The biggest companies in the world leverage social marketing, and so should every small business. But that’s not as simple as it might seem. Here are three light-bulb moments to help with this.
Different from almost any other marketing medium, social streams are sacred ground — even more so when on mobile — and should be respected as such. Keep this at the forefront of the strategy because useless information will not be tolerated on these platforms.
“Unlike,” “block,” “mark as spam,” and negative comments are only a click away. It should be assumed that these consumers have a certain level of affinity or interest, and that they are open to a wide range of brand posts.
The light-bulb moment: A thoughtful content strategy that balances these considerations is required. Mutual value is the rule, not the exception.
THE MOMENT IS FLEETING
Marketers must realize that the effectiveness of posts — especially on Facebook and Twitter — fades quickly. Usually within hours of posting, content has already peaked and begun to trend downward. Even the most viral of posts last only a few days and, unlike other marketing mediums, the same content can’t be republished to a consumer’s social stream. The posts need to change even if they’re for the same product.
The light-bulb moment: Unlike banner ads or other traditional digital marketing approaches, posts don’t grow in effectiveness. Marketers must have a multi-tiered posting strategy for every campaign, and emphasize a consistent cadence with new content.
SCALING THE DIALOG
It is a profound paradox that it’s difficult to scale reach on the world’s largest social networks. This is mostly because the networks need to control “organic” reach so they can charge for extended reach. To influence significant numbers of people via social streams, businesses need to aggregate large fan communities and, in many cases, pay per post or share to increase a campaign’s scope to existing fans, friends of fans, and beyond.
To pay and scale the conversation, marketers must first know that the ad unit equivalent in social media is the “post,” which includes Facebook status updates, tweets on Twitter, or pins on Pinterest. Those units are not only unique across networks but also come in multiple formats. Plus, the networks always seem to be developing new ones. Some of these can be promoted with media dollars to increase reach and effectiveness.
Successful social-media advertising requires integrated strategies that consider how organic, earned, and paid media work with content and interactivity to drive outcomes. They’re all inexorably intertwined and must be planned and executed accordingly.
The light-bulb moment: To drive real business outcomes, native posts with links to your site won’t cut it. Marketers must consider strategies that include targeted reach, rich media and interactivity, amplification and appropriate social/mobile conversion events. Couple that with Nielsen’s consumer trend data, and the argument to create interactive campaigns in the social stream really becomes common sense.
By Brandon Steiger, president & The Big Idea Guy of Synergema