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Social Media Marketing All-in-One For Dummies®

Table of Contents

Introduction

About This Book

What You Don’t Have to Read

Foolish Assumptions

How This Book Is Organized

Book I: The Social Media Mix

Book II: Cybersocial Tools

Book III: Blogs, Podcasts, and Vlogs

Book IV: Twitter

Book V: Facebook

Book VI: LinkedIn

Book VII: Other Social Media Marketing Sites

Book VIII: Measuring Your Results; Building on Your Success

Icons Used in This Book

Conventions Used in This Book

Where to Go from Here

Book I: The Social Media Mix

Book I: Chapter 1: Making the Business Case for Social Media

Making Your Social Debut

Defining Social Media Marketing

Understanding the Benefits of Social Media

Casting a wide net to catch your target market

Branding

Building relationships

Improving business processes

Improving search engine rankings

Selling when opportunity arises

Saving money on advertising

Understanding the Cons of Social Media

Integrating Social Media into Your Overall Marketing Effort

Developing a Strategic Social Media Marketing Plan

Establishing goals

Setting quantifiable objectives

Identifying your target markets

Estimating costs

Valuing social media ROI

Book I: Chapter 2: Plotting Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Locating Your Target Market Online

Segmenting Your B2C Market

Demographics

Geographics

Life stages

Psychographics or lifestyle

Affinity, or interest, groups

Researching B2B Markets

Conducting Other Types of Market Research Online

Identifying influencers

Understanding why people use social media services

Setting Up Your Social Marketing Worksheet

Book I: Chapter 3: Managing Your Cybersocial Campaign

Managing Your Social Media Schedule

Bounding the time commitment

Developing your social date book

Creating a social media dashboard

Building Your Social Media Marketing Dream Team

Seeking a skilled social director

Looking inside

Hiring experts

Creating a Social Media Marketing Policy

Staying on the Right Side of the Law

Obtaining permission to avoid infringement

Respecting privacy

Revealing product endorsement relationships

Protecting Your Brand

Copyrighting your material

Trademarking your brand names

Protecting your brand reputation

Book I: Chapter 4: Joining the Conversation

Lurking and Listening

Listening actively

Hearing an opportunity and taking it

Minding Your Social Media P’s & Q’s

Sticking to business

Selling them softly with your song

Engaging Your Audience

Keeping it short and sweet

Finding your voice

Staying Engaged

Asking questions . . .

. . . and answering questions

Being helpful

Finding content

Goofing with grace

Handling critics

Book II: Cybersocial Tools

Book II: Chapter 1: Discovering Helpful Tech Tools

Keeping Track of the Social Media Scene

Saving Time with Content Distribution Tools

Ping.fm by Seesmic

Alternative content distribution services

Putting Real Simple Syndication (RSS) to work

Notifying Search Engines about Updates

Snipping Ugly URLs

Using E-Commerce Tools for Social Sites

Cartfly

Netcarnation

ProductCart

Sellit

Shopit

Keeping Your Ear to the Social Ground

Deciding what to monitor and why

Deciding which tools to use

Using free or cheap social monitoring tools

Measuring the Buzz by Type of Service

Book II: Chapter 2: Leveraging Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Social Media

