Socila media strategies and the results from those strategies will vary from industry to industry and vary based on the specific goals. Most marketers are well aware of social media marketing but there is definitely some understanding and deeper knowledge needed to make it work well for you. Here are some frequently asked questions with basic answers to get you started. Remember, like anything else in marketing, your social media efforts must be simple, creative, relevant to your consumer, and have value.
Where should I start?
Start by doing some research on how your industry is currently using social media. Understand how the competition is doing it and if they are doing it well. Research what social platforms are most suited for your strategy. The most basic first step is to set up a FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, and YouTube account. Once you have these profiles set up, start searching for groups within the communities that are relevant to you and get involved in their discussions.
How do I keep my message both valuable and relevant but also get my service/product out there?
This is where the old 80/20 rule can apply well. Keep your contribution and value to the community around 80% and your more commercial promotions at about 20%. This will vary depending on what your goal is and what you are offering. For example, if your site is a resource for military families and you are not directly selling product, you can introduce this in your discussions easily and quickly without turning people off. But if you are selling a new skin care product, then you will want to be more tactful in your approach.
How do I measure my success?
There is the more basic high level way of seeing how your campaign is working by looking at how your base of followers, members, etc. are growing and what type of feedback and discussions you are generating. Then there is the more detailed analysis of how that buzz translates to “traffic” and sales or conversions. You will want to have on online platform such as a landing page or your website to be set up as your central hub for all your social media and Internet marketing efforts.
This sounds like it takes a lot of time, do I need a staff to do this?
There are of course a few options here. You can outsource your social media campaigns to industry experts such as a good Internet marketing company or social media company, or you can take a more simple approach and do it yourself. If you are going to do it yourself then it is best to first understand that it does take time and committment. Like anything else it requires consistency so a little bit every day is better than a whole bunch at once and then forgetting about it.
What resources are out there to help manage this?
Many of the sites such as Twitter have applications available to help manage your campaign with easy to use control panels (TweetDeck) showing who you are following, who is following you, your posts, the feedback, direct messaging, etc.
How should I orgainze my efforts if I am using many different channels?
All of this comes back to your landing pages or website. Make sure the message is consistent across all channels. Your website or landing pages should reflect the specific message you are sending to your audience. Natually it is great to always have a blog where people can come to read more information and you can tie everything to gether with one key information resource.