Social Media Marketing – Do You Have a Strategy?

June 6, 2012

Is your company on Facebook or Twitter? Are you curious how your time and resources are being used on Social Media Marketing? You’re not alone!

Social Media & Digital Marketing are the fastest growing sectors of advertising at the moment and having a clear, concise goal for these assets is imperative.

When you start your social media marketing, you must think of:

  • WHO will maintain your social voice?
  • WHAT do I expect to get out of social media?
  • HOW will you convert fans to money?
  • WHEN is the optimal time to make posts?
  • WHERE can I find qualified fans?

WHO will maintain your social voice?

Handing over the reins of your social media marketing should be hard. You are entrusting someone with the identity of your company. They are going to be responsible for creating and fostering a community of brand enthusiasts.

When you make the decision of WHOM, you MUST make sure that this person is very well aware of your current marketing efforts so that all mediums are consistent with each other. Then, they must be able to create engaging and consistent content. If you’re online and there is no movement, you might as well just log off. The more your brand sits there with no content or incentives, the bigger the chance for people to unlike your page and move on to someone who actually communicates with them.

Giving someone control of your social media marketing is giving someone control of a 24/7/365 advertisement for your company. WHO is knowledgeable enough about your business to be given this amount of responsibility?

WHAT do I expect to get out of social media?

If you jump in to social media marketing without thinking through your goal, you will be wasting valuable time. When speaking with clients, we ask for clear, succinct goals for their social media. Telling us that you want more fans is a given. Everyone wants more fans. But telling us that you’d like to sell 10% more of your product this month compared to last month is even clearer to us.

Knowing what you want your end result to be will help determine the kind of strategy to implement. If you want to sell more this month, your posts should reflect that – more posts about the product, pricing points on the product, information about the product, etc.

To that end, whatever you’re expecting out of social media will only be received by what you put in to social media. If your posts are nonchalant and off-topic, don’t expect to meet your goal.

PS. Don’t forget to let the person who’s handling your profiles also know what your monthly goals will be.

HOW will you convert fans to money?

Unfortunately, while social media is a 24/7/365 advertisement, it doesn’t always mean that people will flock to you to buy what you’re selling. Like with any form of advertising, consistency is going to be the key.

Fans have liked or followed your company for a reason. You’ve given them some kind of incentive to be a fan. Because of this, you must continue to hammer home your company name, products and services. The more consistent you are, the more you will be on the top of people’s minds when it comes time to buy what you have to offer.

Facebook received a lot of scrutiny recently when GM decided to pull all of their Facebook marketing budget. Claiming that the money would be allotted elsewhere because social media wasn’t ‘selling cars’ was a big eye-opener for the rest of the Facebook Advertising world.

While it may be hard to track exactly how many people bought a car directly related to any Facebook Advertising, it’s more than obvious that the marketing they put in place online was designed  to work directly with traditional advertising – TV commercials, radio commercials, print ads, etc.

Maybe GM forgot that social media was meant to be SOCIAL. The more people hear and see the product you’re selling, the more apt they will be to buy in the future and if you’re being social in the process, the more willing they’ll be to buy from you BECAUSE of your social-ness.

WHEN is the optimal time to make posts?

This has been the golden question for a while now and just like any advertising that’s done for any client, the optimal posting time for every single business is going to be different. Learning what time is going to be the best time to post is going to take some time to figure out.

Utilizing your Facebook page statistics will be the key. By analyzing data, you’ll be able to see which posts are creating the most engagement, which posts are being seen the most, which posts resonate with your potential clients the most, etc.

When you initially start your social media marketing, you’re literally creating a community from scratch. Since that’s the case, you will want to post at various times of the day in order to figure out what is working for you and what isn’t. This also works for businesses that’ve got a great presence online. It’s never too late to monitor what works and what doesn’t.

Recently, Buddy Media, a social media marketing suite that was bought by Salesforce.com, put out a study:  Strategies for Effective Facebook Wall Posts: A Statistical Review. In this study, they consistently remind businesses that every company is going to be different and figuring out your own optimal posting times will take some time, but they do offer some very interesting insights by industry. Take a look at a few of them below:

Entertainment Industry: Don’t overlook the weekends! With mobile usage growing, many of this industry’s target customers are extremely active on Saturday & Sunday.

Media Industry: Stay away from Mondays!

Retail Industry: Take a look at Sunday; think twice before posting on a Friday.

Automotive Industry: Sunday is your friend!

Business & Finance Industry: Engagement peeks mid-week.

Food & Beverage Industry: Engagement high mid-week and Saturday.

Healthcare & Beauty Industry: Look at Thursday!

Sports Industry: Post more on Sunday!

Travel & Hospitality: Look towards the end of the week.

In addition to this industry breakdown, Buddy Media also stresses the importance of creating short and engaging content while also creating concise calls to action. Don’t forget to include words like: Click here, LIKE us, Follow us, Call us, Stop by, submit, share, comment. You’d be surprised what people will do if you ask them to!

WHERE can I find qualified fans?

Our recent blog post, 3 Steps to Better Facebook Fans, and our subsequent webinar, delved into this topic at length. You can read that blog here.

In a nutshell, you must give fans some kind of incentive to LIKE your page. Use things like coupons, specials, giveaways, etc., to entice people to your page. Once they are fans, it’s up to you to keep them!

Facebook ads are another great way to target your specific demographic. With the wealth of user information, Facebook can offer some really great options when advertising. Pricing is open and based on your budget and can be bought on a pay-per-click or pay-per-impression pricing scale. We’ll be offering an in-depth webinar about Facebook ads in the future, so be on the lookout for that.

Finally, cross-promoting can help you find more qualified fans. If your advertising is consistent, your TV commercials should be highlighting your website which should highlight your Facebook page which should in-turn highlight everything else. Adding your pages to store receipts, posters, business cards, brochures, websites, commercials, etc., gives your core customers the opportunity to find you online.

By taking all of the above into consideration, you’ll have a better idea of how your social media marketing is working for you. Just remember that this is one piece of advertising that will stick around after 30-seconds. People can come back to your page at any point in time to see what you have to offer. What will they see?

Written by Danita Maldonado, Director of Social Media, SDB Creative Group

SDB SocialLink is a product of SDB Creative Group offering social media and digital solutions for businesses. For more information about SDB SocialLink, check out our website: www.sdbsociallink.com.

SDB Creative Group is a full-service marketing and advertising firm. For more information about SDB Creative Group, check out our website: www.sdbcreativegroup.com.

SDB Creative Group. Focused on your success. Empowering your future.

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