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									Where to Begin

The number of social sites is growing exponentially on a daily basis. People all over the globe are using

sites like Facebook and Twitter to stay connected not only with family and friends, but also to entities in

which they are interested. Something this successful should not be ignored by any business person.

However, the enormity alone can be overwhelming. In the beginning, it's best to research five or six sites

and from that group select two or three with which to begin working.

Define the Goal

For the most effective use of social sites as a marketing tool there must be a clear goal in mind. Is the goal

to create an identity? Build traffic to a website? Feature special offers, discounts and coupons? Disseminate

needed information? Clarifying the goal of this facet of marketing will determine how the site (or sites) will be

used. A clear-cut goal will reduce a cluttered effect and make it much more appealing to the visitor


Match Social Media Choice to Business Profile

If a business were international, it would dictate the use of one type of social site; if a business were highly

local (such as a local moving company) it would dictate the use of an entirely different social site. In other

words, matching the site to the needs of a particular business is vital for success. A solely owned small

business could make a big splash on LinkedIn, while a mid-sized business may do better with a fan Page on

Facebook. Learn the features of several sites and match up accordingly.

Who Is Being Reached?

Knowledge of the demographics of a particular customer base is vital in social marketing, the reason being

that targeted marketing is so much easier in social media. While one business may target a 30-year-old

stay-at-home mom, another business may target a 30-year-old career-minded businesswoman. It's relatively

simple to pinpoint either one through group-joining on social media sites. The more laser-targeted the

market, the more customized the marketing approach can be.

Social Media Site Maintenance

A neglected social media site is almost as detrimental as a neglected blog site. It does not
speak well of the business being represented. One of the most important facets of the
marketing strategy should be upkeep and maintenance. If such a marketing tactic is a new
addition to an existing program, someone must be designated to be in charge of the
upkeep. This means a smaller business may want to begin with only two sites and
possibly grow from there. Beginning small is the best way.

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