Social Media in the simplest sense is any site online where you can collaborate with other people and Social Media marketing is using those sites to increase visibility and build credibility for you or your brand. When you optimize your blog you make sure all the different parts work together to get the best or optimal use out of it.
The center of your Social Media marketing plan should be your fully optimized blog. Think of your marketing plan as a wheel and then your blog as the center of that wheel. At the end of each of the spokes are all your other social media sites. Now imagine a wheel with an infinite number of spokes because there is an endless number of social networking sites you can join.
The first ingredient for an optimized Blog is to know and use your keywords. Keywords are the words people use when searching for your niche online and it is important to know what yours are and then use them in the proper places such as in your titles and several times in the first paragraph of your content. The formula is to use your keywords once for every 100 words of content. Keyword research should be an ongoing process.
The next thing you need is on Opt-in box at the top left or right sidebar. This box is connected to a list management service and it is how you will build your list so it’s important that you have a valuable freebie that your visitors can’t refuse. It used to be that an ezine was enough to get sign ups but that is no longer the case. You need to give something away with a high perceived value to get people to opt-in.
To connect your visitors to your other social networking sites you need obvious buttons that take your visitor to your other sites. There are many places online to get free buttons that you can hyperlink to your other sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Buttons tend to work better than plain text hyperlinks.
An RSS feed is also very important so your visitors can sign up to read your blog every time you post. They can choose to read it in a reader or get email notification and read it there. I actually prefer to get my RSS as an email so I don’t have to check my reader.
You should show a list of 4-6 of your latest blog posts in the sidebar. Some people like to have the first paragraph of several blog posts on the first page of the blog and then a link for your visitor to click and read the rest of the post. Either way works fine.
Your goal is for your visitor to comment on your post so make it as easy as possible. If your comment box is always open it will encourage dialog. Make commenting as easy as possible. We live in a world where people have no attention spans so lots of visitors won’t take that extra step to click a comment button. Plus the open box is more inviting.
Finally there are many different feeds you can add to your sidebar. Remember your goal is massive visibility and to connect all your sites together. Feeds let your readers see what you have published elsewhere online. I have feeds for EzineArticles, my Tweets, and Friend Feed on my Blog.