There’s no doubting the power of a well executed [tag]social media[/tag] [tag]marketing strategy[/tag], there no shortage of great articles out their illustrating how to harness social media tactically. However, I haven’t really seen many covering the nitty-gritty of how to create a [tag]social media strategy[/tag].
then we make a top ten list of something to do with the iPhone – via flickr
When it comes to online marketing, often its good to look backwards at some of the frameworks used by traditional marketers. While many of their techniques may now seem archaic their help with strategy can be invaluable.
Position your products – at the heart of any good [tag]marketing campaign[/tag] is an understanding of the Four Ps. When I was at school my business studies used to hammer it into us just how important understanding and positioning your product was. Nearly a decade later and when ever I start working with a client, I go back to those simple principles.
The first P is product; you need to know what you are offering inside out and how that is distinct from the rest of the market. If your USP is just ‘a cheaper version of brand X’ you really need to spend some time on your product or service.
Place is the second. Place online usually means your website. We’ve all been to those websites, they have exactly what we are looking for at just the right price, but because it doesn’t look trustworthy we’ve gone elsewhere. Make sure your website is up to scratch before embarking on any social media marketing campaign.
Promotion – how are you getting your message out there, often SEO and social media can be carried out in isolation. At Site Visibility we always try to integrate our campaigns with offline marketing and PR. It will make both teams work easier, if they have carried out a survey, blog about it; if you have new telly adverts, seed them to YouTube.
Price – it’s easy to overstate the importance of price. We live in a time of instant price comparison engines, but still boutique luxury stores do well. For example, Apple may not produce the cheapest mp3 players but they make the most appealing, so they can charge more. Make sure your pricing fits your product; it’s not how low your price is but how accurate it is that’s important.
Brainstorm – a marketing campaign shouldn’t be created by an individual, call together as many of your team as possible. Don’t restrict yourself to members of your marketing team; often people with no experience of marketing come up with the best ideas.
Listen to your customers – if you regularly survey your customers respond to that information. Though, you needn’t carry out extensive market research to get a better idea of how your marketing could work; next time you have a customer on the phone ask them why they chose you rather than a competitors. Use this information to tailor your social media campaign accordingly. If they chose you because you had the best range of products – promote that or because you had the most personality in your product descriptions do more of the same.
Draft down your plan – one of the most vital steps in creating a social media marketing plan is writing it down. Allocate responsibilities; is Jamie going to record a video? Is Rachel going to contact her friend who shares a flat with a Blogger who covers your niche? Set time frames and monitor peoples’ performance. You’ll need spontaneity to get the most out of social media but you’ll still need a road map.
Track your results – one of the easiest mistakes to make when carrying out social media marketing – not tracking the results. Without this information you won’t know how well you’ve performed. Make sure you have sales data from previous months, the same month in the last couple of years, the usual number of enquiries etc. Document your performance and share it with your team, when they see the drastic effect you’ve had on the bottom line they’ll support you even more in your efforts.
It’s easy to get caught up in the tactical work of social media marketing but you’ll find with a good plan and strategy your campaign will be much more successful.