At its heart, Social Media is all about MARKETING. Sure, there’s some technology involved, but without marketing, social media won’t provide the ROI (Return on Investment) necessary to justify its existence.
Social media MARKETING works, because consumers value community. With less time and more demands, we band together in social networks to recreate the community once enjoyed face-to-face. Robert Putnam wrote about this in his book, Bowling Alone and I’ve mentioned community many times on this blog. Shopping is also inherently a social activity, so integrating marketing aspects with social networks seems a natural extension. IF DONE RIGHT!
Integrating Marketing into Your Social Media
is an important aspect of marketing that should figure prominently in social media campaign. And, you need to do MORE than just create a cool graphic and logo, then use that consistently across your social media (and traditional media). Branding is MUCH more than just consistently using an image.
Effective branding requires creating a hologram representing the benefits, value, and personality representing your brand. Look at the E*Trade baby, for example. Not only is the baby an attractive image capable of garnering attention, the baby represents the major value customers find in the brand — it’s ease of use. Compare that with the Gecko representing Geico and you find an interesting image, but one that doesn’t have much meaning for the target audience.
In creating the new logo for our new website, which markets digital policies such as Social Media Policy and Cybersecurity, we evoked the image of the blind, deaf, mute monkey — see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil using a single, modernized version of this well-known image:
Now, hopefully, we’ve creates something that resonates with our target audience of small and mid-sized businesses who need these policies to protect their reputation and digital assets. The image should help prospective customers understand that just because you don’t see or hear the threat, or feel a threat when you say things in social media DOESN’T mean you’re protected. Only a balanced digital policy can truly protect you online.
The single biggest element in getting conversions from your social media campaign is creating something visitors can use. And, make it intuitive. All things being equal, I prefer clean layouts and try to keep the clutter down.
To make your website more user-friendly, you need a different set up for different purposes. For a B2B customer, often information is important so your home page should offer lots of info and clean navigation to get other information. For a B2C site, likely you’re more concerned with providing some entertainment value in terms of interesting graphics and interactive elements that encourage visitor to engage with the site.
That holds true when you move to Facebook or LinkedIN — Twitter is kind of its own animal. You want to make it easy for visitors to find and engage with you. This involves things like your settings — to allow visitors to comments or post on your timeline. It also means carefully using the Highlight Post and Pin to Top options in Facebook so visitors can quickly and easily find elements such as your FREE ebook, discounts, coupons, contests, etc.
Ask for the Sale
Social media marketing IS marketing, so you should always ask for the sale when visitors connect with your or visit your website. Of course, this is social media so you don’t want to beat them over the head with pushy sales tactics. So, in a prominent location on the Social IS Policy website, I solicit email subscriptions as a way to identify prospects:
You never want to just put something out there without asking for some type of action. My email subscription form is also a part of my Facebook page to encourage Fans to also engage with me that way.
There are lots of other ways to ask for action. So, in your FREE ebook you might embed share buttons making it easy for readers to share your content. Be sure it’s very clear what action you want and how to perform the action. For instance, I use this little button I created using Photoshop to make it very clear where visitors should go to download my content. It’s really hard to overlook this button or be confused about what it does. Try it. You’ll get a nice surprise.