Thursday, December 30

Facing the Facts and Truth in Social Media

In a few days, we bid the 2010 a warm farewell. And as most of us ready our resolutions for the coming 2011, it’s great to look back at the highs and the lows this year brought us. And what a year it has been, proving to be quite fruitful for social media and the Internet in general. Only by doing so can we map out a better 2011 with regard to our brands and how we deal with our demographic online. And it’s also time to face the facts we’ve learned with the marketing campaigns we have unleashed in the past 12 months and those we have yet to churn out. Here are a few of them.

Focus on Engagements Rather Than Promotions

Image by Wild_Child_HC
This may sound really Social Media 101, but a lot of brands new on the social media platform are still struggling to get their word out to the Interwebs because they push every erg of their marketing energy promoting their brands. Now don’t get us wrong, brand promotion is a really crucial part of online marketing, but its value depreciates when you don’t interact with your demographic. You are, after all, interacting with real people, and it’s only natural for them to want to talk to a real person with human identity and attributes they can relate to, and not some corporation.
Your followers will pay attention if they notice that you’re listening to them, sharing your personal thoughts on interesting topics, and maybe laughing along to some spreading meme. Spending a few minutes responding to comments and tweets, retweeting, using the platform as an extension of your customer service hotline/s, and maybe even socializing with people offline on events can really go a long, long way.

Loyalty Goes Both Ways

Image by dtcchc
Naturally, as you pursue those multiple interactions online, your relationship with your followers grow. And a sign of a healthy brand-demographic relationship will inspire loyalty on both parties. You can monitor your brand impressions online easier and thus get insights into how your brand and products are perceived, and get a chance to clear out brand misconceptions. This way, you can probably realign your campaigns, and maybe make changes to the products to satisfy their needs. When you play your cards right, your follower’s loyalty will be your brand’s strongest marketing weapon.
Consider this: loyal fans satisfied with the treatment and the services they receive serve as brands’ social media ambassadors as they spread the word and put the kibosh on negative feedback. Some even create heaps of content around brands; like podcasts, Wiki pages, fan sites, unofficial physical items. These will definitely help you rank higher on the search engines and are awesome crowdsourcing materials.

Be Innovative and Stand Out

Image by DieselDemon
A great thing about social media is that it’s still a fresh platform. And as such, it has lots of leg room for creative marketing ideas and new distribution tactics which many are still easing into and continuously discovering best practices. So now is a good time as any to take advantage of its potentials for your brand. Your challenge though is how to unveil your messages across the thickening noise on the cloud and get your demographic’s to notice you.
In traditional marketing, brands compete against their competitors on which detergent to buy or which phone service to opt for; but in social media, we all compete with everything else online for our demographic’s attention. So yes, those pictures of cute, fluffy animals, autotuned videos, and your usual dose of spam—all these and more are clogging the tubes and it’ll be up to your marketing know-how to get you measurable results. The best way to do this is by being original and avoiding the following:
Reusing the Formulaic
A formula may have helped your previous campaign succeed, but if you keep on churning out the same strategies, people will eventually get tired of them. Yes, even if you candy-coat the newer ones with different marketing elements.
Swiping Successful Tactics
Even if a marketing strategy has worked with some other brand, there’s no guarantee it’ll work for yours. There are a lot of components to a strategy that is meant to be mapped out carefully to tailor to a brand’s identity, ideals and products. Also, don’t underestimate your audience’s intelligence by hoping they won’t notice your copied tactic because they will find out, and it can be very detrimental to your reputation.

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