Making the Statistical Case for SEO

Thinking Tactically and Practically

Focusing on the Right Search Engines

Selecting the Right Keywords

Understanding tags and tag clouds

Maximizing Metatag Muscle

Keeping up with keyword metatags

Tipping the scales with title tags

Pumping up page description tags

Working out with <alt> tags

Optimizing Your Site and Content for Search Engines

Writing an optimized first paragraph

Updating often

Using search terms elsewhere on pages

Making your site search engine friendly

Building Effective Inbound Links

Google PageRank

Knowing what makes a good inbound link

Hunting for elusive links

Implementing your link campaign

Getting inbound links from social bookmarks and social news services

Reaping other links from social media

Creating a resource page for outbound links

Optimizing Social Media for Search Engines

Placing your search terms on social media

Optimizing blogs

Assigning permalinks

Optimizing images, video, and podcasts

Optimizing Twitter

Optimizing Facebook

Optimizing LinkedIn

Gaining Visibility in Real-Time Search

Monitoring Your Search Engine Ranking

Book II: Chapter 3: Using Social Bookmarks and Social News

Bookmarking Your Way to Traffic

Sharing the News

Benefiting from Social Bookmarks and News Services

Researching a Social Bookmark and Social News Campaign

Executing your plan

Monitoring results

Submitting to Bookmarking Services

Submitting to Social News Services

Selecting content for social news services

Preparing social news stories for success

Using Application-Specific Bookmarks

Timing Your Submissions

Encouraging Others to Bookmark or Rate Your Site

Swapping bookmarks

Using Social Media Buttons

Follow Us buttons

Social Sharing buttons

Book III: Blogs, Podcasts, and Vlogs

Book III: Chapter 1: Developing Your Strategic Mix

Welcome to the Wild World of Multimedia Social Media

Determining whether you need a blog

Podcasting to reach your audience

Vlogging: Marketing with video

Determining Your Lofty — or Not So Lofty — Goals

Putting the Wheels in Motion

Introducing Yourself to the Online World

Creating your first blog post

Creating your first podcast

Creating a video Web log

Getting noticed

Mixing and matching your content with other social media

Maintaining your enthusiasm

Book III: Chapter 2: Building Your Blog

Choosing a Blogging Application and Web Host

Getting to know b2evolution

Moving in on MovableType

Getting wordy with WordPress

Using a Blog Hosting Service

Setting up a new blog with Blogger

Adding links, images, and video

Hosting your blog with WordPress

Setting Up Your WordPress Blog

Modifying your blog with themes

Modifying your blog with plug-ins

Using Google Analytics

Google FeedBurner

Discovering the Fine Art of Blogging

Doing your homework

Creating a post

Adding keywords and tags

Making posts public, private, or sticky

Keeping posts timely

Handling comments and spam and other delights

Creating meaningful categories

Announcing new posts

Using trackbacks

Book III: Chapter 3: Creating a Podcast

Getting Your Podcast Ducks in a Row

Finding a bandwidth-friendly host

Securing hardware for your podcast

Getting software for your podcast

Setting up a Web site for your podcast

Using multimedia plug-ins

Recording Your Podcast

Recording tips

Anatomy of a podcast

It’s a Wrap — Now What?

Putting the pieces together

Optimizing your podcast for the Web and portable devices

Optimizing a podcast for iTunes

Uploading and archiving your podcast

Selecting Helpful Companion Products and Services

TalkShoe

BlogTalkRadio

iTunes

Promoting Your Podcast

Book III: Chapter 4: Producing Your Videocast

Finding Hardware for Your Videocast

Recording a Videocast

Finalizing a Videocast

Obtaining software to edit and render a videocast

Putting the pieces together

Optimizing your videocast for the Web

Finding an Online Service for Your Work

YouTube

Vimeo

blip.tv

Uploading and Archiving Your Videocast

Adding Music to Your Videocast

Creating royalty-free music

Finding cool royalty-free music

Getting Your Videocast Recognized

Book III: Chapter 5: Measuring Blogging, Podcasting, and Vlogging Metrics

Measuring the Effectiveness of a Blog, Podcast, or Vlog

Web site stats

Comments

Videos

RSS

Viewing General Statistics with Webalizer

Comparing Hard and Soft Costs versus “Income”

Checking iTunes Subscribers

Book IV: Twitter

Book IV: Chapter 1: Getting to Know Twitter

Saying What’s on Your Mind, 140 Characters at a Time

Twitter demographics

What’s in it for you?

Major brands and Twitter

Creating a Twitter Account

Finding People to Follow

Setting Up Your Twitter Page

Getting Your Feet Wet on Twitter

Book IV: Chapter 2: Communing with Like-Minded People

Creating a Tweet Strategy for Your Business

Searching on Twitter

Searching for the right tweeple (Twitter people)

Searching for Twitter activity for your type of business

Getting in touch with local tweeple

Tweeting Like a Pro

Catching on to Twitter lingo

Using the hashtag

Replying to a Twitter user

Retweeting a message

Sending direct messages

Blocking people

Starting Your Twitter Campaign

Becoming a Resource for Your Twibe

Following Twitter Rules of Etiquette (Twittiquette)

