Social Marketing Success Secrets

Social Marketing SecretsConverting social media to effective tool - Social  marketing can be fun, can increase awareness, and can drive website traffic. You just need to know a few key elements to help monetize the efforts and best leverage the interactive relationship you're engaging in.

But first, I'd like to explain the flow of information with social media marketing versus other forms of online marketing: With social media marketing, the messages you're posting are drawing your friends, followers, and fans (aka the Triple Fs) into your profile or home page. 

This marketing distribution is passive, and the profile traffic is organic. Traffic visits are uncontrolled; the marketer / publisher solely relies on the reader responding to a post. What's more, the metrics, although somewhat quantifiable are mostly based on assumptions.

The opposite is something like email marketing, which is a form of direct-response marketing. An email message is sent out to the recipient. This is a more targeted and aggressive approach because your message is going directly to someone's individual email box, where they've opted to receive your communications; you're not relying on the reader to stumble upon your profile or home page post. Results are easily tracked and measured, and the marketer / publisher can control distribution.

Now, what I'm about to say might raise some eyebrows, as social media marketing has become the new shiny thing many self-proclaimed Internet marketing gurus are raging about. And they may even argue that by friending or following someone, you've sort of opted in to receive the authors' messages that are being posted on your profile page, wall, or home page. I disagree.

Not everyone will be a "profile stalker"-that is, visiting someone else's profile page  on a daily basis. And most home page posts will be lost among all the other friend  and follower noise on the page.

In addition, accepting someone's friend invitation certainly doesn't give that person  permission to send promotional-type communications to a personal email address  (which, by the way, is visible information on some social media profile pages).

Social networking has become very popular,  and community members often follow hundreds  or thousands of people. Checking your  profile page frequently or singling out your  posts on a home page filled with many other  messages is realistically unreliable, even for  the most loyal of followers.

With email marketing, you're sending a direct message to your recipients. Sure, you're competing with other messages in their email inbox, but chances are, if you have a good subject line, your email will be seen and read-way better odds than a random profile or home page visit.

I mention this because although many people get excited when they see they have  500 friends or 1,000 followers, I believe it plays more to one's ego than anything else. For psychological reasons, we all want to have friends, fans, and followers-we want to feel popular, wanted, and liked.

Although there is value in creating a loyal community of like-minded Triple Fs, you still don't have a direct opted-in line of communication to them (via an email address), which makes the Triple Fs somewhat harder to monetize than free e-zine subscribers. Subscribers are people who've given permission to receive your communications, such as e-zine issues and direct email messages.

Subscribers have more of a vested interest in the relationship than the Triple Fs. After all, they have voluntarily given you personal information: their email address.And in the publishing industry, email addresses are one of the most important things one can get from a person, aside from a mailing address. You see, the email address is the foundation of your list, your community, and your lead-generation efforts.

This gives you leverage when coordinating joint ventures (JVs), affiliate marketing, and editorial deals with other publishers. This also gives you a direct, personal line of communication with the reader for special, targeted bonding and sales messages.

Email addresses are names that can be added into your sales funnel for direct email marketing efforts, which ultimately will help you turn a subscriber into a paying customer at a more expedited rate than through social media marketing.

Can a Triple F be converted into a paying customer without being a subscriber or receiving direct email messages?
Sure, but it's harder to bond with someone when the marketing messages are limited, passive, in public view, and reliant on the prospect to come to you (instead of you sending your message to them).

On some social media platforms, you're also dealing with limitations that can affect the potency of the message, such as maximum character counts. This dilutes the effectiveness of your overall marketing message and performance results.

I advise clients to use social marketing as a tool to assist with, and complement, their other online marketing efforts, not to put all their eggs in one basket and completely rely on social media marketing (SMM) just because it's popular or everyone seems to be doing it. As with any marketing tactic, in the end, it has to
make sense for your business.

But you can take some steps to help maximize your returns with social media marketing. Incorporating the following tactics and being aware of the challenges you may come across helps you get the most of your social marketing efforts, to grow your business now and down the road. The following are some tips for getting the most from your SMM efforts.

Relationship Building and Bonding
The whole purpose of social media marketing is to connect your business with like minded individuals with a common interest, and for your company to be part of a network or community. You have the ability to be a friend and guru. People friend follow, or fan someone for a psychological reason:
They feel like they're getting one step closer to their subject of interest, guru, celebrity, or idol. They also feel that they're getting the real deal, the inside scoop, and unedited, raw comments straight from the horse's mouth.

