Social Media Marketing

I have discussed social media marketing fundamentals, principles, and tips and here I want to follow up on my article on top brands that are use social media as a sales and marketing strategy by discussing and building on the strategies mentioned in the ENGAGEMENTdb report on the social media engagement of the world's top brands. While you may not have the size of staff or expertise in order to form a bona fide social media team within your business, you can nevertheless benefit from these strategies yourself and expand on them as you grow.

Social Media Marketing

The principles governing social media marketing do not change and the goal of large and small organizations alike is to build tips by using visibility and credibility to create trust. Rather than promoting your business directly as with traditional sales and marketing, you goal is to be social and add value for people and groups related to your field of expertise in a personable way. Your success in using social media as a business tool will come through regular interactions with new people one engagement at a time.

Get help with social media marketing or share your expertise and experiences!

Social Media Marketing FundamentalsSocial Media MKTG PrinciplesSocial Media MKTG TipsTop Social Media MKTG BrandsHow to Meet PeopleWhat is Internet Viral Marketing?Applying Internet Viral Marketing PrinciplesInternet Viral Marketing TipsInternet Viral Marketing SuccessesInternet Viral Marketing FlopsSales and Marketing for "You"Social Media Consultant

Social Media Marketing Strategy #1:
Choose Channels

In looking at the sheer number of social media channels available, it goes without saying that you must find your sweet spot and choose channels that work for you. A big part of this is finding social media sites where you connect and have fun. Starting off, you should not go out of your way to engage in ways that you are not used to (e.g. videos). Rather, get into the habit of visiting social media sites regularly and posting updates as well as connecting with new people.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #2:
Follow Protocol

Social Media Marketing

The most successful brands using social media are those companies who are engaged in a variety of social media and have deep levels of engagement with people wherever they are involved. You need to weigh how many social media sites you can actively participate on and then seek to engage in meaningful interactions and not just post random comments form time to time! Remember that quality relationships take time.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #4:
Quality vs. Quantity

Building on this point, it is not about how many ”tweets” or posts or updates you put out there but how valuable these are to the community in general. Don't be the person who is always initiating and seeking to control conversations, rather get involved in what is already happening and make meaningful contributions when the opportunity arises. The worst person in a social gathering is the one who is constantly talking whereas the most popular are good listeners!

Social Media Marketing Strategy #5:

Just like with traditional Integrated Marketing Communication, you need to make sure that your branding and messaging are unified across all of the sales and marketing channels you use, including social media channels. This includes both the timing and content of your interaction. That being said, social media requires social interactions and so do not just bring your standard marketing message into social media forums and conversations!

Social Media Marketing Strategy #6:
Don't Promote

I have written about this previously but it bears repeating that using social media is different from the promotion of traditional sales and marketing. Your goal is not to broadcast your message to as many people as possible but rather seek out and engage people who share similar values and interests to you. If you are big on promoting offers, one option used by some big companies is to have a separate social media page for deals (and others for general discussion). The centerpiece of your social media strategy, however, is to have meaningful interactions with others around your field of expertise.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #7:
Extend Your Brand

As and when possible, you should incorporate logos, colors and other elements of your brand onto your social media pages. This may be in the form of a background or custom designing a business page on one of the leading social media sites. That being said, do not simply transmit branding communications on social media sites as your approach needs to be conversational. Keep in mind, however, that you are a business professional and must therefore represent your brand as appropriate.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #8:

Social Media Marketing

Part of extending your brand is something which has been a part of sales and marketing for decades, which is to associate your brand with something other than your product(s) or service(s). This might be a cause and a good example of a company using social media in this way is Pepsi's Refresh Everything website where you can sign up to receive funding for a community-building idea. Are there local events, charities and other causes you can attach your brand to and promote through social media?

Social Media Marketing Strategy #9:
Be Personable

People want to interact with other people on social media sites which is why you should use real names and seek to be just like any other typical social media user. This is similar to using your name for email marketing instead of a generic business name and making sure that your communications are filled with personality. People want to get to know the human side of your business on social media sites and so always start with that first.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #10:
Daily Routine

You might set aside a few minutes each day for social media in which you update, comment, find new people or groups and generally interact with folks in a meaningful way. It is important that you make your visits to social media sites a regular occurrence, just like you use email and the phone. Social media is here to stay so get into the habit of using it every day. Take care to get back to people who message you and follow up on conversations just like you would do when you use other forms of business communication.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #11:
Extend Your Culture

Similarly, just like other forms of sales and marketing communication are embedded into the culture of your business, you should do the same for social media. This entails both making it a part of your regular communication planning and activity as well as migrating the social culture of your organization onto social media sites. Your ultimate goal is to create and interact with communities online who are similar to the customers and others you interact with in person and using more traditional forms of communication.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing Strategy #12:
Control Your Message

Personal social media usage is different from using social media for business. While you should always try and be as human and personable as possible, don't make the mistake that many general social media users make of sending out uninteresting, irrelevant or even annoying updates and messages to people. No one want to know how great the pizza you eating tastes or that you are stuck in traffic at the moment! Make sure that everything you say and do reflects and builds on your credibility as an expert in your line of business.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #13:

Do you have someone on your team who is an expert in a particular domain or just has a great personality and might be suited to helping build your brand through social media marketing? The most successful large companies have full-fledged social teams with large numbers of people engaging and interacting around their specific domains of expertise. The value of doing this is to make for variety and multiple touch points to the world of social media. You may also task an administrative person with the day-to-day management of your social media accounts.

Social Media Marketing Strategy #14:
Serve Customers

Social media is no longer just ”A Place for Friends” but a recognized forum for business as well. While it is true that the casual social media users make up the vast majority, businesses are using the medium as a professional communication tool for everything from customer service and support to gathering feedback and generally engaging with customers as they would over the phone or via email. Explore the power of social media as a unique business communication channel that gives you the opportunity to engage and interact with customers at a whole new level in new ways while serving them.

Get help with social media marketing or share your expertise and experiences!

Social Media Marketing FundamentalsSocial Media MKTG PrinciplesSocial Media MKTG TipsTop Social Media MKTG BrandsHow to Meet PeopleWhat is Internet Viral Marketing?Applying Internet Viral Marketing PrinciplesInternet Viral Marketing TipsInternet Viral Marketing SuccessesInternet Viral Marketing FlopsSales and Marketing for "You"Social Media Consultant

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