Giving and Getting Recommendations on Follow Friday

Advertising on Twitter

Book IV: Chapter 3: Twitter Applications and Other Delights

Customizing Your Twitter Page

Creating a custom Twitter background

Creating a custom Twitter avatar

Tweeting from Your Desktop

Tweeting from Your Phone or iPod touch

Twitter Browser Plug-Ins, Extensions, and Interesting Web Sites

Exploring Other Twitter Applications

Marketing on Twitter via Peashoot

Book IV: Chapter 4: Using Twitter with Other Social Media Marketing

Combining Your Blog with Twitter

Using Twitter to Draw Traffic to Your Blog

Using Twitter to Draw Traffic to Your Web Site

Getting Goodies from Twitter

Adding widgets to your Web site

Linking Twitter to your Facebook page

Book IV: Chapter 5: Measuring Twitter Metrics

Tracking Web Site Referrals

Using Twitter Analytics Applications

Monitoring Retweets

Analyzing Your @replies Mentions

Checking Direct Messages

Using the Hashtag As a Measurement Mechanism

Calculating a Following to Follower to Updates Ratio

Tracking Links

Logging Visits per Follower

Book V: Facebook

Book V: Chapter 1: Getting to Know Facebook

Discovering How Facebook Can Help Your Business

Setting Up a Personal Facebook Account

Setting Up Your Facebook Page

Searching for contacts on Facebook

Setting up your profile

Adding a picture to your Facebook page

Modifying your Facebook profile

Setting Up a Facebook Page for Your Business

Tweaking Your Facebook Business Page

Linking your Business page to your Twitter feed

Changing your business page settings

Changing your wall settings

Adding a photo

Adding Information to Your Facebook Business Page

Book V: Chapter 2: Getting Around on Facebook

Adding Messages on Your Page

Adding Images and Video

Adding a Photos or Video tab

Uploading photos to a Facebook album

Editing your photos and albums

Adding video

Finding People to Like Your Business Page

Responding to your comments

Managing comments and wall posts

Using a Page Badge to Promote Your Business Page

Chatting on Facebook

Book V: Chapter 3: Using Facebook Features

Adding Administrators to Your Facebook Business Page

Using SEO to Get Your Facebook Business Page Noticed

Using Facebook As a Marketing Tool

Advertising on Facebook

Creating a Facebook group

Creating a Facebook event

Using the Discussions Tab

Using Facebook Tools and Applications

Creating a Facebook poll

Adding your blog to Facebook

Creating a custom tab for your business page

Finding other Facebook applications

Creating a Custom URL for Your Business Page

Book V: Chapter 4: Analyzing Facebook Metrics

Checking Referrals from Web Sites

Monitoring Post Comments

Measuring Link Effectiveness

Tracking Friend and Fan Requests

Gathering Group Members

Using the Ads Manager

Using Facebook Insights

Making the Grade on Facebook Grader

Book VI: LinkedIn

Book VI: Chapter 1: Getting Started with LinkedIn

Discovering the Benefits of LinkedIn

Determining whether LinkedIn is right for you

Taking a look at LinkedIn demographics

Setting Up a LinkedIn Account

Setting Up Your LinkedIn Profile

Getting Connected on LinkedIn

Getting Recommended

Asking for recommendations

Accepting recommendations

Book VI: Chapter 2: LinkedIn Nuts and Bolts

Expanding Your LinkedIn Network

Interacting with Your LinkedIn Network

Getting to Know LinkedIn Features

Finding jobs on LinkedIn

Sending and receiving messages

Managing invites and messages

About LinkedIn Groups

Joining a group

Creating a group

Creating a discussion

Establishing Yourself As an Expert

Book VI: Chapter 3: Maximizing LinkedIn

Tweaking Your Profile

Managing Your LinkedIn Contacts

Removing a contact

Modifying a contact’s information

Tagging contacts

Searching for People on LinkedIn

Posting Job Ads

Asking and Answering Questions on LinkedIn

Asking questions

Answering questions

Using LinkedIn Applications

Following a Company

Creating a LinkedIn Company Page

Book VI: Chapter 4: Measuring Your Results

Checking Your Web Site Referrals

Tracking How Many People View Your Profile

Gathering Recommendations

Checking Update Replies

Generating Connections and Connection Requests

Comparing Group Members to Connections

Responding to Question and Poll Replies

Book VII: Other Social Media Marketing Sites

Book VII: Chapter 1: Weighing the Business Benefits of Minor Social Sites

Reviewing Your Goals

Researching Minor Social Networks

Assessing the Involvement of Your Target Audience

Lurking

Responding

Quantifying market presence

Choosing Social Sites Strategically

Book VII: Chapter 2: Ning

Integrating Ning into Your Web Presence

Deciding Whether Ning Is Right for You

Making the most of Ning

Exploiting the demographics of Ning

Getting Started with Ning

Signing up

Naming your Ning community

Choosing features and display options