Engage in a One-on-One Dialogue
Exchange comments about family, sports, weather, jokes, or other areas of interest. Convey birthday wishes. Get to know your Triple F's on a personal level. With social media marketing, it's all about relationship cultivation and interaction.

Engage with them and aim for open communication and two-way communication. People also feel extra special through direct dialogue. Depending on how many Triple F's you have, pick a few random names and send them a direct message through the social media platform. For instance, Facebook offers email messaging (but remember not to send promotional messages through this venue, since it's a turn-off).

Branding and Free Advertising
Incorporate your brand (image, logo, tag line) or promotional messages either in the background of your social media profile page or in text or banner ads on your social media profile page. Make the text ad or banner ad eye-catching, and link to your website home page, squeeze page (name-collection page), or promotional landing page. The landing page for the link in your ad should be determined by your goal and overall message.

Facebook has areas on individual pages (as opposed to fan pages) that could be used for advertising or promotional, such as text boxes, the Notes tab, Links, and Profile Badge. On fan or company pages, you can also upload 200 × 520 pixel vertical banner ads instead of a profile picture, for added advertising benefits. You can hyperlink the ad to your website, squeeze page, or wherever.

Conversion
Remember, although you have links to your Triple F's profile pages, you don't have opted-in, direct email addresses. In other words, you don't have permission to send them promotional or editorial communications. To help remedy this, I typically put together a social media conversion plan, which is a strategic plan to encourage your company's Triple F's to sign up for your newsletter, moving them to subscriber status.

After you have permission to send a newsletter to your Triple F's, you have implemented what's known as permission marketing. From here, your goal is to bridge the gap between friend / follower / fan and customer. 

When you have permission to send marketing materials to a customer, you can send targeted messages,  whether through an auto-responder series, with ads in the e-newsletter, or with solo email marketing messages. In any case, it's a more effective and expedited way to get people into your sales funnel for monetization.
In the publishing world, a list (contact information of free or paid subscribers) is sacred. It's one of the most valuable things you own. You protect it and treat it with care, because your list is your financial bread and butter. It's made up of people-customers and subscribers-who can make or break your business through their purchasing power or lack thereof.
Twitter Caveat
My biggest concern with Twitter is sending out the right tweets and getting the right people to follow. By the "right people," I mean people who are targeted, relevant, and qualified individuals who are truly interested in your content. This is important because Twitter isn't like Facebook, where a user can accept or reject friend invitations. For the most part, with Twitter, people can just follow someone without being accepted by the tweeter. 

If you're using Twitter for your business, don't get wrapped up in building the number of followers you have or keeping track of how many retweets you get. Your ideal follower needs to bond with you on a deeper level. I believe that, with Twitter followers (or any social media followers for that matter!), quality is more important than quantity.

The great Twitter challenge is to reach a level of bonding with your followers that's enough to get them to visit your website and convert (sign up to receive marketing communications or buy a product).
Remember that many Twitter users follow someone arbitrarily and are just looking for return follows to help build their following list, for their own self-promotional or egotistical reasons. 
These people have a certain number in mind that they want to reach and focus on reaching that number no matter who they follow.

Comments

  1. Hello
    social marketing is the best way to increase your website traffic and get more visitor internet marketing is the best for make social networking. Socialkik

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is the purpose of this article, and let me add : Social media is a big, complex subject, but before we take a look at the new world of social media, let’s take a look at the old world of traditional marketing. By looking back before we look forward, we’ll have a better sense of where social media is going to take us in the future.

    thank you Arun

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice post! I think the reason that almost every social media company recommends social marketing is because it's a more personal way for businesses to connect with their target audiences. Facebook and twitter for example, gives companies the opportunity to keep their customers up to date of anything that happens with the company through just a simple click, sending an informative status update to millions of followers out there.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great information! Like you mentioned, social media is all about interacting with your followers and creating positive relationships. I like the 80/20 approach that my seo told me about, where you use 80% of your social media time to interact with followers and answering comments, etc, and use only 20% to actually sell your product. I think this is a great way to establish a good online reputation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree social marketing is great, but email marketing is still necessary, and it goes directly to the potential client.

    ReplyDelete

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