Social Media Marketing Tools: Getting Started (Part 3)
In Parts 1 & 2 of this “Getting Started” series we discussed some initial steps to take in managing your social media marketing online. We talked about how to listen to your community to grow your community- today we’d like to discuss an important choice that many overlook when starting their social media campaigns.
Imaging walking into a board room and asking your investors, “Which social networks should we use for marketing?”
If the year is 2008 most would probably answer, “MySpace!” and maybe a few would mention that new “Twitter” they heard about celebrities using. In 2012 a lot of folk would raise their hand and shout out, “Facebook! Twitter!” and maybe a few folks in the nicest suits might whisper “LinkedIn”.
All of these people would be wrong, as Obi-Wan would suggest, “From a certain point of view.”
Social Media is more than just name brand networks. Social Media, in marketing, is a term to define a dynamic relationship between the merchant and the customer facilitated by a digital intermediary. Sounds complicated, but its not (we promise).
So what is the “correct” answer to the question above?
The correct answer comes from the thoughtful social marketer in the corner who raises his hand and shouts, “We use the network that our research shows our customers engage most actively!”
Many times this answer might mean the “network-du-jour”, but not always. Social Media Marketing is like any other marketing in that it requires you to research your potential customers, craft a compelling message and deliver it in a way which is interesting to your potential customers. Blindly going on the “biggest network” (which in 2012, is by and large Facebook) might seem to make the most sense because you have the most potential readers for your online message from within that network. However, that’s not always the best use of your time.
Imagine taking out a hundred foot high electronic billboard ad in Times Square. Sounds good, right? Millions of people go to Times Square every day, some of them go just to see the glitzy lights and massive advertisements. However, if you’re taking out a massive ad in NY and your business is a local flower shop in Idaho you’re going to see no return on that investment, even if a million people a day see your advertisement.
On The Social Network Dujour you might find a million followers, but you want the right followers. So do your research! Look into your market, use online tools and your own judgement to find out exactly where your ideal customers congregate online. In our next blog we’ll talk about how to go about actually finding those communities and discuss specific tools you can use to locate and target your idea social network.