Applying the four-second rule to your Ning network

Selecting Your Pricing Plan

Marketing Your Community

Using search engine optimization techniques

Using traffic-building techniques specific to Ning

Measuring your Ning results

Book VII: Chapter 3: MySpace

Deciding Whether MySpace Is Right for You

Exploiting the demographics of MySpace

Fitting the MySpace glove

Understanding How MySpace Can Benefit Your Business

Reinforcing your brand

Setting goals and objectives for MySpace

Considering your investment of time and resources

Beginning with MySpace

Editing your profile

Customizing your profile

Customizing your MySpace appearance

Selecting other options

Making the Most of MySpace

Selecting groups

Managing your MySpace blog

Busting out with MySpace bulletins

Promoting events

Selling through MySpace

Advertising on MySpace

Buying group or bulletin access

Marketing off MySpace

Using the MySpace icon

Cross-promoting on Twitter

Book VII: Chapter 4: Flickr

Deciding Whether Flickr Is Right for You

Making the Most of Flickr

Beginning with Flickr

Uploading Photos

Determining what to upload

Adding titles, tags, and descriptions

Setting Up Sets and Collections: A Tactical Choice

Participating in the Flickr Community

Getting into groups

Creating your own group

Posting properly

Casting bread upon the Flickr waters

Extending Your Market Reach with Flickr

Building an audience on Flickr

Using Flickr to build an audience offsite

Using Flickr to improve search engine rankings

Measuring Your Flickr Results

Reviewing free stats

Reviewing Pro stats

Protecting Your Photos on Flickr

Book VII: Chapter 5: Maximizing Stratified Social Communities

Becoming a Big Fish in a Small Pond

Taking Networking to the Next Level

Selecting Social Networks by Vertical Industry Sector

Selecting Social Networks by Demographics

Selecting Social Networks by Activity Type

Book VIII: Measuring Your Results; Building on Your Success

Book VIII: Chapter 1: Delving into Data

Planning a Measurement Strategy

Monitoring versus measuring

Deciding what to measure

Establishing responsibility for analytics

Selecting a Statistical Package

Getting Started with Google Analytics

Integrating social media analytics

Creating goals and funnels for social media

Book VIII: Chapter 2: Comparing Metrics from Different Marketing Techniques

Establishing Key Performance Indicators

Overcoming measurement challenges

Using A/B testing

Comparing Metrics across Social Media

Tagging links

Analyzing the clickstream

Integrating Social Media with Web Metrics

Using Advertising Metrics to Compare Social Media with Other Types of Marketing

Obtaining metrics for paid advertising

Applying advertising metrics to social media

Juxtaposing Social Media Metrics with Other Online Marketing

Contrasting Word-of-Web with Word-of-Mouth

Book VIII: Chapter 3: Tallying the Bottom Line

Preparing to Calculate Return on Investment

Accounting for Customers Acquired Online

Comparing the costs of customer acquisition

One is silver and the other gold

Establishing Key Performance Indicators for Sales

Tracking leads

Understanding Other Common Business Metrics

Break-even point

Profit margin

Revenue versus profit

Determining Return on Investment

Book VIII: Chapter 4: Making Decisions by the Numbers

Knowing When to Hold and When to Fold

Diagnosing Problems with Social Media Campaigns

Fixing Problems

Your social presence can’t be found

Inappropriate match between channel and audience

Poor content

Lack of audience engagement

The four Ps of marketing

Adjusting to Reality

Book VIII: Chapter 5: Multiplying Your Impact

Thinking Strategically

Integrating with E-Mail

Gaining more subscribers

Finding more followers and connections

Finding and sharing content

Integrating with Public Relations and Press Releases

Setting up an online newsroom

Cultivating influencers

Distributing your news

Emphasizing content

Rethinking the press release for social media

Measuring results

Integrating with Paid Advertising

Advertising on social media sites

Engagement ads

Integrating with Your Web Site

Coupons, discounts, and freebies

Contests and games

Microsites

Book VIII: Chapter 6: Staying Ahead of the Curve

Gaining Customers, Sharing Savings

Groupon

LivingSocial

Gaming the System

Tracking who’s playing

Changing the game for marketers

Living Virtually

Making Social Mobile

Locating Yourself with Social Mapping

Going geo or staying put

Applying social mapping to B2B

foursquare

Gowalla

Loopt

Location apps on Facebook and Twitter

Meet-ups and tweet-ups

Buzzing Around

Using Buzz for business

Opening a Gmail account

Setting up a Google business profile

Social Media Marketing All-in-One For Dummies®

by Jan Zimmerman and Doug Sahlin

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About the Authors

