How to add social media to your marketing mix
The world of social media can seem very intimidating, especially for managers and business owners who may have heard of Facebook and blogs but never actually participated in them and don’t really know how they work – or more importantly, their value in the marketing mix.
So when Richard MacManus, founder of ReadWriteWeb, a blog that provides news, reviews and analysis on web technology and has around 275,000 RSS and email subscribers, made his 2009 web predictions, he was not. surprisingly many of them involve social networks. . Some of his predictions included the addition of social media features by iTunes, Facebook signing up to OpenSocial, the introduction of apps with plugins for Twitter and Facebook, and media experimenting with different types of online advertising. (with their own social networks maybe?)
So you know you need to add social media and social media to your marketing mix for 2009, but where do you start? Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Digg, Twitter, Ning – the list of sites is endless. But which ones are right for you? It all depends on which ones are right for your client.
So much choice, so little time.
Like any other marketing promotion, your social media program needs a strategy that includes measuring your ROI. A lot of people get more involved with social networking sites and blogs just because they’ve heard about them, like Facebook and MySpace. Instead, you have to think about what you want to accomplish here. Looking to connect with existing customers? Do you want to find qualified and quality leads? Are you hoping that your existing customers can open the door to social media to new opportunities? Are you going to interact and interact with your customers online or just post ideas and thoughts? Do you hope to collect new ideas on your social network or will you be called upon to be the think tank of the group? Once you have determined the reasons Why you want to integrate social media into your marketing plans, the next step is to join a few.
Creation of your profile.
Clicking on a site like Facebook or LinkedIn can be a little intimidating at first. You have no “connections” (people who are viewing your profile or who you have found links with), your profile is bare and you wonder why anyone would want to connect with you online. Take the time to browse the profile section of the site.
Remember, think about who you want to connect with and network with. Then tailor your profile so that the customers you want find you. Do you want to engage with groups looking for innovative technologies? Will you be the leader of a group that offers advice and strategies for the latest CRM technologies? What makes you a Super VAR? By reading your profile, a customer or a new prospect will know immediately based on what you write.
Make the connections.
Now is the time to start looking for people you know within the network. This will give you the opportunity to explore the site with people you know and trust. Allow yourself to feel comfortable with how the social part of the network works. Remember, everyone was a beginner, so make a connection with those who can help you early on. LinkedIn is a site for building business relationships. Twitter lets you follow someone or be followed. Facebook and MySpace offer community atmospheres. You will be amazed at how many people you meet who are interested in the same things as you. Look for like-minded people and like-minded people.
Just like at a 4th of July party or picnic, you’ll start chatting with someone and who knows where the conversation will go. Social media is quite simply an incredible marketing tool for fostering current customer relationships and finding new ones. Who are you related to?