blog: Social Media Marketing

September 6, 2011

Creating Social Media Marketing that Works

Kari-Lynn O’Neil —social media Strategist

social media marketingWhen I meet marketing professionals who tell me social media isn't part of their marketing and advertising mix because it doesn't work for them, my brain kind of does a short circuit for a moment. (I think of those cartoons where springs are bouncing around inside my head). Once a compose myself, I ask, "Why isn't it working? Facebook, for example is now the most visited site in the US, with 1 out of 3 internet users having a Facebook account. Half of them log in every day, 35 million update their status and 100 million access Facebook via mobile phones." (This is when I imagine springs bouncing around their heads.)

Our personal experience with social media marketing is not only does it work on its own, it also boosts the ROI on traditional media (radio, billboards, print). And it's not just for big brands. One of our clients, a single location retail boutique, reached 1700% ROI by leveraging our tactics of integrating social media with traditional marketing media.

So if your social media marketing isn't working for you, here's a few thoughts as to why that might be happening:

  1. You are one of the 41% who did not develop a social media strategy. Posting without a game plan, not understanding your audience, not measuring results...these are a recipe for disaster. Establishing a social media strategy (or developing one with a strategist) can ensure you're investing your marketing budget in the right area, reaching the right audiences at the right time and increase your revenue.
  2. Although tools like Facebook and Twitter are free, it doesn't give you permission to be sloppy. There is a big difference between a full color ad in Vogue Magazine and those flyers stuck on your windshield when you get back to your car. The same is true for social media. Your best customer sees a difference when landing on a professionally run blog or Facebook page and will pop off just as fast as you crumple up windshield fodder. Does your social media experience do your brand justice?
  3. It's not really all about you. Seriously. Get over yourself. If you're one of those businesses that's using social as a dumping ground for sale announcements, blathering on about your accomplishments and posting about how great you are, then no wonder you're failing. Who wants to socialize with a "friend" like that? Fans hate that. This is where strategy comes in.
  4. Measurement — we collect data for a reason. The ability to drive highly targeted audiences to your Facebook page inexpensively, manage them through customer loyalty programs, collect data to determine what programs are most effective and utilize them in bigger ways is what makes social media a dream. Imagine being able to cut inventory waste by buying what your best customers told you they loved and never having to put it on sale because they were so excited by the premiere it sold out at an in store event for fans only? Being able to read data and tie it in with social media strategy can create mind boggling promotions that drive fan loyalty through the roof, increase brand recognition and of course have a big impact on sales. Plus it helps take the guess work out of decisions like "do I need to invest in a new website with x feature?" The data collection is useless if you aren't driving and maintaining the proper audience.

The possibilities for integrating social media with traditional advertising are very exciting and depending on your business, you could implement a program and get results the same day. With the holiday sales season coming up, there is time to make a big impact on the year and get things in order for 2012. Waiting until your competition has it's social media marketing act together is too late. Your best customers will be loyal to them and statistics show people don't typically chose to be loyal to more than one competitor. Don't believe me? Ask Pepsi.

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