Jan Zimmerman has found marketing to be the most creative challenge of owning a business for the more than 30 years she has spent as an entrepreneur. Since 1994, she has owned Sandia Consulting Group and Watermelon Mountain Web Marketing (www.watermelonweb.com) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. (Sandia is Spanish for watermelon.) Her previous companies provided a range of services including video production, grant writing, and linguistic engineering R&D.

Jan’s Web marketing clients at Watermelon Mountain are a living laboratory for experimenting with the best social media, search engine optimization, and other online marketing techniques for Web success. Ranging from hospitality and tourism to retail stores, B2B suppliers, trade associations, and service companies, her clients have unique marketing needs but share similar business concerns and online challenges. Her consulting practice, which keeps Jan aware of the real-world issues facing business owners and marketers, provides the basis for her pragmatic marketing advice.

Throughout her business career, Jan has been a prolific writer. She has written two editions of Web Marketing For Dummies, four editions of another book about marketing on the Internet, as well as the books Doing Business with Government Using EDI and Mainstreaming Sustainable Architecture. Her concern about the impact of technological development on women’s needs led to her book Once Upon the Future and the anthology The Technological Woman.

The writer of numerous articles and a frequent speaker on Web marketing and social media, Jan has long been fascinated by the intersection of business, technology, and human beings. In her spare time, she crews for the hot air balloon named Levity to get her feet off the ground and her head in the clouds.

Jan can be reached at books@watermelonweb.com or 505-344-4230. Your comments, corrections, and suggestions are welcome.

Doug Sahlin is an author and a photographer living in Venice, Florida. He has written 22 books on computer applications such as Adobe Flash and Adobe Acrobat. He has written books on digital photography and co-authored 13 books on applications such as Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. Recent titles include Flash Web Sites For Dummies, Digital Photography Workbook For Dummies, and Digital Portrait Photography For Dummies. Many of his books have been bestsellers at Amazon.com.

Doug is president of Superb Images, Inc., a wedding-and-event photography company. Doug teaches Adobe Acrobat to local businesses and government institutions and uses social media to promote his books and photography business.

Dedication

Jan Zimmerman:

In Memoriam

Sam Hutchison, 9

Milton Feinberg, 91

In the game, every moment — they rocked!

Doug Sahlin:

For Roxanne: my soulmate and the love of my life.

Authors' Acknowledgments

Jan Zimmerman:

No nonfiction writer works alone, and this book is no exception. It couldn’t have been written without a cast of dozens, especially with my experienced researcher Diane Duncan Martin, who did her usual fine job of finding and organizing information and locating copyright holders.

She and Web marketing assistant Esmeralda Sanchez both provided background research, compiled sites for the numerous tables in this book, created graphics, and rooted out arcane online facts. Working on my truly crazy schedule, they checked thousands of links and reviewed hundreds of sites for screen shots. (Not many people are asked to search for a good marketing tweet!) Finding exemplary companies for case studies — and clearing hundreds of copyrights — required endless calls and e-mails, for which these two people deserve all the credit.

Shawna Araiza, senior Web marketing associate at Watermelon Mountain Web Marketing, supplemented their efforts, drawing on her extensive knowledge of the Internet to suggest sites, experiment with new techniques, and help with Photoshop. I owe my staff a great debt for giving me the time to write by working overtime with our clients — not to mention their patience and computer support.

As always, my family, friends, and cats earn extra hugs for their constant encouragement. I’m lucky to have friends who accept that I could not always be there for them as much as they are there for me. The garden, the house, the car, and the cats, alas, are not so forgiving. Special thanks to my clients, who teach me so much and give me the opportunity to practice what I preach.

I’d also like to thank Rebecca Senninger, project editor at Wiley, for her flexibility and patience with a challenging book, copy editor Rebecca Whitney, and technical editor Michelle Oxman. Together, they have made this book much better than it started out. My thanks to all the other staff at Wiley — from the art department to legal — who have provided support. If errors remain, I am absolutely certain they are mine.

