By Kristin Hersant, VP of corporate marketing, StrongMail
What was once regarded as just a craze has now evolved into something far too potent to be ignored; social media has essentially changed the way in which we communicate as marketers.
However, if your campaign isn’t successful it could result in confusion, turning customers off and a lot of negative publicity. By spending time planning your online marketing strategy you will soon be reaping the benefits.
- Have a clear, measurable goal. This doesn’t need to be profit orientated – brands are still struggling with how to best quantify social media marketing in ROI terms. Improved SEO, prospect list growth, and improved relationships with current customers are all reasonable social media marketing goals, and can be measured?
- Consistency is key. This takes more work than you might think. Decide what your tone will be. Know what should and shouldn’t be emphasised online. Also be sure to have a quality check for tone and messaging before anything is published.
- Be conversational. And brief. People expect online communications to be informal and short. Link to longer material like a web page or a whitepaper.
- Go where your customers are. Search for topics related to your business to see how people are talking about your company. Your customers will likely be willing to share their social behaviors; so don’t forget to ask them.
- Make it easy to find more information about your company. Well, that is the whole point of all marketing, isn’t it? Include links back to your site in social media communications, and remember it’s all about balance and the goal is to participate in conversations don’t just self promote.
- Share relevant links. Social media is popular because it enables people to find and share information that they value. By all means, link to your company’s whitepapers, but also show that you’re engaged in a wider conversation by sharing blogs, news stories and other relevant information. And always, always link to sources. There is great potential for the spread of misinformation in social media, so back up your assertions as often as possible.
- No one likes talking to a brick wall. The “social” part of social media is its greatest – and most often unexplored – potential. Not too long ago, most marketing was about talking to your potential customer. Most people these days rightly expect that you will talk with them. If you don’t, you’ll be perceived as, well, unsocial.
- Be active. There’s no such thing as too much or too little communication, but you won’t get anywhere if information is only flowing one way. Participate daily, even if that means responding to comments or adding to a conversation.
- Don’t give up. Go back to #1 above. If you’re not getting the results you want, try new ways to engage your intended audience. The web makes it easy to reinvent your message and try new social media marketing strategies.
For social media training, contact the experts at The Knowledge Engineers who can help you to achieve social media success.
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