Launch a Successful Social Media Campaign in 5 Just Weeks 3

See week 1 here.

See week 2 here.

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Now that you’ve built up knowledge within your area of expertise and hopefully have a system for reviewing, interacting with and sharing content, it’s time to plan what niche you can own within the online space.

Ensuring you carve out an area of expertise you can own allows you to:

  • Better meet the demands of your audience
  • Focus your offering
  • Ensure your rankings for organic search traffic

For example a financial institution may look at focussing on a niche that isn’t traditionally considered by banks…. Yes it’s Redneck bank! It’s real, hilarious and gosh-darn it – it just might work. The long tail that digital has created by increasing the capacity to publish is well documented and it’s important to understand in order to achieve successful differentiation.

redneck bank

There’s a straight-forward process that ensures you truly focus on your niche, and also helps you develop your rankings in search engines over time.

8 hours initially: define your niche

4 hours: competitor analysis

2 hours: search research

3 hours: keyword segmentation

Define your niche

A bit of brainstorming will go a long way but don’t get too bogged down in hitting the nail on the head at this stage. Online has changed the way we work in that you can be more tactical. Put something out there, see how people react to it and revise if you have to based on the success of what you’ve produced. At this stage it’s important that you just get started and build momentum. Ask yourself a couple of key questions…

What business gaps are there in your vertical?

If you were in your consumer’s shoes what would you wish for that currently doesn’t exist?

Do some lateral thinking and come up with an offering that makes sense yet has an edge. The main thing is not to dwell here. You should be able to narrow down an area you can own online over other people within your category.

Competitor analysis

Once you’ve got a couple of ideas together start looking at what competitors are doing especially within search rankings. Who’s ranking high in your search terms? Why? Is there much competition? What are competitors doing that you can use to your advantage?

To carve out a niche in your sector you want to be sure you can rank well in Search Engine Ranking Pages (SERPs) as organic search will be a key strategy in drawing like-minded people to you.

Search research

Once you’re happy with the niche you’ve identified. Use a Google keyword research tool to expand your 5-10 search terms. Google’s tool will give you an idea of different terms that relate to the terms you investigate. The tool will also give you an idea of the search volume and competition. The data is based on paid search but there’s no reason you can’t apply the learnings to your organic search.

Keyword segmentation

Once you’ve got a list export them to a .csv file and begin to tier the list into importance of words. When producing content you’ll have a bible of words to refer to which will ensure you carve your niche.

In the next week you’ll begin to expand a list of keywords into content people you’re targeting will want to read.

Launch a Successful Social Media Campaign in 5 Just Weeks 2

Week 2 – Learn what people react to

See week 1 here.

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To run a successful social media campaign you need to know what makes your target audience tick.

There’s nothing like ongoing market research to gain an insightful understanding of your future community. By commenting and responding on blogs, YouTube videos, micro-blogs, LinkedIn topics/questions, Q&A Sites and other social media platforms you not only learn what makes people in your category tick, it also begins to build up valuable relationships with your target market and positions you as an expert in you field.

Time required

Half hour a day: having conversations.

8 hours initially, 1 hour a week ongoing: audit what’s successful.

Commenting

Ah, the fine art of commenting… how to be controversial enough to illicit a response without completely alienating yourself from the people you’re trying to connect with. See Jason Falls article in Social Media Explorer for more on the fine line between pissing people off and becoming their friend.

Most of the opportunities for commenting will come out of your daily scan of media. The RSS Feeds you created in Week 1 will ensure you find out about any relevant Blog, micro-blog or Q&A posts so you can engage real time.

Identifying good content

Audit what’s successful, look at sites like digg, reddit, Twitter, YouTube, 4chan.org, StumbleUpon etc and find the most popular content.

Content is the key, whether you’re creating it, trying to get others to pass it on or trying to get others to create it, you need to understand what makes one piece of content successful and another a failure.

Take the time to review and compare the content. Most of the sites have broad categories their content fits into allowing you to scan what’s more relevant to your category.

Have an opinion on what makes the top ranking content popular. This time will also give you a good opportunity to join in on the conversation.

The next article in the series will show you how to identify and continually focus on your niche.

Launch a Successful Social Media Campaign in 5 Just Weeks

Can string imageIt will soon be a fundamental business practice for every company to have a social media presence, just as it now essential for a company to have a website.

The main shift in the web 2.0 era has been that consumers have moved from digesting content to publishing it themselves, which moved the power away from the corporate and placed it firmly with the masses.

Consumers now have the ability to send brand reputation plummeting with one YouTube video (see Dominos’ response video below), it’s important now more than ever that companies plan for the worst and keeping an ear close to the ground.

The great news is there is a cavalcade of free tools to choose from to create a successful social media campaign and this article series will show you to start in just 5 weeks. Unlike traditional media where you pretty much get one chance to launch a campaign, social media is about refining and growing over time.

Week 1 – Become an expert

The first step is to become an expert of you category and gain an understanding of what’s important in your space.

Time invested

Set up: 2 hours

Ongoing: 1 hour per day

1. Create a Google Reader account. Google Reader will syndicate content from around the web making you a focussed, time-efficient, learning machine.

2. Find appropriate blogs within your category through a search engine. Don’t stress about their quality initially, you should be refining these continually as you continue to read them.

3. Use a free social media monitoring service to send targeted feeds to your Reader account. Social Mention is one of the most powerful free social monitoring sites.

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Simply type your or your competitor’s band name into the search bar and choose between the publishing types in the top hand nav to get a result.

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To continue getting updates in real-time use the RSS Feed in the top right hand side of the page. You’ll now be able to monitor you search results straight from Google Reader.

From then on spend around an hour a day monitoring Google Reader. You’ll soon find how Einstein’s learning curve can apply directly to you as you rapidly become an expert on your field of interest.

In the coming articles you’ll learn to monitor what content people react to, create a campaign strategy and launch your social media campaign in 4 short weeks.