Social Media Marketing is changing the marketing landscape for many corporations. It’s a Deadwood themed wild woolly west all over again, with no fixed rules, processes and systems in place for many organizations.
Here’s our take and what I’ve recommended to clients we’ve helped to put together an effective Social Media Marketing Campaign:
1) Be Blog Centric - your Blog should act as the centerpiece of your marketing campaign and you can cross promote your Blog across many social platforms including: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and many others. Enabling you to leverage content development costs and time.
2) Effective corporate social media marketing should involve all departments, with marketing or PR riding herd on the process. You should include: R&D, Sales, Customer Service, Legal, Product Management and even HR. Marketing’s job is to ensure the messaging is consistent and will resonate with the specific communities and demographics you are targeting.
3) Be flexible and prepared to turn on a dime and expect to take some hits in the process. Your going to make some mistakes along the way, so learn from them and move on. The good news is that content is flowing so fast and furious across the social landscape that your “uh oh we said that” moment will typically disappear quickly into the ether.
4) Be sure the team leads in marketing have a deep understanding of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and what makes each community unique; not to mention knowledge of Blogging (Platform, plugins, optimization), SEO optimized content, bookmarking sites, video marketing, cross promoting, etc.
5) Couldn’t emphasize this too much, your social media marketing actions have to be measured carefully so you have a good sense for what’s working (wins) and what isn’t (losses), if quality traffic is being generated, revenue is uplifted, your dominating your niche market and more.
6) Remind your CEO or CTO how great it feels to get out into the field and talk to customers and strategic partners and then show them now they can build a virtual presence that can be easily deployed and amplified via the social web. Get your exec staff involved - it helps to build an “authentic social voice” for your company and underscores your overall corporate messaging.
7) Figure out where the budget is going to come from and recognize that effective social media marketing requires a long term effort and you have to plan accordingly with not only budget but head count and time.
8) Be honest and transparent in your activities - if you make a mistake in how or what is said then own up to it and address the issue quickly and honestly. The social community can at times be a crowd sourced pain in the butt and they can very quickly see through some good old PR spin. Don’t try the latter - it will only make matters worse. Two letters: BP.
9) Listening and engaging is just as important as publishing content and broadcasting - your customers, strategic partners and others want to be engaged and listened to or you will risk turning them off to your messaging/branding and all will be for naught.
10) You may want to formalize your social media marketing processes with a document that outlines social media policy and procedure. This earlier blog post will give you a much more in-depth view of the latter.
11) Be fluid in your processes and prepared to test and utilize a broad range of tools, platforms and processes. The social world is moving at warp speed, content is generated, viewed, read, forward and/or discarded at astounding rates.
For example: Twitter generates 100M Tweets (messages) per day and is growing at a rate of 15 Million new users per month, YouTube serves over 9 Billion streams a month and over 30 Billion pieces of content are uploaded to Facebook every month.
12) Be prepared to change your business processes as you listen and engage with the social community - commerce is quickly being driven by “connected consumer” who click, act, share, friend, comment, re tweet with their connected streams of others. You can start selling right from a Facebook page or Twitter with a targeted offer that can be picked up and amplified by the social stream.
The new rules of social-enabled business may be there are no rules other than make your own. Now go forth and multiply……….