Optimizing your social media marketing strategy
18th December 2009

Social Media Marketing is all about creating touch points for a wide range of people to know about your business, get in touch with you and learn from you. But it can be only effective if it is guided in a coordinated manner.

Many PR and advertising efforts are like unguided missiles. They fly all over the place, some land on target and most don?t. When you take the same effort online there are now many more parts to coordinate and the complexity multiplies.

Running a Social Media Marketing campaign is like a general marshalling all his resources and putting them in places they will be most effective. Lets look at some of the components that have to be coordinated for a successful SMM campaign.

  • Social Sites like Facebook, Orkut - A softer more friendlier image has to be projected.
  • Business Networking Sites like LinkedIn, Ryze - A more professional crisper image has to be maintained
  • Company Blog - Interesting and relevant information has to be posted regularly.
  • Company Newsletter - Preferably two versions, one corporate and one industry specific informative.
  • RSS Feeds - Can flow from the blog and website. But have to be indexed.
  • Articles / Whitepapers - Building credibility by giving out knowledge is the new mantra.
  • Bulleting Board - Intelligent, helpful and selective participation in strategically chosen boards.
  • Offline Phyical Events - Online must complement offline real world activity.

There is a very thin line between being Relevant and being Spam. Any of the above can be mishandled and backfire. As always less is more and being careful in selecting the target sites and information is very very important.

Role of SMM Expert.

Ideally the person handling the SMM effort should be from the company itself but that rarely works out in the real world. Normally a firm such as ours would handle it on behalf of the client. But unlike regular Search Engine Optimization where the expert can work relatively independent of the client, SMM needs very close interaction. After all, the SMM expert is the company representative online. He/she has to respond to posts, interact with network members and answer relevant questions.

What should you be giving your SMM Expert?

  • Atleast one high level liason person from your company.
  • Access to various information resources within your company.
  • Share latest news, updates, product developments, events, awards and certifications and maybe even some social information from the company grapewine.

Boundaries and Limits

Boundaries and limits must be set with the SMM expert before the campaign begins. The client must sit with the expert and explain the company culture, what is open for discussion and what is off limits. Any potential information that could get inadvertently exploited must be explained to the expert. An honest and frank discussion can save potential  embarassment later eg. that the ceo wears a hair piece might NOT be something he would like people to know no matter how many are interested. Ask Donald Trump.

The Strategy

It is important to know the SMM is not a quick fix. It takes time and patient effort. Its about networking across many different sites and slowly building credibility, then familiarity and finally loyalty.

It is  an iterative process of posting information, contacting people, sending out information, measuring success and then doing it all over again. Momentum slowly builds. A good article might draw people onto your Facebook page. A good facebook page might draw people to your site. A fraction of which might buy your product. Or the cycle could go the  other way again with someone returning back to your site and buying your product.

Bottomline is more people know you and like you the more are the chances of  them buying your products /services.


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