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Does Your Company Have a Social Media Plan

Does Your Company Have a Social Media Plan

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Published by Martin Vika
As you know, businesses of all sizes right from McDonald's and Coca-Cola down to your local hardware store are trying to get a presence on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Think of how many 'Fan pages' and advertisements you have seen on Facebook recently for businesses in your local area. It's a big thing right now and it's making people just like you a lot of money. You see whilst all of these businesses want to get a presence on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter they don't have the time, ability or knowledge to do it themselves. They are far too busy with the day to day running of their business and they don't want to hire someone full time to do it because in most circumstances it only takes 1 -- 2 hours per day to manage. So what do you think they are doing about it? They are hiring people just like you to do it for them! They are paying people just like you great money to work from home doing simple tasks such as: Creating their Facebook Fan page. Posting status updates and comments. Creating Twitter profiles. Tweeting special offers and promotions. Engaging with their customers through comments and posts. Spending time messing around on Facebook and Twitter! http://lnk.co/IWVCL

As you know, businesses of all sizes right from McDonald's and Coca-Cola down to your local hardware store are trying to get a presence on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Think of how many 'Fan pages' and advertisements you have seen on Facebook recently for businesses in your local area. It's a big thing right now and it's making people just like you a lot of money. You see whilst all of these businesses want to get a presence on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter they don't have the time, ability or knowledge to do it themselves. They are far too busy with the day to day running of their business and they don't want to hire someone full time to do it because in most circumstances it only takes 1 -- 2 hours per day to manage. So what do you think they are doing about it? They are hiring people just like you to do it for them! They are paying people just like you great money to work from home doing simple tasks such as: Creating their Facebook Fan page. Posting status updates and comments. Creating Twitter profiles. Tweeting special offers and promotions. Engaging with their customers through comments and posts. Spending time messing around on Facebook and Twitter! http://lnk.co/IWVCL

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Published by: Martin Vika on May 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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 ==== ====Paid Facebook And Twitter Jobs:http://lnk.co/IWVCL ==== ====Social media and conversation marketing have the potential for transforming brands like no othercommunication methodology ever employed. The reason? It transforms the fundamental nature ofthe traditional brand/customer relationship. Historically, companies have used traditional media toadvertise in a uni-directional way. It used to be all about broadcasting a message - with feedbackloops tied chiefly to the ultimate purchase of a company's product - or worse, no purchase at all. Thanks in part to the transformative impact of online social media, that brand/customerrelationship is experiencing a sea-change.. As increasingly informed and savvy consumers beginto demand more transparency and honesty from businesses they support, companies are nolonger able to hide behind an ability to fully control the message. Steadily, businesses are nowleveraging social media as both an offensive and defensive means to forge new and solidifyexisting relationships while building trust through transparency. The most successful of theseorganizations are now doing much more than simply monitoring the consumer pulse... they areengaging and interacting on a real-time basis with existing and potential customers, throughout theentire buying cycle. In some respects, today's businesses face the same challenges that early marketers experiencedwith emerging print and electronic advertising mediums, the most important of which is buildingmeaningful and lasting relationships with new and existing customers. The key difference this timearound is that successful marketing efforts increasingly hinge on the ability to reciprocate, inauthentic ways and real-time ways, with a growing and increasingly sophisticated online consumeraudience. That's why, planning for consumer engagement through social media is an increasingly centralconsideration for today's business owners! However, the pitfalls of a poorly or ill-conceived plan are myriad, and social media andconversation marketing by themselves are only a part of an integrated marketing solution.Although it's important to stress the value of building relationships through social media, it'sincredibly difficult to achieve success when you're developing those relationships in anunstructured fashion. Thus, social media is not to be performed in a haphazard way. Rather, it works best when appliedin a logical sequence using a more structured approach. The mistake that most often leads tofrustration and ultimately, abandonment, is not having a plan of attack! Instead of thinking of social media as a freestanding tactic, first consider how you can add socialmedia components into your existing marketing plan. Before you begin any social mediacampaign, you should think about incorporating these three elements specific to these marketing
 
