Tips for developing a market-leading social media campaign
March 22, 2012
Social media has emerged in recent years as the king of marketing. Not long ago, a business could get away with not advertising their social handles and profiles. Now, however, any brand that lacks a social presence is apt to lack in the PR and sales departments as well.
A recent survey by Facebook and Forrester Research found more than three-quarters of marketing professionals - 76 percent - agree that social media is important for building and promoting a brand. Another 72 percent say it's helpful for generating customer loyalty.
Among small business owners, the favorability is also strong, albeit less so. A recent study by Citibank found 41 percent of surveyed small business owners are using social media, more than the 38 percent who claim to use email.
The evidence is clear: Social media is effective and here to stay. That being said, not all marketers agree on what the best social strategies are. The field is still young, and the impact of any program is always subject to individual or market circumstances, making it even more difficult to apply any sort of uniform strategy.
To that end, Citi offers a few basic suggestions for spreading brand awareness and promoting your services through social media.
Practice makes perfect
Marketers should view social networks and interactions as opportunities to try new things. Remember that, unlike television or direct mail, social marketing campaigns never end - they merely evolve. So you should expect mistakes and oversights - just make sure you modify your strategies enough to prevent such errors from happening again.
Listen before taking action
Make sure you understand your audience and prospects before you take some dramatic step in the social world. You don't want to alienate customers or narrow your appeal. While it's important to know your demographics, be wary of excessive market analysis.
Content is critical
But consistency is imperative, Citi explains. "Stay up to date on current events and become a leading influencer in your industry. Reward loyalty and create engagement opportunities through content and questions."
Don't shy away from negativity
Criticism should be addressed directly, humbly and respectfully. Really, customers appreciate a brand that is modest enough to acknowledge its mistakes and work toward improving them. View negative comments as opportunities to grow and improve your company.