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In order to get the best quantifiable results from your social media marketing campaign, you need an optimized social media strategy to lay out the foundation for you. Social media is still a buzz word to many, and millions of conversations are happening on social media channels every day. Twitter and Facebook are still the biggest social media channels right now and even though Facebook is sporting with more than 800 million members, don’t forget that these aren’t the only social media channels that you can use.

There are thousands of social media channels that you can use to start engaging and build your brand reputation online. If you combine the number of users on all the social media channels you will be coming up with over a billion people who are active on the social web in total. With this said, social media is really a gold mine if you are into digital marketing.

With the growing trend of jumping on the social media bandwagon and to start building awareness for your brand, it is really not surprising to see digital marketers taking advantage of this opportunity to market their services and products via social media. Many of these digital marketers are failing because they didn’t create a plan or strategy when they started using Web 2.0 for marketing purposes.

The same with any type of digital marketing campaign, success depends on a good foundation consisting of a good execution plan. To help you get started with social media marketing, find below a couple of tips that can help you with the Web 2.0 marketing journey.

Research everything regarding SMM

Learn and research everything you can do about social media before you start with your campaign. Quite a few people are making the mistake of first starting their strategy with the technology in mind. A couple of weeks ago I published a blog post titled “The POST method with social media marketing” where I explain that your social media campaign should never start with the Technology in mind. POST stands for people, objectives, strategy, and technology.

Who do you want to reach? Where can these people be found? What are their demographics? Researching (listening) first will allow you to find ways on how you can market yourself on the social web without sounding like the desperate salesman.

Even though Facebook is the biggest social media channel, not all types of businesses can be marketed to on Facebook or Twitter. Some businesses needs a LinkedIn strategy more than a Facebook business page and vice versa. With this said, after you researched where your market is coming from and where you can reach them, you need to pick the social media channel that will help you reach them.

There is really no use in using Twitter, Facebook or even Pinterest if these channels are not appropriate for promoting your business.

Honesty and transparency

In social media, being transparent is your best policy. With social media you are dealing with real people. If they catch you being dishonest, your business can suffer greatly and you might not be able to contain their outrage. One single negative comment about you or your business can destroy your reputation.

The basic social media marketing tips above can help you get started using the social web to market and engage with targeted audiences.