The proliferance of social channels over the last 5-6 years is simply amazing. It is a bit of a double-edged sword in that marketers now have many tools to connect and speak to their target constituents. While your web site may still be the primary platforms to share information – Company blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Linkedin etc. may provide other platforms to communicate with our audience. At the same time, maintaining and managing a presence – let alone marketing campaigns, across these social channels can be an interesting exercise in many ways. Here are some aspects to consider to maximize the effectiveness of your social marketing activities:
- Firstly, understand your social marketing goals and develop a plan that meets your specific need. For instance, are you trying to increase awareness of your brand or product? Are you reaching out to existing customers or trying to generate new leads? Do you need to because your competitors are in it? Any of these goals or others are fine, just be sure to set and revisit them on a timely basis.
- Secondly, it is important to produce relevant and interesting content to hold the interest of your current audience, gain new members and increase site traffic.
- Thirdly, the time involved in producing interesting content that holds relevance for your audience is not to be underestimated. Creating good content takes time and effort. Invest wisely.
- Fourthly, it is important to figure out the functional intricacies of each channel to maximize the effectiveness of the channel. For instance, Facebook business pages provide restricted features until the business accumulates 35 fans. Once the business page reaches 35 fans, Facebook opens up a suite of tools and options.
- Fifthly, it is important to understand the mechanics of your target audience on these digital channels. For instance, at Ayantek, we feel our business audience is usually checking twitter between the hours of 7-10am (at the breakfast table, so to speak), 12-1pm (during lunch hour) or 4-6pm (wrapping up at work). Timing your tweets could mean all the difference between it being read or not.
- Sixthly, utilize the power of social tools (both free and paid) that are at your disposal. A simple tool is the "Save search" feature on twitter that allows monitoring of the twitter-o-sphere for relevant keywords. But then, don't discount the power of paid tools such as Hubspot and Radian 6, that provide a lot more features and effective metrics.
- Finally, patience pays off. Most folks do not build their circle of friends on day one. The same holds true for social channels. Give it time, stay at it and you can expect it to pay off.
While there is no silver bullet with maximizing usage and being more effective with social channels, we hope you find these ideas to be helpful in your travails down the social road.