Wednesday, December 22, 2010

‘Can Social Media Marketing Work For Me?’

I get many questions from clients asking me how to leverage social media for bonding and sales.

I believe, like any marketing tactic, you must first evaluate if this ‘channel’ is right for your business. Depending on your target market and mission, social media may not be for you.
If you determine that social media is a viable channel to at least test, then there’s little tricks for optimum results:

Engagement. It’s all about creating a community, interacting with your ‘triple F’s’, that is, Friends, Followers and Fans, and cultivating a cyber-relationships. Post insightful, thought provoking, and powerful editorial. Ask probing questions. Exchange witty and fun comments. With social media marketing, it’s all about relationship building and bonding.

Friend and Guru. You want to come across as both a friend AND expert. This can be accomplished by posting quasi-personal information or photos of your life and letting your triple F’s take a little peek into your world. It’s also posting strong messages, articles or recommendations that are relevant to your field … you’re expertise.

Marketing and Advertising. Uploading banner ads, offering free reports to encourage sign ups, having text links to squeeze pages or promotional pages are all creative ways to try and monetize your social media efforts. It’s also a good idea to implement a special auto responder series or segmented social media conversion plan to help expedite the sales process.

One-on-One Time. When you can, make an effort to respond to individual posts as well as send direct messages to individual followers. As a question. Convey birthday wishes. Discuss sports, family or other interests. Share a funny story. Personal communication goes a long way. People feel extra special through direct dialog. It will help them remember you above the many others they may be following on Twitter or FaceBook.

Which leads me to my next question that I get asked a lot, ‘which is better, Twitter or FaceBook?’

Personally, I like the diversity and flexibility FaceBook offers as opposed to Twitter. Twitter posts are limited to small amount of characters which makes bonding harder. In addition, I’ve found FaceBook followers more loyal than Twitter. Many people on Twitter follow people just to get that reciprocal follow and build their following. It becomes more about reciprocation, than about relevance. And since many of your Twitter followers may not be ‘relevant’ or targeted (i.e. ideal prospects), conversion may never occur or take longer than average. For all these reasons I’ve found in my own experience that FaceBook triple F’s are of better quality than Twitter.

But your experience may be completely different…so I suggest you test both social media platforms for yourself and monitor your followers (who they are) as well as conversions.

Good luck!
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