Social media is absolutely at the forefront of marketing in 2011, and marketing via social media is a necessity. The TimeForge team has compiled a list of tips for understand social media marketing and getting your social media marketing on a role.

Why Do I Care? Social Media Marketing does a few things that are good for your business. Like all marketing, it gets your name out there and drives customers to your business. It’s also a great way to let your customers develop a more personal and/or religious following of your business and its personality. The goal is to make your profiles easily found, and to make your content drive people to your site and business.

Why Do I Want Customers to Know What’s Going On? Consumers want to know exactly where their money is going these days and whether that receiver is worthy. If your business is deemed less worthy/interesting/helpful than another, you’re bunk. You have to work harder than ever before to earn and maintain customer loyalty, and social media provides a cheap (or free) way to do that.

Which Social Media Sites Really Matter? If you only have two sites that you decide to have a presence on, they need to be Facebook and Twitter, but to really see the benefits of social media marketing, you have to expand beyond that. Your business should have a presence on Digg, Reddit,, StumbleUpon, WikiHow, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Yahoo! Answers. The more, the better. These will all help drive traffic to your site, and consequently, your business.

Email Marketing Counts, Right? Well, not really. Statistically, the number of emails sent out versus the number of emails opened continues to decline. Email is the new snail mail, and social messaging is the new mail. By no means should you stop creating your newsletters, but you should definitely expand beyond email to reach your customers. Some marketers are combining the two to create a click-able, cyclical campaign. Essentially, the social media message will contain a link to an email newsletter, which will contain a link to another social media site, which will then link to another, all the while encouraging the customer to “Follow Us on Twitter” or “Like Us on Facebook“.

Will This Really Work? Yes. Social media marketing will absolutely help you drive customers to your website and business. People are spending beaucoups of time on social media sites, as illustrated by the massive sales of internet tablets (especially the inexpensive android tablets being released in the United Kingdom) with preloaded applications for major social sites.

So What Do I Say? Your social marketing can consist of updates about new products, sales, new employees and team members, new policies, positive business reviews, industry-specific news articles, etc. To really maximize your social media potential, try to incorporate terms related to your business that people might search for into your posts. For example, if you are a producer of ninja weapons, you might incorporate “ninja”, “weapons”, “throwing star”, “nunchaku”, and “katana” into your posts, or post a link to an article about the rising popularity of urban ninjas. You can also post links to your main website.

How Often Do I Say It? Totally up to you. Often enough to keep your readers interested, without annoying them into unfollowing you. Somewhere between once weekly and twice daily should suffice, but try to keep the intervals between your posts pretty regulated. You don’t want your readers to be accustomed to getting an update daily, then not hear from you for a month. They may assume that you’ve altogether stopped posting and stop following you.

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