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Posts Tagged ‘social media’

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

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How Social Media is Perceived at Budget Time


A financial commitment to overcome challenges and achieve social marketing success:
Depending on the size and type of your organization, this may simply require a thumbs‐up from your boss or demand a full scale lobbying campaign to win over skeptics and gain the support of an executive committee. But winning financial support for social marketing is no different than winning support for any other business initiative – you have to prove its value to the organization.

How Social Media is Perceived at Budget Time - Chart

Considering that social marketing is at a very early stage in its life cycle, a 7% confidence rating indicating it is producing measurable ROI and should be funded liberally is outstanding.

Conservative budget increases by half of all organizations and budget time, based on the promise that social media will eventually produce ROI, demonstrate another vote of confidence in the tactic for the longer term.

The 17% of organizations who still believe social media marketing is basically free, and should stay that way, are destined to get what they pay for.

Source: Marketing Sherpa

Increasing Reach through Social Sharing


SUMMARY: In this week’s chart, we analyze the perceptions marketers have of social sharing in achieving a number of email marketing objectives, such as extending the reach of email content to new markets, increasing brand reputation and awareness, and increasing the ROI of email programs.

by Sergio Balegno, Research Director

Sherpa Chart - Increasing Reach through Social Sharing
Click here to see a larger, printable version of this chart

Social sharing allows email recipients to share email content on popular social networks and other social media sites. It is a rapidly emerging email tactic and, as this chart shows, about eight in 10 marketers agree that social sharing “extends the reach of email content to new markets” and “increases brand reputation and awareness.”

We dedicated a chapter of the 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Report to a special report on this topic with insights from marketers on strategies unique to social sharing. Many have already learned some valuable lessons.

For example, one marketer told us, “As with any messaging intended to build a relationship with prospective customers, the email content shared on social media sites must NOT be sales oriented. We began sharing content that was heavily geared toward promotion. This was not effective in the social environment. We now concentrate on educational and informational topics that our prospects and customers will find interesting rather than on aggressive selling information. This is building a preference for our brand within the social communities we are reaching.”

Source: Marketing Sherpa