Avoiding the Potholes of Social Media

Social media is without a doubt the most exciting thing in marketing since they started putting advertising posters in men’s bathrooms. However, jumping in the deep end can be very scary and a bit reckless.

To make sure you are headed down the right path here is an outline of the process we use for successfully adding social media to the marketing mix.

  • Budget: We have found that trimming an organization’s print budget approximately 20% can be sufficient capital to move the needle on social media. If you already have a budget, make sure it’s enough to be effective.
  • Listen: Find out where your target markets are online. There are several companies (including ours) that can help you figure this out. Once you have found them, listen, read and see what the conversations are about. This research will provide tremendous insight into how to approach these markets.
  • Engage: Before investing in any tools, engage your market within the communities and sites they are involved with now. For instance, start commenting on blogs and/or forums that are attracting your target market. This will begin to establish a presence for you and your company.
  • Interact: Use the tools and vehicles that are available: email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. There are also many vertical (industry specific) sites as well. Make sure you are also interacting with the online influentials.
  • Measure: This is critical to moving forward. Measure everything, then decide what statistics are important and consistent with your business goals. Not every measurement is important so it’s critical that you are looking at data that means something to your company’s future success.

The steps outlined above normally take anywhere from 2-6 months to complete, which leads to another issue – time. Be patient. A good social media campaign requires time to implement, manage and maintain.

What have you found to be successful?

Watch for our next blog on managing time for social media.