With a glut of social media outlets, does it make sense to limit yourself to just one. And if you want to take advantage of several, how do you link them together in a way that makes sense for your marketing plan.
The 5-pillar approach is to create your own network of sites that feed each other, with each element attracting a slightly different audience and each presenting somewhat different content. That means, of course, that you have to work on the balance part. But no one has ever said that social media needs no work.
The 5 pillars are the following:
Each of these five has a unique role, addresses a specific audience, has a unique objective and can add to your overall marketing approach. Each requires separate content and a separate approach.
The key element of the 5-pillar plan is to tie all five areas together. Each element supports the other four, all with the objective of increasing your bottom line by attracting inbound leads. Each element must create a draw from the target audience it is designed to reach. This approach takes some work, and requires a fair bit of content, but will spread your image across a larger audience that if you simply use one of these social media.
Your primary site is designed to sell your product, service or ideas. Your site is where you want to attract people that are potential customers. It can be an e-commerce site, selling an actual product. It can also be a site that simply describes your products, services or ideas and directs the reader to a place where they can make a decision. A Realtor, for example, cannot sell a home from a site, but can certainly describe homes available for sale and let the reader know who to actually visit the place and who to contact to make that next step. It is the site you want an inbound lead to find.
Objective – As with any entity, the objective is a sale. Whether it is a product sold through your site, an idea that an NGO, political organization or non-profit entity wants to promulgate or a funnel to move a prospect to a sale in the real, non-internet, world, the final objective is to make a sale – an affirmation from a potential customer.
The quintessential social media is Facebook, and it is hard to imagine any social media strategy that does not have Facebook at its core.
Objectives – Apart from a common use of Facebook, like constantly knowing who is at Starbucks, our objective is to create inbound sales leads and to drive people to your primary site. We need to be quite subtle about that, as most if not all others will resent a bald-faced attempt to sell your products, services or ideas.
There are some issues, and there are these concerns:
The target audience for your personal page is your friends and acquaintances – some would call it your sphere of influence. Your business page would start with that, but would gradually expand to others that have an interest in your product, service or ideas.
First, it makes sense to have more than one Facebook account. At the very least, have one for your personal life and one for your organization. You will attract a different group of friends to each of the two accounts. One group will be interested in you – the other will be interested in your product or service. If you have a third interest, create a third account.
Keep the majority of your comments completely away from your business or organizational interest. When you do mention a business idea, don’t make it a sales pitch. A Realtor, for example, can occasionally mention a new listing as a public service with the idea that someone reading the comment may know someone else who is interested in that neighborhood. Just don’t make it your only comments or you will antagonize your friends.
The reason for the 5-pillar approach is to link your Facebook page to your primary site, blog, Twitter and any other accounts that you have. Let everyone know that you have other sites and that you post different information on each.
The 5-pillar approach is to create your own network of sites that feed each other, with each element attracting a slightly different audience and each presenting somewhat different content.
A blog gives you the opportunity to expand on issues that are more complex, and deal in depth with topics that are a part of your business or organization. For example, a Realtor may have a site and a Facebook presence, neither of which is an optimal place to discuss complex issues of the title, loans, home inspections and the like. The Realtor can become a source of knowledge for others outside a sphere of influence and attract readers to the blog that may not be likely to visit the primary site. The blog lets you become the topical expert. It is a subtle way to keep you And your business top of mind for a large number of people, many of whom can be potential customers.
Links to your primary site, your Facebook pages, Twitter and any other social media sites must be prominently displayed. Add a short explanation what type of content the visitor can find in each of those sites. This is the KEY reason to create your own network of interconnected sites.
Make use of RSS feeds to ensure that elements of your blog appear as many places as possible. Let the world know that you know what you are talking about.
Always keep in mind that you are promoting your own mini-network of sites. Use a bitly URL to your primary site in every tweet that goes out. Even though the tweet is limited to a small number of characters, you can fit in two URLs and a short descriptive caption.
Above we have proposed the idea of 5-pillar social media network to support your business and open up to inbound sales leads. It is a mini network of sites, cross-linked, each with you in the middle, but with different target audiences and different content. Having addressed the broadest social media, the fifth leg of the approach includes the wide variety of other sites, many of which are unique to a given industry.
You can incorporate all of these sites can into your 5-pillar system.
Pam Velazquez is a content writer for www.RecordsProject.com
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