Social and New Media Marketing - Where To Start?
Marketing is a human endeavor, not a science. It requires human connection and input.
I think the most important component to put in place when a marketing professional begins to work with a client is to manage expectations.
Here is a short list of what a marketing professional should make clear to a client prior to beginning a new online strategy of any kind:
1. If you are in the midst of your work season, have a brand new client or are otherwise extremely occupied personally or professionally then it is best to find another time to begin a new and/or social media marketing campaign.
Just as I wouldn’t suggest that you move offices when in the midst of a huge deadline I would also not suggest starting a marketing campaign when your schedule has no give.
2. Before starting a new media campaign you need to have a website - which is the mothership all platforms will point back to. If you don’t have a website then that is the first priority.
Getting a website up and running is the subject for a different blog post but suffice it to say that it is a whole project in and of itself that is not only essential to social and new media marketing but also it takes time and thoughtful effort to get the content completed properly.
3. Answer these two questions before starting your website and also prior to embarking on a new media or social media campaign:
A. What sets me apart from others in my field?
B. Who is my target audience? Ask yourself detailed questions to narrow down your niche by including age, location, gender, financial status and any other defining features you can think of.
It is crucial to understand your audience as it helps define where you will focus your marketing efforts. Perhaps your audience isn’t even on Facebook, maybe Twitter is better. You will know once you’ve answered the key questions about demographics.
4. The most successful social media presences are handled by the top executive in the company. I like to site Richard Branson, who has a knack for social media.
He is the key executive and Founder of the Virgin brand and he doesn’t hide out in his white tower. He is out front and center and is accountable for his company and his employees.
As media strategists at Garage Media our goal is not to play Cyrano. Rather, will be teaching you how the platforms work, creating strategy and coaching you to talk and connect online about what you know best — that is, how your company and services work.
Social media marketing, new media marketing and blogging, like creating and running a business, takes a lot of time and energy.
If done correctly then the payoff is difficult to measure but can be priceless. What is the return on investment for a conversation? One positive remark on Twitter can bring in a new client worth hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road.
It does take time. Social and new media is not a quick fix to cash flow problems and is part and parcel of SEO (search engine optimization). So the work you put in now is for the future. It takes, on average, a full year of daily, consistent work online to see benefit.
It is all about building new relationships and that is also why it takes so much time and energy. You want your online presence to be real and connected - it smells to high heaven otherwise. People can sense a sales pitch or a detached comment a mile away.
So wait until you can engage with new clients online and truly learn a comfortable, relaxed approach. I believe it is better to have no presence online than a bad one.
Social media and blogging is exactly like losing weight and staying in shape in that it is not really much fun to begin with, although the eventual benefits are great. Additionally, it takes a long time and a lot of effort for the time and effort to pay dividends. When the payoff arrives, then you are required to keep up with the daily, consistent work to keep what gains you have made. Is it worth it?
Only you can say.
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