My appreciation also to my coauthor, Doug Sahlin, for sharing this journey; acquisitions editor Amy Fandrei, for this opportunity; and my agent, Margot Hutchison of Waterside Productions. I don’t know how this superwoman worked through the past few years as her young son struggled with cancer. Margot and her extraordinary family continue to teach us, at http://teamsam.com, lessons about what’s truly important in life. If you profit from reading this book, please join me in donating to The Magic Water Project in memory of Sam Hutchison at www.magicwater.org. Thank you in advance, dear readers, for making a contribution “because of Sam.”

Doug Sahlin:

Although only two names are on the front of this book, this project would not have been possible without a large support team. Thanks to my coauthor, Jan Zimmerman; it has been a pleasure to work with her on this project. Many thanks to the team at Wiley Publishing for fine-tuning our text and producing the book you hold in your hands. Thanks to Margot Hutchison and Amy Fandrei for making this project possible.

I’d also like to thank my friends for their continued support. Special thanks to my author friends, for being a constant source of inspiration, and to my wonderful family, especially Ted and Karen. Kudos and hugs to Roxanne, for supplying the missing pieces to the puzzle that is my life. And special thanks to the furry kids: Niki and Micah.

Publisher’s Acknowledgments

We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our online registration form located at www.dummies.com/register/.

Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development

Project Editor: Rebecca Senninger

Acquisitions Editor: Amy Fandrei

Copy Editor: Rebecca Whitney

Technical Editor: Michelle Oxman

Editorial Manager: Leah Cameron

Media Development Project Manager: Laura Moss-Hollister

Media Development Assistant Project Manager: Jenny Swisher

Editorial Assistant: Amanda Graham

Sr. Editorial Assistant: Cherie Case

Cartoons: Rich Tennant (www.the5thwave.com)

Composition Services

Project Coordinator: Sheree Montgomery

Layout and Graphics: Ashley Chamberlain

Proofreaders: Lauren Mandelbaum, Christine Sabooni

Indexer: BIM Indexing & Proofreading Services

Publishing and Editorial for Technology Dummies

Richard Swadley, Vice President and Executive Group Publisher

Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher

Mary Bednarek, Executive Acquisitions Director

Mary C. Corder, Editorial Director

Publishing for Consumer Dummies

Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher

Composition Services

Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services

Introduction

You sit back, sighing with relief that your Web site is running faultlessly, optimized for search engines, and producing traffic, leads, and sales. Maybe you’ve ventured into e-mail marketing or pay-per-click advertising to generate new customers. Now, you think with satisfaction, “I’ll just let the money roll in.”

Instead, you’re inundated with stories about Facebook and fan pages, Twitter and tweets, blogs and vlogs, and all other manner of social media buzz. The statistics are astounding: Facebook closing in on 500 million active users; 126 million blogs on the Internet; more than 10 billion tweets sent on Twitter since 2006; 2 billion videos streamed daily on YouTube. New company names and bewildering new vocabulary terms flood the online world: Gowalla, Groupon, SocialMention, CoTweet, engagement, community building, content posting, and comment monitoring, for example.

Should your business get involved in social media marketing? Is it all more trouble than it’s worth? Will you be left hopelessly behind if you don’t participate? If you jump in, how do you keep it all under control and who does the work? This book helps you answer both sets of questions: Should or shouldn’t your business undertake social media marketing? If so, how? (Quick answer: If your customers use a social media service, you should consider it. If not, skip it.)

About This Book

The philosophy behind this book is simple: Social media marketing is a means, not an end in itself. Social media services are new tools, not new worlds. In the best of all worlds, you see results that improve customer acquisition, retention, and buying behavior — in other words, your bottom line. If this sounds familiar, that’s because everything you already know about marketing is correct.

Having the most “likes” on Facebook or more retweets of your posts than your competitors doesn’t mean much if these achievements don’t have a positive impact on your business. Throughout this book, you’ll find concrete suggestions for applying social media tactics to achieve those goals.

If you undertake a social marketing campaign, we urge you to keep your plans simple, take things slowly, and always stay focused on your customers. Most of all, we urge you to follow the precepts of guerrilla marketing: Target one niche market at a time; grow that market; reinvest your profits in the next niche.

What You Don’t Have to Read

You don’t have to read anything that seems overwhelming or insanely complicated, deals with a particular social marketing service that you dislike or disdain, or doesn’t apply to your business. Content following a Technical Stuff icon is intended for developers or particularly tech-savvy readers.

