Posts Tagged ‘social networking’

Using Social Media in Marketing : Part 5

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Putting The Media In Social Media

Beyond communicating directly with potential customers, Social Media can be used to extend a campaign or reinforce a brand by using these outlets to publish content. This content should be bespoke web content. Created to engage viewers and build awareness around your brand, ultimately designed to turn customers into evangelists through viral networks and word-of-mouth advertising. Podcasts, live streamed events, online games: just some of the possibilities to take your brand into uncharted waters.

Branded content, the new paradign in online advertising, is an emerging form of content that presents an ad disguised as content. This is not a sneaky attempt by an advertiser to coerce a viewer into watching. In fact it is very specific content created to offer value to the viewer beyond simple “Here’s my product. It’s for sale”. From expensive, high-production value mini shows to lo-fi videoblogging, there is an entire universe of possibilities to explore. The point is to be subtle with sales proposition, avoid hard-sell “Get It Now” messaging, and focus on interesting and relevant topics that surround the brands ecosystem. The content could narrative and dramatic or comedic, with subtle product placement or subtle pre-roll/post-roll branding. Or it could take an educational tone, how to get the best out of the product, or tips on associated topics not directly related.


Using Social Media in Marketing : Part 4

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Okay I Get It, How Do I Get Started

Now you are ready to dip your toe in the waters of Social Marketing, the cheapest and easiest way is to add a blog to your website. Write short posts a few times a week about topics relevant to your business, offer insights to manufacturing processes or customer case studies. Keep it topical and timely. Set up a Twitter account and a Facebook page, and share your blog posts or other interesting articles you have read online. Most importantly, be honest and genuine. Be human. Interact, respond to questions, join conversations. It’s not always easy or immediately rewarding, but given time you will develop your own ‘voice’ and your personality will shine forth.

Beyond those simple beginnings, we can get a little more involved. Build a Ning community around your brand where your customers or users can commune and hold discussions and share their stories. Develop a YouTube or Vimeo channel for training, advertising, branded content or seminar highlights. Populate a Flickr account with photo’s from conferences and Expo’s your company attends or speaks at. Offer promotions through FourSquare using location based marketing. The tools are numerous and varied, but they don’t have to all be embraced at once. Take on one at a time and slowly develop an online social marketing presence that supports your overall brand personality.


Using Social Media in Marketing : Part 3

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

So What Does This Mean To My Marketing Strategy?

So this new web-born freedom is great and all, but how does it apply to business? Why should my business use these tools, or more importantly, HOW? At first glance it may seem there is no place amongst the Facebook Werewolves and YouTube haters for any serious business to venture. What could I possibly gain from sharing web-space or associating with that crowd? Actually, there is a huge gain to be had in joining the Social Network masses. These people are your audience, your customers. Never before have you had an opportunity to communicate so directly with them. Creating relationships with potential or existing customers has never been easy. Opening the doors of your social network to your audience allows a greater level of transparency and interaction. If done well, it can put a human voice or face to an otherwise anonymous corporate entity.

A dialog can be opened between the people you have been producing print ads for, who’s mailbox you have been dumping direct mail into, who you have been writing newsletters for all this time. Not only do you now have a channel to canvas ideas and feedback, your customers now have a door to poke their heads around and offer you suggestions, complaints, praise. You may have paid handsomely for this market research in the past. Of course you have to be committed to offering the best product or service you possibly can. Opening the social network doors will only lead to a barrage of angry followers if your offerings are less than advertised. If what drives you is the desire to be the best in your field, and your attempts to garner input are sincere then this feedback should be nothing short of gold.


Using Social Media in Marketing : Part 2

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Everybody Is Doing It These Days

Yesterday I claimed that Social Media was all about the conversation. But this conversation is nothing new. Since the dawn of the web people have been socializing online. BBS’s and newsgroups have been around for eons. Look at YahooGroups for evidence of that, there is an apparent group for every conceivable topic. And where would the web be without the blessed forum. Forums are a lively, helpful resource for many people to learn and help others. All of them are two-way and conversational. So why is Social Networking such a novelty? Are Social Networking and Social Media just terms coined by those web poseur types that hang around in coffee shops with their MacBookAir’s? Possibly, but it would be foolish to ignore their relevance and importance to the modern internet landscape. With the advent of Web2.0 technologies like AJAX or RubyOnRails developers were able to expand the features of old static websites into something modern and dynamic. This allowed social networks to be expandable, extensible and highly customizable, whereas the good old forum or newsgroup are the exact same experience for every visitor. Social networks allow each participant to create an area on the web that reflects their taste, interests, ideals and personality.


Using Social Media in Marketing : Part 1

Monday, July 25th, 2011

The Birth of The Social Network

Okay, so unless you have had your head buried under a rock for the past 5 years, you have likely come across the a little website called Facebook. And if you watch CNN at all you’ve probably seen Anderson Cooper inviting you to join the conversation on Twitter. And of course, who hasn’t wasted precious minutes, not to mention company bandwidth, watching dancing cats on YouTube. Social Networks. User Generated Content. Social Media. Buzz words galore. Tweetups. Meetups. Twestivals. Blogs and Vlogs. To many, it seems like an entirely new dialect has sprung up almost overnight. If it feels like everyone else in the office is hip to the scene except you, it shouldn’t. Like all trends that seem to sprout from nowhere, they begin with a vocal minority who like to think they are part of a movement the rest of us are not privvy to. Now, the trend has reached the mainstream, and its never too late to get up to speed and join the ever-growing throng of cool kids with their Tweety pages MyFace profiles.

It’s time to join the world of the Social Network.