It should be no surprise that businesses have embraced social media as a marketing tool. Almost every person in the country has an account on some form of social technology. Hence, it only makes sense for an organization to utilize these free channels. However, many businesses simply make an account on Facebook, Twitter, etc and expect to achieve astounding results. This is simply not the case. There is much more in the process of executing an effective social media campaign than just showing up.
1. Sign Up (Powerhouses): There are some social media platforms that simply perform much better than others because of the vast majority of people that use them. Facebook and Twitter dominate the social media scene. Strengths of these channels include the ability to reach out to an incredibly large market very quickly. An open Facebook page has the ability to generate buzz directly and indirectly. If your page generates traffic, it can be amplified by Facebook’s algorithms and shown on the news feed of those who are fans or your organization.
2. Sign Up (Niche Platforms): The success of platforms like Twitter and Facebook have generated an abundance of alternative social media utilities. Most of these possess a more specific function and utility than Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn is a great way to market your business to other professionals. When setting up your businesses LinkedIn profile make sure to clearly communicate your organization’s mission and culture. The viewers of your profile on this platform will be professionals and job seekers who may become interested in a position with your company. If you so choose, Linkedin can become an effective means of receiving applications and resumes. If your organization is in the graphic design field Flickr or Picasa are great ways to exhibit your work. Should your organization specialize in film production Vimeo is an extremely capable way to share video (much more so than Youtube). The quality of work on Vimeo is much higher due to the niche of professional and passionate amateur film makers that showcase their work. In other words, find what niche social media platforms suit your organization. Like minded people will find you.
3. Populate Your Accounts with Quality Information: Now that your organization has decided which social media platforms meet your needs it is time to use them! Do not post a half-hearted announcement of an event or sale on your Facebook page or Twitter. Make things interactive. The interactive and social nature of this media is what makes it strong. Have contests or challenges for your loyal customers. Engage them with incentives and offer an occasional prize. Provide interesting photos, videos, or interviews that your fans, followers, and subscribers will love to see. For example, photo caption contests are a very fun and comical way to engage your target market. They will love the opportunity to leave their own feedback to your organization!
4. Blog: Time and again it will be necessary to provide a more comprehensive and put together source of information. Blogs allow your social media coordinator to draft quality updates and press releases that you could not write on forms such as Facebook and Twitter. Obviously, WordPress is a great platform to do it. WP possesses a great audience, tagging ability, and widget platform. An experienced WordPresser can get the hang of SEO for their posts in order to generate higher traffic.
5. Participate: Not a single lecture in my collegiate career on social media addressed how socializing is a two way street! This is the single most important way that you can generate traffic. Most organizations do not possess the allure and fame that will simply keep your target consumer coming back for more. After one visit to your Facebook page, or maybe tweet on Twitter, they will not come back unless you communicate. Engage them! Answer posts on Facebook. Acknowledge when someone on Twitter retweets you. Thank them! Participate in #FF (Follow Fridays) on Twitter. Respond to messages. Your fans, followers, and subscribers are going to be incredibly flattered that your organization took the time to respond to them. In doing so, your company will create a far more personal relationship. When someone follows you follow them back. Take the time to read other bloggers posts. Comment on them and leave quality feedback. It will do wonders for generating quality traffic and actually engaging the consumer.
Executing an effective social media campaign is an ongoing endeavor. It will take a committed and personable marketer that can communicate and foster relationships. Engage your viewers. Continue to communicate in a personal manner. Update all of your chosen platforms with quality media as frequently as possible. The rest will take care of itself.