Reading the case studies in sidebars isn’t critical, though you might enjoy reading about honest-to-goodness business owners who successfully use the social marketing techniques we discuss. Often, they share a helpful tip that will make your social media life easier.

If you have a limited budget, focus your explorations on the free or low-cost tools and resources that appear in various tables, instead of enterprise-level options, which are designed for large companies with large marketing budgets. Sometimes, however, a tool with a moderate price tag can save you lots of time or expensive labor.

You can skip any of the Books III, IV, V, or VI on individual social media services (blogs, vlogs, podcasts, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn) if you don’t include them in your social media marketing plan. If you decide to add one or more of them later, simply return to that book for freestanding information. Of course, if you’re looking for a thorough understanding of the social media whirl, read the book straight through, from cover to cover. You’ll find out all about social media — at least until a totally new service launches tomorrow.

Foolish Assumptions

In our heads, we visualize our readers as savvy small-business owners, marketers in companies of any size, and people who work in any of the multiple services that support social media efforts, such as advertising agencies, Web developers, graphic design firms, copywriting, or public relations. We assume that you

Already have or will soon have a Web site or blog that can serve as the hub for your online marketing program

Are curious about social media because it seems to be everywhere

Are comfortable using keywords on search engines to find information online

Know the realities of your industry, though you may not have a clue whether your competitors use social media

Can describe your target markets, though you may not be sure whether your audience is using social media

Are trying to decide whether using social media makes sense for your company (or your boss has asked you to find out)

May already use social media personally and are interested in applying your knowledge and experience

May already have tried using social media for your company but want to improve results or measure return on your investment

Have a passion for your business, appreciate your customers, and enjoy finding new ways to improve your bottom line

If our assumptions are correct, this book will help you organize a social marketing presence without going crazy or spending all your waking hours online. It will help you figure out whether a particular technique makes sense, how to get the most out of it, and how to measure your results.

How This Book Is Organized

We’ve built this book like a sandwich: The first two and last two books are overviews of marketing or business issues, or of social media tools and techniques. The four books in the middle are how-to manuals for incorporating blogs, podcasts or vlogs, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn into your social media marketing campaign.

Like most For Dummies books, this one enables you to get as much (or as little) information as you need at any particular moment on a specific topic. You can return to it as a reference guide at any time. However, unless you’re certain that you’re interested only in a specific social marketing service covered in Books III through VI, we recommend that you read Book I first to establish your goals, objectives, and schedule for social media marketing.

For information on a specific topic, check the headings in the table of contents or look at the index.

Book I: The Social Media Mix

Book I gets you off on the right foot. Chapter 1 explains what social media services are, individually and collectively, categorizes the overwhelming number of social media options by type, and explores how social media are the same and different from other forms of online and offline marketing. In the next two chapters, you define your own marketing goals, objectives, and methods for social media and research where your target audiences “hang out.” This book includes three key planning forms: the Social Media Marketing Goals form, to establish the purpose of your campaign; the Social Media Marketing Plan, to select and document your tactics; and the Social Media Activity Calendar, to assign and schedule tasks.

Book II: Cybersocial Tools

Implementing and tracking social media marketing campaigns across multiple services is a daunting task. In the first chapter of Book II, we offer a variety of productivity tools to help you post content in multiple locations, notify search engines, and monitor your growing social notoriety. The second chapter deals in depth with integrating social media into a coordinated search engine optimization strategy, and the third deals with social bookmarking, social news, and social sharing as new methods of viral marketing.

Book III: Blogs, Podcasts, and Vlogs

In Book III, we show you how to set up a blog and create posts, procure the necessary hardware and software to create your own podcast, and determine which software and hardware you need in order to create a video blog. We also give you information about picking the right Web server, or securing a third party to host your blog, podcast, or vlog, and we give you information on how to gauge your success.

Book IV: Twitter

Twitter is one of the hottest social media spots on the Web. You send your message out, 140 characters at a time, to the people you’re following. We show you how to use Twitter to market your goods and services. In Book IV, we show you how to get started on Twitter and network with a group of people who may become clients. We also show you how to customize your Twitter page and how to tweet (Twitterspeak for “create a post”) using mobile devices.

Book V: Facebook

At the happy online community Facebook, you can find schoolkids talking about the latest singing sensation, soccer moms talking about their kids, and major businesses marketing their products. Facebook is indeed a viable tool for marketing virtually any product or service. In Book V, we show you how to set up a Facebook page for your business and show you how to use the many Facebook features at your disposal. We also show you how to create custom tabs, add photos and videos to your page, show your blog posts on Facebook, and more.