channels: 1. Know what you don't know. 2. Determine how much time you have to commit to a social mediacampaign 3. Understand your audience objectives within each social network 4. Dovetailing socialmedia objectives with where your customers "live" Know What You Don't Know Social media and conversation marketing are not ends unto themselves... like traditionalmarketing, they are simply tools, albeit transformative tools, to building brand, market affinity andsales. And while it may be too much to expect even the wisest "old dogs" to learn to master all thenuances of these "new tricks", true wisdom stems from surrounding yourself with people who getit. Don't let fear control, instead become intellectually engaged in ways that leverages yourknowledge of your core business, customer and products and work with teams who can helpconvert your vision into the social media and conversion marketing space. Social Media Time Commitment It's essential to understand how much time you have to devote to social media. The online world isa vastly different place than the traditional advertising space largely due to the lightning fast andhighly reciprocal communications the web presents. In terms of product marketing, people nowhave the ability to share experiences, provide recommendations and promote products andservices with speeds unmatched in other forms of media. Positive experiences, as well as badones, are shared easily and can make their way through the online landscape with an immediacynever before experienced. As a result, dipping a tentative toe in social media waters without knowing how to swim (or at leasttread water) is a prescription for looking at the sky from the bottom of a pool. Nor is it right tospend time developing valuable online relationships, only to appear and disappear like a socialmedia ninja. The best results are often achieved with steady participation, constant communicationand engaging interaction with your audience. People will want to hear what you have to say aslong as it provides real value to the community. But note, online communities can spot an online poacher from a mile away! Savvy users of socialmedia know what this term means but for those of you who don't, online poachers are only therefor one thing: to use social media merely as a platform to broadcast their marketing messages inmuch the same manner as they would with traditional media. Don't fall into this trap. Make surethat you are prepared to get involved in more than a one way communication. Ultimately, the only way to succeed is to make time and commit to an on-going online relationshipcampaign. Know that once you decide to engage your customers in the virtual world, there shouldbe no turning back. Understanding Audience Objectives Within Each Social Network: What is the audience objective within each social network? The great thing about social networksis the ability to pinpoint with precision special interest groups that dovetail nicely with yourcompany's mission. But beware the trap of hitting the "right" audience with the "wrong" message.
 
 For example, professional networks like LinkedIn are not really the best place to deliver your salespitch as they often fall on deaf ears. For instance, if your company sells women's high fashionclothing, you'll likely miss your mark with a buy now sales pitch on the 1,550+ entertainmentgroups found on LinkedIn. Here, you'll be better served offering helpful content relating more toindustry news, trends, jobs and advice. On the flip side, Facebook's 100,000+ entertainmentgroups offer a tremendous opportunity to find and interact with audiences that may already betalking about your products. This may sound like marketing 101 stuff but no social media planshould be undertaken without understanding network- specific audience objectives. Dovetailing Social Media Objectives with Where Your Customers "Live" This said, where do you go online to find that audience? Social networks, much like traditionalmarketing channels, do tend to cater to specific audiences. However, unlike offline marketingmediums, social networks require companies to engage with consumers on their own terms.Therefore, it's important to do some research to find out which social networks are right for yourbusiness' message. At a high level, social networks like LinkedIn focus more on professionals while Faceook andMySpace are more informal and cater to X and Y gen audiences alike. But the real value (andopportunity) with sites like LinkedIn and Facebook rests in the ability to get involved with a varietyof mini networks such as Groups, Pages and Causes. Here, businesses can find and interact with consumers in a highly relevant setting. Say yourcompany sells high performance mountain bikes. There are currently an amazing number ofFacebook Groups (3,600) devoted to mountain biking and over 35 on LinkedIn! Your company'starget audience is here and might already be talking about your products so why not join in theconversation? Facebook allows companies to create a free Fan Page where your product evangelists can"Become a Fan" and get breaking news, tips and even special Fan discount offers. In addition,Fan Pages can be marketed to other Facebook users much like the way Google's AdWords paidsearch service works. If your company doesn't already have a Facebook Fan Page, it is highlyrecommended to start one now. The internet marketing era may have only come about in the decade or so but the rate of evolutionis, to put it mildly, a revolution. We haven't yet reached the pinnacle nor can anyone say for surewhere social media will be or what role it will play in business communications in the coming yearsbut one thing is certain, having the right plan and committing to its proper execution will place yourcompany at the forefront of the new age of digital communications. Jim Gibson is the Publisher of Online Media Today, the business owners magazine for onlinemarketing. Jim is also a principal at GibSEM Group, a boutique internet marketing firm located inLos Angeles, CA. Find us online:

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