Last week, my post was entitled “Getting Comfortable with Social Media”. I would like to follow up that post with my top 5 tips for surviving and thriving with social media:
1. Know your audience
Social media is about more than simply knowing the demographics of your target market, or where they like to hang out online. To create an effective social media marketing campaign, you must identify with your audience and understand their underlying goals, ambitions, and thought processes. This is an absolute must if you (and I know you do!) want them to identify with you.
2. Social media requires research and planning.
With so many new platforms presenting themselves at breakneck speeds, it is easy throw caution to the wind and jump on board. While it is true that it is important to act fast, it is equally important to create a solid, long term social marketing strategy that fits into your overall plan, which brings me to my next point…
3. It is important to marry your online and offline marketing strategies.
Online strategies should always synch up with and support offline marketing activities and vice versa. A well thought out integrated marketing plan is an effective marketing plan.
4. Understand that effective social media marketing is permission based.
Advertising that forces itself upon, or distracts the end user will do more harm than good. Useful and relative content is key to getting noticed in a positive manner.
5. Effective Social media campaigns require a time and energy commitment.
Every once in a while, we all hear about the overnight viral marketing success stories that began with little more than a spark of creative genius. I personally cheer every time I here of these stories BUT this does not mean that you will necessarily recreate the instant success of others with little to no work or budget. If your social media campaign is not an overnight success, that does not mean that it is time to pull the plug and go wallow in self pity because social media has failed you. Measurable results, results with which you can track ROI usually take (and hopefully build) over time.
Of course, perhaps the most important element in social media marketing success is action! Create your online strategy and follow through. Until you do so, you are losing out on a huge opportunity to connect and interact with your consumers.