If you want to succeed on one or more social networks, you need a social media strategy. Marketers have been using strategies for years to get great results.
Not since the rise of the Internet has the creation of a new media being so divisive. Social media is no different. And this is why you need a strategy.
Social interaction has radically shifted how we engage with our friends, colleagues, and associates.
Doomsday prophets have proclaimed this is the end. Evangelists have proclaimed a brave new world for us all. But as a marketer and business owner you just have to embrace Social Media and use it to your advantage.
Starting a Social Media Strategy
Social Media is a new way to reach a new audience or another way to reach the same audience.
One of your biggest challenges is finding uncluttered market places in which to engage with your prospective customers.
If you were one of the early adopters of social media in your market means you were there first and are now hard to displace.
For example, you don’t have to be the first ever accountant into the total market. You just have to be the first one in for your geography and market segment.
Social media allows more targeted discussion(s) with your market(s). For businesses, they can now target more precisely at lower marketing cost. You can reach a remarkably high number of prospects for a low $ investment.
There is a whole case study that has been written on this specific targeting technique. The Obama campaign for both elections 2008 in particular, was where his social media strategy played a prominent role in winning him the election.
By the way, the guy who did Obama’s social media in the 2008 election went on to help the Torrie Party in the UK a couple of years later.
To kick things off with your social media strategy you need to clearly define your market and figure out what the market wants. This has to be the starting point. And don’t guess – find out from your target market by asking them what they want.
Social Media is a Form Of Sales Proof.
Have you ever watched an infomercial? If not, shame on you- especially if you work in marketing and sales or own a business.
I ask you because they always, and I mean ALWAYS show testimonials to prove that their exercise-whachamajiggit works. That it can help you lose weight is totally confirmed by the testimonials.
They are ‘real folks’ with their real problems. They tell you that all of your problems will be solved if you just do like they did. In just a few short months you will have the body you always wanted, just buy the product.
In the social media arena, if you have good products and services your customers will tell you. They will tell everyone.
If they tell you that something sucks they will tell you that too. And again everyone gets to see that also.
Social media has spawned a whole industry called ‘reputation management’. This is to make sure that dissatisfied customers are more controlled. To avoid them totally ruining your business.
This has given rise to a counter industry. One where your competition will hire ‘reputation attack firms’ to damage their competition’s brands.
That is still only in the big end of town and it’s a risk for the social media companies to allow this to continue. After all who’d want to be on social media if it was a guarantee of reputation damage.
99% of the time what you see is real. Real feedback, from real customers. Which can be great news or not so good news.
The feedback will be seen and checked out by other potential buyers of your products and services. If your reviews are positive, then that means people checking you out will respond positively. They are more likely to buy.
So, a core part of your social media strategy is to figure out how you can push testimonials. Of course, you need to collect them first. And, let me tell you, video testimonials work far better than written ones.
Social Media Needs Ongoing Management
If you are going to “do” social media it is an ongoing commitment. You’ve got to commit to producing content.
And before you produce content, you have to plan what content to push on which channel. This is the last part of your strategy – the plan for content.
Some businesses will be able to escape having to do it – the ones whose customers aren’t using it. For the rest of us we will find that our customers expect us to have a presence there. If we don’t our competitors will and they will woo your customers.
Social media is live ‘24/7/365’. That means when a customer posts you need someone who is going to respond for you if you can’t do it yourself.
This is what I mean by on-going management. If you set up your social media and expect it to take care of itself you are cruising for a bruising.
Launching your company into the social media arena means someone in-house doing it. Or you may prefer to hire an outsourced specialist.
Social Media is not an Island
Are you are thinking it’s time to get your social media house in order? If so it needs to be done as part of getting your marketing house in order. Here at Melbourne Marketing Solutions we can diagnose your current Social Media standing. We will also evaluate all the other elements of your marketing strategy. We can then put together a plan of what you need to succeed.