So, you think social media can solve all your problems? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the fact is, social media is only as good as the marketing plan it is based upon.
That’s right, you need a plan.
Social media marketing is based on the idea of making the most of cutting edge digital media tools to help promote and endorse your brand. That doesn’t mean it is a cure-all for what ails you. It means it can help you achieve real goals as part of a broader, concerted effort. Thinking that social media is the answer to all your problems and all you need is a Twitter account and a Fan page is simply wrong.
When it comes to getting the most from your social media network imagine you are creating a marketing plan using just the phone book and the local newspaper. What messages would you want to put out there? Who be ready to answer the phone when it rang and what would they say? With social media you need to answer those same questions and have a plan in place to make it happen, over and over and over again.
I have watched many companies embark on social media marketing plans that amount to only so much pomp and circumstance and not much real-world results. You aren’t in business to create fairy tales unless you are Disney. Chances are you have well defined goals and possibly a group of investors you need to please on a regularly basis. Social media can help you achieve those goals but only when you use it properly.
So, the next time you see a new social media tool come along don’t just jump after it like a dog chases a car. Ask yourself how it might help your brand, how you might benefit and what you need to do to make the most of it.
Remember, without a plan, you’re lost.
While one criticism of creating a social image, and upping interaction on that front, is the risk of making mistakes and having negative reposes is a real concur, 54% of global companies say that the rewards outweigh the risks — a 2-to-1 trump over those that think the risks outweigh the rewards.
“While there are inherent risks in socializing a brand, it is no longer an option to go without a social presence,” said Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist, Weber Shandwick, in a statement. “Now, more than ever, executives need to harness this opportunity to connect with customers, facilitate a conversation and encourage feedback. Their reputations and livelihood depend on it.”
Audi has been one of the leaders in creating a strong social presence that is related but noticeably different from its traditional marketing efforts. Audi has partnered with a social media wonderkin Klout to reach influential people in the field of design and cars. They often run contests and promotions solely on their Facebook or Twitter to test drive or design elements of the car. They also create original content such as desktop graphics that followers can download.
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