Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare…it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed when you think of how marketing has changed in the past few years…not to mention the continuing speed of that change! If you don’t jump now will the wave pass you by? Not a chance…social marketing is still in it’s infancy and there is a lot of room to grow.
The truth is if you are just getting started in your business, now may not be the best time to launch your social marketing campaign. Why? The most critical component of a successful marketing strategy is to have an amazing product to market. So first, focus on producing a quality product. Then, focus on scaling up so you have the volume of product that you’ll need. Finally, when you are ready…social media will be ready for you to tap into.
But if you are ready to start putting your business out there, what do you really need to know about social networks and what they mean for your business marketing?
Do your homework and set your goals. What are you trying to achieve? Do you want to get the attention of likely customers? Do you want to communicate with your existing customers? Are you looking to increase sales traffic? Introduce a new product? Or are you hoping to poll your customers on what more they would like? All of these are legitimate uses of marketing but which combination you elect will depend on the outcomes you are hoping for. But before you launch anything it pays to do a little research into what others are saying.
Scott Wild of WildInspire sums up the transition from the old media and the new media. Traditional media is about getting attention, the new media is about giving attention. In order to use social media effectively you have think differently about your marketing.
Time matters when you’re getting down to business. Return on investment is Becky McCray‘s mantra. Make every effort count double (triple if you’re really good!). Repurposing your blog into an article for your enewsletter is a timesaver. If you then turn that same thought into a tweet that points your fans back to your blog or your website you’ve reached a lot of people with a single message tailored to the audience.
There are many leaders out there that you can learn from. Start by observing what works for others in similar types of businesses. Talk to your customers to see where they get information. Ask them what they would like to receive from you, and how often. Let your product lead, listen to your customers and, when the time is right, put the “social” into your marketing.