Three key pointers to make your social media marketing more effective

15 Jul

from Social Media Today:

Aside from the plethora of marketers that remain skeptical about using Social Media (Burn the witch! Burn the witch!), it amazes me that those who are using the channel, continue to do so ineffectively.
By its very nature, ‘social’ media is social – it is a platform that provides users with the opportunity to engage in multi-directional conversations.  So why do so many marketers continue to peddle soliloquy as the only form of communication, when engaging audiences is proven to be an infinitely more productive strategy?
Here are three key pointers that digital marketers can employ to ensure that their social media marketing is much more effective – and as a result, more engaging.
1) Silence is golden?  Think again.
There’s nothing worse than arriving at an interesting LinkedIn group, forum or social network that is stone-cold silent.  Just like an awkward party where no-one is talking to each other, a social attendee will quickly move on to pastures where interesting conversations are taking place.  True, communities grow organically – but just as plants require fertiliser to grow, so too does on online community.  If you’re looking to establish a community, ensure that you commit enough effort to facilitate conversations and engagement.

2) This is Web 2.0, NOT Web 1.0
I’m not for one moment suggesting that email, direct mail or marketing collateral no longer have a place within an integrated marketing strategy, but these are all methods of one-way communication.  Where many marketers fall down in social media marketing is their belief that the medium offers new channels for one-way communication – which is fundamentally wrong.  Social media is a new communications tool, but as stated before, one that is multi-directional.  Customers understand that this is a different playing field – and marketers need to as well.  Social media has given rise to permission marketing – and if we as marketers want to enter consumers’ space, we have to play by their rules, which means speaking ‘with’, not ‘to’ our target audience.
3) Social omnipresence?
Another mistake that many marketers seem to make is the belief that their brands or businesses need to be omnipresent on every single channel available.  Again, I would suggest that this is a hazardous strategy to employ.  True, social media offers a wealth of different channels, all of which can offer a variety of different resources for marketing professionals, but this scatter-gun approach often ends up diluting your message – and more worryingly, your brand.  Take some time to think about what you are trying to achieve, and subsequently, which channels would best serve this purpose.  Using Social Media effectively does not mean using every single outlet available – it simply means using the RIGHT channels for YOUR brand or business.
Social media is an ever-evolving beast – the strategies preached by ‘instant gurus’ this time last year have changed exponentially – and no doubt they will shift dramatically once more over the coming 12 months.  The important thing for marketers to remember is that Social Media has its own set of rules, which must be adhered to if marketing in the channel is to be effective.
As an industry, we have colossal scope to make communications more engaging, three-dimensional, transparent and innovative – but using static strategies for a dynamic channel will invariably result in disappointment, for you and your customers.
~ Callum Saunders
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