First Friendster and MySpace, then LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter -- popular social media sites change over time. As a brand you've likely spent a significant amount of time building up connections on any of the aforementioned sites.
But what happens when your demographic migrates to the new hot social networking site? You certainly can't abandon ship.
What you can do, however, is utilize certain tools and organizational tips for efficiency, and to effectively leverage your target audiences.
Developing a plan to effectively execute your cross platform social media promotion is essential to your success. First, organize your efforts, and develop an editorial calendar or plan. Next, leverage your target audience. Finally, make use of time-saving tools.
Let's examine each of these more thoroughly.
My company's blog features a new interview every week. The interview theme is consistent with our webinars, social messaging, guest blogging, and even usual blog interactions via commenting.
Our goal? Drive targeted traffic to our site, garner organic links, branding, and conversions.
At the beginning of the month our awesome content marketing expert Elise Redin-Cook gets us together to discuss the plan. She's done a lot of the leg work, making sure the particular theme of our monthly messaging is consistent by:
- Finding great interviewees in a particular niche which is the focus of our efforts.
- Working with a staff member to develop the theme for the monthly webinar.
- Putting together sample promotional social networking messages (paying mind to make them of applicable length: RT-able for Twitter, etc.).
- Researching guest blogging opportunities in the chosen niche, as well as example sites we can find great information on throughout the month to share with our fans and followers.
Having someone on your staff play the role of organizer will keep your efforts structured. Also, putting that information on a handy calendar is helpful.
When developing your calendar, think about all the sites you have social networking profiles on:
- Will your messaging be customized for that particular site?
- Do you have a theme for consistent messaging?
- Do you have sufficient content to share along the lines of the theme you've established?
- Do you have a purpose?
Addressing each of these questions before you get into the actual execution of your messaging across multiple platforms will help you weed out any potential issues.
Leverage Target Audiences
Do you know your audience, how they interact on specific social sites, the likelihood of having different types of content shared or URLs clicked? If not, you won't be able to successfully promote across multiple platforms.
Track your URLs with a URL shortener such as bit.ly. Using this system puts so much information is at your fingertips.
Did you know that adding a plus sign (+) to the end of your shortened URL in your browser's address bar will give you statistics on a bit.ly URL (e.g., http://bit.ly/do0ULR+)? Find out demographic data of users who clicked on the URL, how many total clicks at specific times of day, and top referrers.
Bit.ly now even generates a QR code with shortened URLs for even more use across multiple platforms. Analyzing the data collected upon execution of cross platform promotion can help you tailor your messaging and answer the question of how your audience interacts.
Tools for Streamlining
The days of having to log into multiple sites several times a day is behind us with the advent of tools like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, and Seesmic. Also helpful is Ping.fm. Let's examine each.
|As a social media dashboard, multiple users can utilize Hootsuite to manage Twitter profiles, Facebook pages, LinkedIn, MySpace, Ping.fm, MySpace, and Foursquare. If you manage your branded profile with a number of others, you're able to see who responded to specific messages, assign tasks for individual users, schedule messages, with an easy click of the button send out the same message across all the supported platforms, and more. Hootsuite can help your team effectively manage messaging tasks and stay organized, not to mention the seamless interface that allows you to connect on multiple platforms.|
|Personal browser Tweetdeck helps you stay in touch with what's happening across multiple social media platforms, and is similar to Hootsuite. Share information such as links, messages, photos and more from a desktop application. Track information in columns or groups saved to your profile, schedule messages, and more.|
|Manage your social networks from everywhere, monitor, and engage with fans with Seesmic. Again, this system is similar to Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, allowing you to connect and organize your social accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.|
|Ping.fm was created to make it easier for you to post and share your information with your followers and fans. Just post once and seamlessly, your message is spread across more than 30 platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Pages, MySpace, Google Buzz, AIM Status, Plurk, Delicious, and more. Offering less management and monitoring than the other systems above, Ping.fm can be utilized in combination with other systems to spread your message effectively.|
Each tool has its own pros and cons, so it's important to test out the systems to see which one you prefer and what will work best for you.
These tips should make your cross promotion efforts on social networking sites easier. Just remember, when spreading your message online:
- Develop a plan
- Leverage your audience
- Use tools
- Wash and repeat
Also, don't be afraid to switch it up. And always track your results!
Have you found success in your cross platform marketing efforts? Any tips to add for our readers?