Social media can give you a huge marketing opportunity, but most companies struggle with their company’s social strategy, that is if they even have a marketing strategy at all. But in SM this is more because the rules are rather foggy. Marketers need to understand engaging with consumers and not worry about negative publicity. They're not sure how to start conversations and manage comments.
Successful SM programs don't have to be a problem. Start with sitting down and setting clear goals. This includes putting a face on the brand or company. People buy from people not logos! Make your program fun and relevant, and guide your followers into a buy option to tactical postings and conversation on solving a problem. Design your program to use minimal time and valuable resources to maximize ROI.
Visitors to your Social Media site should be invited to ask questions about your company and services. Feed this into Facebook and Twitter, optimize for major search engines and linked back to your company's Social Media site(s).
For companies that want to maximize their social media ROI, I recommend 5 basic rules for Social Media Marketing engagement:
1) Take charge. Build a sense of community and humanize your brand by engaging customers.
2) Help consumers out. Enlist the help of your company’s experts or customers to provide useful information about your products & services. Loyal customers are your best advocates.
3) Utilize automation. A social media program doesn't need to bust your time or money budget. Make it efficient and workable.
4) Connect the program together. Integrate social media tactics with the rest of your marketing plan, including brand, PR, search, videos and promotions.
5) Measure results. In addition to counting followers, fans and tweets, be sure to track Web visitors and conversions from social media channels and above all sales.
Your brand can be positioned to take in a good ROI from social media if you take control of the online dialogue and design a program that is engaging, relevant, workable and measurable.
Larson Notes & Satire: Social media can work if you work it right. You need to follow your instincts and not always the experts. They might know how it works for them, but they are not you. You and your company are unique and you need to put your personal stamp on your SM marketing. The experts might be able to help you string it all together so you need to do less hands on work with interlinking but in the end it has to be your words and your engagement that makes the real difference.
Larson & Associates
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