There is so much information on the web today about marketing with Social Media. But there seems to be some confusion on how to actually use social media to successfully grow your small business or organization – especially in this economy.

So I want to share a few tips and strategies that is sure to benefit your business in this new year.

What is Marketing and Social Media?

First let me begin by defining what is Social Media. It is basically a set of online tools that allow communities and individuals to stay connected on the internet. These social networking sites are usually free and fairly simple to use. Just about everyone I know is using some type of Social Networking site today.

There are many Social Media types. Here are a few:

  • Blogs,
  • Social Networks
  • Video sites, and
  • Podcasts

Some of the top Social Networking sites right now are:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook and
  • YouTube.

Here are the four tips to market your online business successfully with Social Media:

  1. Create Your Personal Brand. This is a very important step (especially as an entrepreneur) as you are growing your business. Your brand is not what you think about your products and services, but it is your customers view of your business. You need to make sure that you create a personal brand that makes you totally unique from your competition. You also need to stand out and be noticed as the expert in your field. One way to do this is by launching a blog or by creating a Facebook Fan page for your company. See Steps #2 and #3 for more details.

  2. Create a Blog and make it the central hub for your social networking sites. You can launch a blog and give your views about things that pertain to your line of business. You could answer questions that your website visitors leave on your blog. This is how you can begin to get noticed as the authoritative voice in your field. In addition, be sure to make your blog the central hub for integrating all of your social network sites and information in one place.

  3. Devise An Online Marketing Plan / Developing Marketing Campaigns. Do you know what the latest trends are in your industry? What type of things are happening currently in your niche area? You need to have a clear understanding of these type of things in order to develop an effective marketing plan to grow your business. Start researching your competition and find out the type of activities they participate in online. Once you gather this type of information, create a written plan for how your blog and social sites will be used to market your business. Create an outline of the marketing strategies and tactics that you will use to achieve your objectives. After you implement your plan, be sure to go back and assess how well it is working. Tweak any areas that need adjusting and reiterate this process from time to time until you have a solid plan that repeatedly works well for you and your business.

  4. Design All of Your Marketing Materials Around Your Brand. Make sure that all of your marketing materials such as your business cards, logo, websites, brochures and other marketing elements have a consistent theme and message. Keep in mind that your marketing materials make up the first impression that your potential customers will see. So be sure that you are making a great, first impression.

If you are a beginner in marketing your business with Social Media Marketing strategies, it could be a lot to handle if you try to implement everything at once. So don’t panic. I recommend that you just start slowly by building a web presence online with just the three Social Network Sites that I mentioned earlier. And then you could expand by building an online presence on some of the other sites like StumbleUpon.com, Digg.com, or Google Buzz.

Now is the time for you to get started on marketing your business successfully with Social Media marketing strategies in 2011.

I hope you found this article interesting and have a better idea on how to market your business using Social Media strategies. For more details on Social Media Marketing Strategies, be sure to sign up for my FREE guide at the top left of my blog, “Social Media Marketing Strategies for 2011: 30 Strategies That You Can Do Today to Grow Your Online Business”.

So, what other things are you doing with Social Media to grow your business in the New Year? I would love to hear your comments.

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