Book VI: LinkedIn

At LinkedIn, professionals network with other professionals. You can use LinkedIn to find clients for your services, establish relationships with businesses that support your industry, and more. In Book VI, we show you how to establish an account and set up your LinkedIn page, and we even show you how to mine gold with LinkedIn.

Book VII: Other Social Media Marketing Sites

In addition to the “big guys” covered in the Books III through VI are hundreds of social media services with smaller audiences. Some of them compete for a general audience, and some focus on narrowly targeted vertical markets. Book VII, which analyzes the value of working with smaller services and surveys many options, also includes chapters on Ning platforms for building communities, MySpace for social networking, Squidoo for topical blogs, and Flickr for photosharing.

Book VIII: Measuring Your Results; Building on Your Success

Book VIII returns to business principles with several chapters on important measurement tools: analytics to assess the performance of your social media campaign in Web terms and return on investment to assess its performance in financial terms. We discuss the integration of social media into other forms of online marketing, and the last chapter in this book concludes with a survey of up-and-coming social media techniques you might consider using in the future.

Icons Used in This Book

To make your experience easier, we use various icons in the margins to identify special categories of information.

tip.epsThese hints help you save time, energy, or aggravation. Sharing them is our way of sharing what we’ve figured out the hard way — so that you don’t have to. Of course, if you prefer to get your education through the school of hard knocks, be our guest.

remember.eps This book has more details in it than any normal person can remember. This icon reminds you of points made elsewhere in the book or perhaps helps you recall business best practices that you know from your own experience.

warning_bomb.eps Heed these warnings to avoid potential pitfalls. Nothing we suggest will crash your computer beyond repair or send your marketing campaign into oblivion. But we tell you about business and legal pitfalls to avoid, plus a few traps that catch the unprepared during the process of configuring social media services. Not all those services create perfect user interfaces with clear directions!

technicalstuff.eps The geeky-looking Dummies Man marks information to share with your developer or programmer — unless you are one. In that case, have at it. On the other hand, you can skip any of the technical-oriented information without damaging your marketing plans or harming a living being.

Conventions Used in This Book

Doing something the same way over and over again may be boring, but consistency makes information easier to understand. In this book, those consistent elements are conventions. We use only a few:

When URLs (Web addresses) appear within a paragraph or table, they look like this: www.dummies.com.

New terms appear in italics the first time they’re used, thanks to the copy editor.

Navigation on Web sites appears as tab or option names in sequence, to indicate the order in which you should make selections, such as choose Tab NameChoice OneChoice Two.

Any text that you have to type is in bold.

Where to Go from Here

You can find helpful information on the companion Web site for this book at www.dummies.com/go/socialmediamarketingaio. From the site, you can download copies of the Social Media Goals and Social Media Marketing Plan forms, which you can use to develop your own marketing plans. You can also find an online Cheat Sheet to print and keep handy near your computer at www.dummies.com/cheatsheet/socialmediamarketingaio.

If you find errors in this book, or have suggestions for future editions, please e-mail us at books@watermelonweb.com. We wish you a fun and profitable experience going social!

Please note that some special symbols used in this ePub may not display properly on all eReader devices. If you have trouble determining any symbol, please call Wiley Product Technical Support at 800-762-2974. Outside of the United States, please call 317-572-3993. You can also contact Wiley Product Technical Support at www.wiley.com/techsupport.

Book I

The Social Media Mix

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Contents at a Glance

Chapter 1: Making the Business Case for Social Media

Making Your Social Debut

Defining Social Media Marketing

Understanding the Benefits of Social Media

Understanding the Cons of Social Media

Integrating Social Media into Your Overall Marketing Effort

Developing a Strategic Social Media Marketing Plan

Chapter 2: Plotting Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Locating Your Target Market Online

Segmenting Your B2C Market

Researching B2B Markets

Conducting Other Types of Market Research Online

Setting Up Your Social Marketing Worksheet

Chapter 3: Managing Your Cybersocial Campaign

Managing Your Social Media Schedule

Building Your Social Media Marketing Dream Team

Creating a Social Media Marketing Policy

Staying on the Right Side of the Law

Protecting Your Brand

Chapter 4: Joining the Conversation

Lurking and Listening

Minding Your Social Media P’s & Q’s

Engaging Your Audience

Staying Engaged