Social Alchemy Explained

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Alchemy: the word conjures up images of wizards and mad scientists concocting potent mystical potions – or valuable elements from common metals and chemicals. In a nutshell – creating something grand and powerful from smaller, less-significant parts.

Bear that imagery in mind now as I explain a concept which relates alchemy and social media marketing; Social Alchemy, if you will. This concept posits that there is a recipe, or brew, that can be concocted using existing social media outlets and methods, to maximize your social media marketing efforts.

Consider all the possible social media networks as the “ingredients” – the raw elements that can be assembled into the “cauldron” that is your online marketing strategy. As the chart below, entitled Social Alchemy: Periodic Table of Social Alchemy represents, those ingredients are like the elements on the Periodic Table used in chemistry. In Social Alchemy, those elements would include the usual suspects, like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, websites, blogs and all the other, probably thousands, of social networks on which folks share their information and interact with businesses online. Any alchemist worth her salt would have her shelves fully stocked with those elements, and she’d make good use of them to gain the most desirable results.

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Obviously, just one of those ingredients isn’t enough on its own – you’re looking to create something more valuable, born of a particular combination of the raw elements at your disposal. By applying the alchemist’s techniques, it’s a matter of combining just the right elements in just the right way, in just the right proportion, to create “gold.” And like an alchemist, keeping careful track of what you’ve tried and the results of each effort is a critical component for employing the scientific method. Information gained from your past efforts inform your future ones, making them potentially more successful.

Now that the available elements have been identified and charted, you begin experimentation, using the tools and methods of the trade.

Listen to an MP3 version (5:24) of this post, read by Debra Leitl:

Carefully consider these factors when working your social media alchemy:

  • Where are you accessible? – On what platforms do you have a social media presence? Are they the most appropriate for your business? Are you making the most of your efforts by providing varied, interesting and valuable information? Are you providing a human face to your company?
  • How are we accessible? Is your site mobile-friendly? Are you taking advantage of local social opportunities? Have you embraced the power of QR codes for making your information available to customers and potential ones?

In social media marketing terms, the “gold” you’re looking to create would be measurable in the form of follower engagement, increased click rate, conversions and whatever additional actions you’re tracking to assess your influence.

Here comes the payoff, though – the real alchemy. All those tracked activities directly correlate to search rank. Yep – all your efforts over so many platforms in so many different ways can actually net something of true value – ruling the SERPs! The sure way to gain more visitors to your sites and social media pages – by coming up higher in internet searches. Higher search rank results in higher visibility, greater authority and in turn, more customers! It’s the social media circle, completed.

Because every business is unique, your alchemist’s potion for social media success will be different than all others. Discovering the right combination of elements and procedures is paramount to achieving success using social media in your marketing efforts. Put a little Social Alchemy in your strategy and find your marketing gold!


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