I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Social media does not exist in a bubble, and it is also not made of magic (although technology is pretty magical).
Investing in social media is not a band-aid for a shoddy marketing strategy, and it won’t be the lifesaver for a business that rests on weak principles or inferior product. It’s not a fix-all, but can do outstanding, awe-striking things for your business and profits if used correctly with a proper strategy in place.
One of the major mistakes that businesses make, though, is investing in some really well-done social media and being surprised that they don’t see an ROI when they haven’t integrated their social media with the rest of their marketing strategy. Think of a social media contractor as an arm of your marketing department; a partner, if you will. There needs to be some collaboration between other marketing efforts and social media to realize the full effect and value that social media can provide.
Obviously, if left alone, good, organic social media will do just fine. However, here are a few ways to maximize your investment and incorporate Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more, into what you’re already doing to market your business.
Use the Logos: As platforms lean more towards pay-for-play than ever before (I’m looking at you, Facebook), it’s increasingly important to spread the word about your social media pages via other channels. Use the Twitter and Facebook hyperlinks in blog posts, on your website, and in your email signatures. Wherever your brand is on the Internet, add that tiny Facebook emblem for people to be directed to your page. Hopefully, once they’re there, the content will be compelling enough to keep their attention. The content is the job of your contractor, but helping to spread the word is something that your marketing team can support.
Use in Print: Do you have point-of-sale materials? A brochure? A seasonal mailer? Add directions to your social media in any print marketing material that you have, either subtly with an image or with an actual call-out (“Follow us on Facebook for more updates!”) Wherever you are, your social media should be too.
Develop Unique Content: This is part of working with a social media contractor, but find out what specifically your customers are going to your social media pages to find. Can you provide interviews with your key staff members, or photos from your latest event? Are there behind-the-scenes videos or insider tips you can share? The more of that content you can directly provide, the better. Your contractor will grow to know you well, but you are the authority on your brand. Share that knowledge!
The most effective social media users are the ones who look at the whole picture, who see social media as a useful tool that can complement and support other forms of marketing. Strategy is king, so use it wisely.
Image Credit: CC by Chris Ford