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Webucator's Free Introduction to Social Media Tutorial

Lesson: Additional Resources

Welcome to our free Introduction to Social Media tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's Introduction to Social Media Training course.

In this lesson, you'll learn about some additional tools you can integrate into your social media approach.

Lesson Goals

  • Learn about using webinars.
  • Learn about blog talk radio opportunities.
  • Learn about question/answer websites.
  • Learn about social bookmarking websites.
  • Learn about document sharing websites.

Webinars

Offering free webinars can be a great way to get the attention of target customers for 30 to 60 minutes.

Here are some ways you might use webinars to promote your company:

  1. Host webinars to launch new products or services.
  2. Make recorded webinars available on your website so people who couldn't see them live benefit from them too.
  3. Consider using a service like Stealth Seminar which auto-plays recorded webinars that feel like they are live.
  4. Send the list of webinar attendeesto your sales team for further follow-up.

Webinar services:

  • Cisco WebEx
  • Go-To-Meeting
  • Adobe Connect
  • Live Meeting

Tips for creating a good webinar:

  1. Make the first five minutes engaging! If you lose them early, you won't get them back.
  2. Establish expectations for the webinar so that attendees will know what will be covered.
  3. On your signup form, ask attendees to submit any questions that they hope to have addressed during the webinar.
  4. Visually engage attendees by having the presenter share his/her computer screen or present slides that contain interesting graphics.
  5. Rehearse and check audio.
  6. Get the audience involved by hosting polls, encouraging questions, and starting conversations in the chat box.
  7. Record the webinar to send to anyone who was unable to attend.

Blog Talk Radio

Using blog talk radio, or similar sites such as iTunes, your company can host both live and prerecorded shows. Consumers like interactive content these days and this could be a good fit for your needs.

Consider the screenshot below from Blog Talk Radio:

This is a popular website that allows users to create their own online radio station. Not only will your content be readily available to website visitors, but also notice the bottom bar where there are ways for users to then share your content.

If you are in a customer support role, you might encourage clients to use the radio show as a regular resource to learn the best practices for using your product.

Meetup.com and User Groups

If your company offers a product or service that involves enough user interest where they have started local and online groups, Meetup.com and user group sponsorships are a great marketing tool.

On Meetup, groups connect online and then meet locally at regular intervals to discuss their related topics of choice. Companies will sponsor their groups through a cash investment or a product giveaway for their meetings. Check out the screenshot below:

The image above shows the list of sponsors that are supporting one Meetup.com group. These sponsors receive exposure on the group's page (with possibly some SEO benefit), and usually, exposure at the physical group's meetings as well. So, Meetup.com is another opportunity for exposure for your company.

Similar to Meetup.com, if your company offers a product or service that involves enough user interest to gather groups of people, you might consider sponsoring user groups.

If your potential user groups are large enough, they may have a stand-alone group website. And by sponsoring their group with either a cash investment or product donation(s), you will get exposure on their website. Consider the screenshot below:

This example is from a computer user group that Webucator sponsors by offering free training certificates to give away at the user group's meetings. You'll notice the SEO opportunity here because the group is providing a desirable text link while sharing Webucator's support with their members.

When possible, always request text links versus a logo in exchange for your sponsorship. They are better for SEO.

Question/Answer Sites

Many people turn to the web for answers to their questions. There are now social sites for asking questions and getting answers from other users.

Quora is a popular site that shows you the questions your friends are asking/answering, as well as any answers that your friends have "voted" for as a good answer.

You can also search directly for topics that interest you.

Other question/answer sites include:

  1. Yahoo! Answers
  2. Allexperts.com
  3. Ask Answers
  4. ChaCha
  5. Experts Exchange (Tech-only Q&A)
  6. Stack Overflow (Tech-only Q&A)

Social Bookmarking Sites

The web is an excellent place for sharing resources. Social bookmarking sites allow you to share articles with others. Users can then vote on whether they liked the article or not, and share it with their network.

Companies can promote their articles on these sites, as shown below:

Social bookmarking sites include:

  • Digg
  • Reddit
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Pinterest

Document Sharing Sites

There are numerous document sharing sites where your company can host PDF's, presentations, reports, and more.

SlideShare is a popular sharing tool for your presentations. Users will be able to find your presentations by searching directly within the platform, on your employee LinkedIn profiles, or internally on your own websites.

Consider the screenshot below:

You will notice that not only is your presentation readily available on the site, but there are also social sharing opportunities on the top right.

Specific to magazine-type presentations, a popular site is Issuu. This site allows you to take a PDF and turn it into an interactive presentation. Similar to SlideShare, your content can then be found directly on the platform, or on your own website.

Check out this screenshot:

Similar to our other examples, your presentations can also be easily shared via social media channels.

Discovering New Opportunities

Duration: 15 to 25 minutes.

In this exercise, you will discover additional opportunities for promoting your products and services.

Consider the opportunities discussed in this lesson. From the resources listed below, come up with one or two ideas for promoting your product.

  1. Webinars: Develop a webinar topic that would be helpful to your clients while promoting a new product.
  2. Blog Talk Radio: Develop an idea for a talk radio show. What news and issues will you address?
  3. Question/Answer Sites: Which topics will you target?
  4. Social Bookmarking Sites: Which blog topics would be most popular on these sites? Are there already related article topics featured on these sites?
  5. Document Sharing Sites: Does your company have catalogs, eBooks, or presentations that might be popular on these sites? Would it be helpful to your clients to make certain presentations available on these sites?

Next Steps

These are all additional options for you to consider for your overall social media planning for your company! As this lesson illustrates, the opportunities for social media engagement continue to grow with the development of new sites and tools. We recommend starting your social media efforts with the largest social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc. Nevertheless, these other resources offer access to niche audiences and provide alternative formats for spreading content related to your products. Consider how you might use a blend of social media resources to reach your audience.