As far as social media marketing goes, I don't think that anyone could truly be considered an old, old dog; Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin have only been available to the general public since 2006, 2006 and 2003, respectively, and up until recently blogs weren't really commonplace either. Some organizations are still reluctant to blog, citing too low of a return, time consumption and lack of the ability to continually generate quality content. Brendan Egan has more on why every company should have a blog.
Despite a slight advantage, having attended college while Facebook was exclusively offered to students, and graduating with a degree in Public Relations, there wasn't much that could have prepared me for the phenomenon that social media has become. I would venture to guess that for most, discovering the best strategies of social media for business is a learn-as-you-go process, hence the many forums, conferences and webinars that are held on the subject every day.
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited to attend one of these events, the Accelerate your B.L.O.G* seminar, presented by Pole Position Marketing, a Northern Ohio based agency that's been instructing businesses on the finer points of digital marketing strategies for years. (A shameless plug, but I highly recommend Stoney and the team). There, I picked up a few how-tos in the realm of social media marketing that I am looking forward to implementing in Briteskies' marketing strategy.
Special Sauce isn't all that Special
As an eCommerce and IT consulting firm specializing in website design and development, Briteskies is in a rather large market. With mobile and social initiatives becoming a necessity for retailers, as noted by both Briteskies' Mike Moores and Bill Onion, services such as the ones that we provide are in high demand. With this in mind, the blogs and articles that we write and share with our audiences typically illustrate similar principles and best practices. In other words, an organization can't necessarily expect to reinvent the wheel of content creation; we all have the same special sauce. What a company can do though, is emphasize its personality, its strengths and its culture. When writing, keep in mind that you and your competitor may offer identical services, for exactly the same prices; it's what you convey about your history, mission, vision and values that will gain and retain subscribers and clients.
My Company's Good Results will Differ from Yours
When creating, implementing and analyzing social campaigns, it's incredibly easy to get caught up in all the data that can be aggregated from our many social channels and website. Google Analytics, for instance, provides marketing analysts with countless ways to study efforts and make inferences. Visitors, unique visitors, page views, average pages per visitor, not only are there many ways to view data, but ways in which someone might interpret it. Pole Position Marketing suggests identifying your organization's KPIs or Key Performance Indicators; once these three to five items are established, measure your success against these benchmarks. For example, you might notice that your website's number of visitors has been trending negatively over a period of time; this may be good though, if one of your KPIs was to improve your site's keywords or increase the average time each visitor spends on the site. Improving upon keywords within your site's content may be indicative of users who are truly digesting it; the quantity of visitors may have decreased, but the quality of those have undoubtedly improved.
Do Some Things all of the Time and All Things Some of the Time
I once Googled "images for different social media sites" and found this:
Image courtesy of mediabistro via Buddy Media.
I'm sure that isn't all of them, as social media platforms and channels are born and die on a daily basis. Most organizations have neither the resources nor time to properly participate in all forms of social media. This is why it's imperative to determine where your audience is, and to focus your efforts there. Attempting to effectively spread your organization's message through all the social channels will prove to be an exercise in futility if your audience lives and breathes in Linkedin, or only really has the time to read 140 characters on Twitter. Determining where your audience is may take a little research, but the return on investment will be much greater than aimless content broadcasting with little to no response from anyone.
The biggest take away? Social media and blog marketing are vital to an organization's success, and old dog or new, keep up on the latest tips, tricks and trends; I'll try to keep posting them here.
Briteskies wants to know: are you an older media dog, or a new one, and what's the best social media marketing tip you've ever heard?