With two-thirds of the Internet actively engaged on social media, it’s clear that prospects want great content to share with their professional networks. That content can be yours if you utilize the power of content marketing effectively. Your brand’s voice can be more powerful than ever before, and you have the opportunity to join and direct the conversation about your brand while also interacting with your target audience. However, you are probably wondering:
Is social media sufficient to replace my entire Marketing Communications Strategy?
No! Social media marketing cannot replace a marketing plan; it is merely one component of an overall strategy and complements traditional and online PR initiatives. Social media is powerful, but a comprehensive communications plan must also be in place to ensure a cohesive brand identity.
How is social media different from traditional marketing?
Social media is an extension of corporate branding. As a client, you are paying for the ability to utilize modern electronic techniques to get in front of a targeted audience. Social media is not an advertisement, and it is not a banner ad. Social media is inherently about branding to a focused audience. It is about the ability to quickly get in front of prospects and current clients and to establish an online relationship with them and build customer engagement.
What should I expect from a social media investment, and how quickly should I expect it?
Social media does not immediately establish the value of your services or products, and instead establishes you as a thought leader in the industry and creates awareness of your name and brand. It is not a specific advertisement for a given product or service- it is about brand engagement. The type of results you should expect are similar to what you would expect from a long-term branding campaign. Social media marketing is essentially a global awareness and branding campaign that takes time to develop.
Which comes first: planning or publishing content?
Planning. Do not post any live content until a thorough strategic marketing plan has been created. Companies that have taken a different approach have found that their overall brand reputation has been tarnished due to a lack of strategic planning, goal setting and maintenance.
How do we tweak our social media plan to grow our follower base and increase engagement?
When creating a strategic social media plan for your business, start out by answering the following questions:
- Who is my ideal target audience? Who are the business and industry leaders I want access to?
- What is the message – in one sentence – that I want people to take away from my company? What do I want people to remember about my company? Does my company’s reputation ring bells with potential clients or does it flat line?
- What are the keywords needed to find my company online? What are the key search engine terms (known as keywords) that people are using to find my company? It is imperative to begin to think like your customers to unlock the terms needed to build exposure.
- What topics or articles would my customers be interested in reading about? What are they already knowledgeable about? What are they curious about? How does my product or service help support this?