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Archive for October, 2010

“Consultants Tell You What You Already Know; Only in a Fancy Presentation”


a consultant will help give a clear perspective on something that's already thereClassroom debates. Put a bunch of strong-minded individuals into a room and you’re bound to get many different, sometimes provoking, often equally valid comments. Read more…

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Using Social Media as a Business Marketing Strategy


social media isn't scary - honestIf you think Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the many other social media tools out there are only good for catching up on your mates’ latest escapades (or broadcasting your own), guess again. They offer an effective link to your target market and many businesses are using them successfully. Here’s how it can tie in with your marketing strategy.

1. Objectives that Social Marketing Programs achieve effectively

Social media suits branding objectives and encourages participation.

For example, Adventure Boot Camp launched a breast cancer initiative via their Facebook page. Fans are requested to upload a pink message on their profiles for a month to show their support for the cause. In so doing, ABC is enhancing their social responsibility stance and getting fans to actively engage with the ABC brand for a month. By including the ABC brand in the pink message, they’ll be spreading awareness of the company to their fans’ friends too.

2. Research your audience

Find out where they are. If you’re an advocate, you should check out where your target market is. Are they more likely to be on Facebook which is decidedly social? Or will they be more active on LinkedIn which is geared towards professionals? Where you go will impact on your company image too so make sure if you’re wearing a suit that you aren’t ending up at a baggies and bikini braai.

3. Tactics for the effective use of social media platforms

Types of social media include:
Blogging (on a company website or separate blog)
Pro: anyone can publish opinions and ideas and anyone can comment on these. Interaction and information sharing is greatly enhanced.

Micro-blogging (a well-known example is Twitter)
Pro: short messaging with immediacy – ideal for getting urgent action.

Social networking (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn)
Pro: profiles are not limited to people.

Multimedia content sharing (e.g. video via YouTube etc or podcasts [successful education tool])
Pro: creates personal interaction and in some cases, negates the need for a tedious written explanation which can be as difficult to read as it is to write.

Bookmarking, forums, social news sites
Pro: sharing content is easier if you participate in online forums and upload articles etc to bookmarking sites for greater reach.

4. Integration with other marketing tactics

Social media on its own is like a ship without an anchor. By its nature, social media is controlled by the audience and the discussion can be taken anywhere. This is a risky but useful fact. If you can weather the storms that social media can bring your way (in the form of negative experiences), you’re in for smooth sailing with a strong loyalty in your market.

The “anchor” would take over from the interaction at some point. For example, an email strategy or a solid website design that would convert visitors to perform an action (e.g. buy a book or sign up for a newsletter). Here’s how email marketing strategy can be improved using social media.

5. Putting the plan together

Avoid random acts of social. Have a plan and a purpose. Know what you want to get across by having a clear set of goals that social media must achieve within your overall marketing strategy and steer the conversation about your company / product.

Beware:
Not all businesses are suited to using social media and most will find only certain tactics useful.

Using social media involves long term time investment. Make sure you’re set up for it or don’t do it.

It may start off as a cheap method but costs will increase the more effort you put in. The results will show the input, however, and it’ll always be cheaper than traditional advertising on tv or print editorials.

In your communications, do not make sales pitches – engage your audience using education & information that’s interesting.

Need some help? I recommend this eBook.Social Media 101: Tactics and Tips to Develop Your Business Online (eBook)

Happy connecting!
Claudine at Triquetra Consulting