Social media marketing is a huge industry. There are many elements and services that need to be undertaken to be a Social Media Marketer, but we have outlined a few here that we believe to be best practice.
- Always look beyond the mass media sites: Facebook? Great. Twitter? Great. But where is the audience actually going to be when you want to reach them? And what will they be doing when you are trying to reach them? Sometimes it is the case that the most effective social media platform is not the mainstream ones, but the ones that are targeted at niche markets. For example, Pinterest has 70 million users worldwide and counting, 80% of which are women. 20% of all women who use the Internet in the US are on Pinterest. In Australia there are 160,000 unique Australian Visitors to the site and they stay for over 14 minutes! These figures would suggest that if you have a product related to mums or women generally, that Pinterest could be an interesting and valuable tool to explore.
- Concentrate on good content, good context and good targeting: You have now heard about these three concepts. It is very important to ensure that content is fresh, relevant and entertaining, but that it also suits the context in which consumers will be reaching you and that it is targeting the right consumers.
- Base content and strategy on target audience and business objectives: In the end, businesses want to see results. Business objectives should be the overarching and governing concepts to set parameters for activity in the digital space.
- Money isn’t everything: You could throw money at the computer screen but that won’t get you results. Social media Marketing is about taking your time to prepare an effective strategy, that reaches the audience and business objectives. In saying that, Facebook has seen a turn for business pages in being able to push organic content only to seeing the best results in conjunction with Facebook Advertising.
- Social media is about people: It’s the subtle building of relationships. As you create relationships online, you need to gain trust first and then marketing comes later, much later. Straight selling is not going to win you a community.
- Integrate social media with other marketing forms: Very few brands do marketing in isolation. Marketing activities need to be unified across all channels, and so social media needs to be included in your overall strategy rather than be regarded as a separate entity.
- Experimentation, innovation and uniqueness: Social media is a switch from a monologue to a dialogue, therefore consumers expect to be listened to and answered. Businesses that best understand this will experiment and innovate by listening to their users and interacting with them and finding the right balance between their values and market feedback.