity.

2. Re-Tweet with care

Think of this as a microcosm of the blog philosophy. Amplifying insights you find elsewhere is fine, but if it’s the substance of your feed, you’re likely to end up ignored. Here is actually a great channel for directing your audience to existing content. Spot an article in your RSS feed that others will appreciate? A quick tweet and link is just the thing. Sure, scan your followers and keyword feeds for good stories, but take just as much time to find a primary source or two. In the time you take to re-tweet five stories already bouncing around, you could find one or two fresh pieces that are of more interest.

3. Make a modest daily investment in content generation.

We’ll be the first to say you should outsource content development and the associated social marketing. But we’ll also tell you that we need your participation to make it work. Thankfully, that participation threshold is pretty low — like sipping-your-coffee low. Fifteen or 20 minutes ruminating on issues impacting your industry, and sharing a few bullet points by email are often all we need to spin up a worthwhile blog post. And that’s the catalyst for a heapin’ helping of accompanying social media amplification.

When it comes to managing a social marketing effort for clients, we stick to these ideas from the onset. We’ve noticed in a few instances that when a particular facet is successful, we’ll turn up the intensity. Our initial approach, for example, includes one feature-caliber blog post per week. But if the traffic it generates is really strong, we’ve advocated doubling or even tripling that frequency. At the most fundamental level, however, we sustain a strong blog and microblog presence for a fairly modest investment, in terms of both time and budget.

We hope that gives you something to think about.