Digital Marketing Priorities: #4 Social Media 2

This is the fourth post exploring my 8 digital marketing priorities in greater detail. This post will focus on your social media presence.

1- Strategic Plan

2- Site Web  

3- Email newsletter

4- Social Media

This was a must back in 2010; it is countlessly more important today. Your company, your store locations / franchisees, your brands, must all be present and active on multiple social networks where your customers and prospects in large numbers spend a lot of time (still over an hour daily on Facebook, to name just that one).

In Canada, over 70% of the entire population aged 2 and over regularly use Facebook – that’s more than the number of Canadians aged 2+ who read daily printed newspapers. Other networks like YouTube and Twitter also reach a lot of Canadians and are now unavoidable. You need to explore the entire social media landscape to identify all social networks and platforms that your clients and potential prospects might use on a regular basis. You’ll then need to establish how best to setup your presence and capture their interest.

Plant your flag on all the social network islands out there. Establish an account for your brand on every social network – but create them one at a time starting with the larger ones working your way down: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr and everywhere else you can find your audience.

Use your social platforms to broadcast the content from your website, similar to your use of a newsletter, but at a different pace. Study each “network” to determine what pace you should keep there. You can promote your special deals, but be mindful of what you told people to expect when they started following you – do no stray far from your promise to them. Here you can repurpose your press releases, but you will need to reword them in a more human language / tone than the original PR piece. People need to feel you’re addressing them personally. Take advantage of this spotlight to explain important / difficult decisions that your clientele, or the public in general, aren’t clear on or need better understanding about – before receiving baseless backlash, i.e. be proactive.

Don’t try to avoid them because they are already an important part of the marketing landscape – an important enough part to safely bet it will remain so for many years to come. Further, your clients and prospects are likely already discussion you or your brands in these spaces. It’s much better for you to be present and offer help along the way than to be absent while people speak of you. Also, do not limit yourself to just one social network, but rather try to be on as many as are relevant to reach your and interact with your audience. By adding them one at a time, you’ll not only gain experience on how to best use each for your brand, but also be in a better position to gage the level of attention you’ll need to spend there going forward, thus justifying any additional personal if it comes to that.

Don’t forget about video networks like YouTube, Vimeo and DailyMotion. You don’t need to be a broadcaster or have a professional creating the videos for you. Assigning someone with interest internally to practice video content with limited tools until your agree it’s of a quality that will work for you is the best way to go. Video can be the CEO or spokesperson addressing consumers; it can be a specialist presenting a series of how-to use your brand in various circumstances. Do not limit yourself to just one as some people prefer one over another, or use different video networks for cater to different needs. Being on all of them ensures you are accessible to all potential consumers.

Use SlideShare and Scribd to make your user manuals or any other public documentation available elsewhere than just on in some dark recess of your website that’s usually hard to find. Give people most options to find that they are looking for.

Use LinkedIn with your employees and with your business partners – use it to share (remember it is public) what’s going on in the company that might be of interest to them (and not necessarily to ordinary consumers). Address industry issues and act like a good corporate citizen – not only should you use LinkedIn when recruiting new talent in most spheres of your business, interesting talent is likely to evaluate you on how you exploit your presence here.

There are tons of other social networks out there that are more specific to particular industries, or consumer interest categories such as image pinning, photo sharing, geographic based checking into specific locations + recommendations + coupons, entertainment based checking-in to specific programming and much more. Discover what’s most relevant for your brand, for your consumers and be there.

As with everything else you do in marketing, measure and monitor your efforts individually. How else will you know a few months down the road if your efforts are paying off, or how they are paying off (more new clients, existing clients spending more…). Learn from your experience and share that learning internally so the organisation can perform better on a continual basis. Never forget that ultimately, this is all to make more revenue. This is a very different path to sales than was previously available or possible in marketing, but your end objective is the same.

Next week we will look at priority #5: basic online direct response campaigns

Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below: would you change the order of digital marketing priorities I’ve put forth? Have I forgotten anything significant?

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