Saturday, June 28, 2008

Social Media Marketing Mistakes #2

Posted by Kailee Brown | Filed Under Social Media News, Blog, Uncategorized

Social Media Marketing–Marketing with a twist
June 24, 2008 | Leave a Comment

As social media changes the way companies communicate with their audiences, there is one thing that we shouldn’t forget–Social media marketing is still marketing. The difference is, social media marketing targets audiences online where there is more noise, more competition, and more skepticism as to credibility. This means social media marketing campaigns need to be even more strategic than a regular old marketing plan. There are four important steps marketers take that we shouldn’t forget:

1) Conduct Research: You must still take the time to analyze your competition. Who are they? What are they doing online? Have they successfully (or unsuccessfully) used social media to reach your audience? Have they given your audience what they want? Or could you be even better? Second, you still have to know your audience. Not only who they are, but where they are online. Listen to the conversations. What is your audience talking about? What types of information are they looking for online? How are they finding it? How are you going to give them what they want and more?

2) Define your goals: You can’t measure success without definite goals. You need to know what you hope to get out of the campaign. If you’re a small company creating an internal social network, would 80% participation satisfy you? If you’re a national brand, would 10,000 hits to your website be enough for a positive ROI? Is it more important to have 10% of your visitors buy now or for there to be 100,000 visitors who keep coming back? A solid set of objectives will help define the marketing strategy.

3) Develop a Strategic Message and Method: While advertising campaigns are all about staying on message, social media marketing campaigns have a little more leeway. As we’ve said a hundred times, social media marketing is about conversations. And it is impossible to have true dialogue if you are constantly worried that the conversation may go off track. However, you have to keep in mind the purpose of that conversation. Online, word choice matters. When presenting your brand, keep in mind who might be looking for your information and how they may be looking for it. Is your audience searching in Google for health tips or on MySpace for something to do this weekend? The words you use will determine whether they find you.

4) Measure and Evaluate the Results: Social media is still relatively new, so we often don’t know how high to set the mark. If we can’t reach it, then maybe we set it too high? But then the question becomes, how do we reach that point? Did we set the bar too low? Of course, meeting and exceeding our goals make us feel good, but does this mean we could have done better?

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