In the advent of the internet and social media, the size, reach and variety of information has intensified to a level that has made the planet practically borderless. In fact, if I log into my Facebook account right now, I will see a number of marketing- and product-related content packaged in a Facebook-friendly way. And from time to time, I would see that some of these posts have actually generated some “buzz” brought about by a considerable number of views, likes, shares and comments. In a nutshell, this is what many call today as social media marketing.
And if I were to market a certain brand or service though Facebook and Twitter, here’s what I would do:
1. Understand Online Marketing Mechanics.
Marketing done online makes a very big difference. I find that in terms of effectiveness, techniques and market base, “online marketing” has more variety and has a bigger potential. I’ve encountered and to some extent, learned some techniques like web site and social media marketing, link building and outsource link building, search engine optimization (SEO) and online advertising.
The definition and procedure of such terms are easily available online. But before diving into these strategies, the very first step you should take is to create a quality web site or blog that will provide all the necessary information for your brand. If you don’t have one yet, then make one. This main site will be the place on which people can have the awareness, desire or commitment for your product or service. And with the help of Facebook and Twitter, I believe that more and more people can get lured in and interested with what you are offering.
2. Know the Facebook and Twitter Sensation.
“Facebook” and “Twitter” are arguably the top two social media sites today with over a billion registered users combined. The chances that your target market and prospective customers are logged into these sites are very high. So, if you’re hoping to draw prospective customers and funnel them into your product’s main information page, I suggest that you register in both of these social media giants. Both of these online portals are social communities wherein users can communicate and interact in a number of ways (tweeting, liking, sharing, commenting, etc). In effect, your brand, as a community member, is not a passive receiver and humanized in a way that it can directly build relationships with its prospective customers.
Having my fair share of time in Facebook, I am certain that it will allow you, the marketer, to introduce your brand publicly but on a more personal and less formal level. These web sites form a vast information network that has the potential to reach an audience that no traditional marketing scheme ca n. Both offer a variety of functions that allows you to market your brand, thus, increasing the odds of luring users to your brand’s official site or blog. Plus, both media sites are free, simple, user-friendly and linkable to each other.
3. Customize, Customize, Customize.
This is what I consider as one of the most crucial steps in social media marketing. Facebook and Twitter allow you to customize and personalize your account in so many ways, and as a marketer, you must do so in a way that best suits your brand and appeals to its target public. So never stop exploring the sites’ features and functions until you are familiar with all of them. Then, start customizing. And if you’re not satisfied, customize some more.
There is no limit in doing this so take advantage of it. A Facebook “wall” or a Twitter page can be customized in terms of content preferences, applications and widgets, appearance, and interactivity, among others. For instance, you can incorporate with these sites your brand’s main page in a way that if one enjoyed the site’s content, he/she can easily share, like, or tweet it to his/her own personal network, allowing this person to market the brand for you.
4. Communicate with a “viral effect” in mind.
What you tell your audience must be so appealing, so helpful, so entertaining, so unusual, or so hard-to-find, that they would like to share the same message (text, photo, video, or link) with their friends (Facebook) and/or followers (Twitter). In this way, your brand gains independent and third-party endorsements while attracting more prospective customers in the process. In Facebook, a “message can become viral” if even only user initially “likes,” “shares,” or comments on the content you provided.
Any of these actions will immediately make the message visible to another user’s group of friends who can then share it with more people within their list of friends. In Twitter, this kind of sharing is done through “re-tweeting.” As mentioned in one of Lynda.com’s “webinars”, a study shows that tweets that are more likely to get re-tweeted are those that:
a. are written in headline format
b. give valuable knowledge such as breaking news, tutorials/how-to’s, free stuff and hard-to-find resources
c. call to action such as “Vote for” or “Help out”
d. include “please RT”
5. Interact and engage with your audience.
As an online user who’s been the object of countless marketing spiels and advertisements, I find that my interest or desire for a brand is directly related to the personality and “responsiveness” of the person sharing such promotions.
So, as a site administrator to any of your brand’s page, be as accommodating, as approachable and as interactive as possible. Courteously respond to any customer’s query, comment or suggestion. Show genuine interest as you communicate with them. In most cases, how you deal with them –by what you say and do –affects how they perceive and respond to your brand in general.
6. Upload and Update for smooth and high-volume transactions.
For me, it’s always beneficial to stumble upon fresh content every know and then, so long as they are of relevance and quality. So keep providing useful information to your social media audience for this indicates your active involvement and sincerity towards them.
Aside from product-related content, your knowledge about Facebook, Twitter and other online marketing trends must be updated as well. This will guide you in adjusting your strategy and execution and thus, help you produce better marketing results.
After all, it won’t hurt that through Facebook and Twitter, more people might know who you are and what you could offer. As writer-poet Oscar Wilde’s saying goes, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”