I don’t know about you, but when one of the times my wife and I have a disagreement, it is usually when we’re going somewhere new in the car, and of course I think I know where I’m going. When getting lost, my thoughts are to keep driving and eventually we’ll run into where we wanted to go. Fortunately, GPS navigation and tools like MapQuest have made my life more easy.
The same hold true for social media. You can drive (A) around aimlessly or (B) you can put a plan together.
Please opt for B. Social media and SEO work well together, but you have to have a plan to maximize your return. Lee Odden wrote a post recently for the blog Mashable, Social media & SEO: 5 essential steps to success, that gives a good summary of what you had to do to capitalize on it.
Here are some highlights of his 5 steps to success as I see it affecting the professional tradesmen market:
- Define your audience. If you’re going after tradesmen, you had better know how they spend their time, understand their preferences and behavior profile. As you get more sophisticated, you can use social media monitoring software that identifies key words, conversations and influencers.
- Define your objective. Social media is not direct marketing. SEO in the social media is to influence discovery of social communities or content by way of research. Indirectly, social content can boost links to web site content improving traffic.
- Make a game plan. In a SEO and social media effort, you need to focus on content and interaction since it’s content that people look for and want to share.
- Define yout tactics. The tactical mix for social media marketing should be focused on where the tradesmen spend their time. What kind of communities are they a part of? Remember, the goal is to start a long-term relationship, not a one nighter.
- Measure goals. Between web analytics and social media tools, you will have more than enough ways to track and help you improve your results.