Actionable Marketing 101
Just because social media is hot, doesn’t mean that your business should jump in without a plan. Contrary to popular belief, social media requires resources—human and monetary. To be successful, your social media strategy should be integrated with your business plan. A strong social media business rationale is the first step towards developing an integrated strategy.
5 Business rationales for social media participation
- Extend prospect and customer base. Your brand and offering can reach a larger prospect base than it might through traditional media due to social media’s strong audience numbers, especially on sites like Facebook.
- Support entire purchase process. While some media formats focus on intent initiation and conversion-to-purchase, social media provides useful information at every step of the buying cycle including: need initiation and research, engagement, purchase, post-sales support including returns and additional product purchase, and advocacy.
- Aid search marketing. Marketers can enhance their search marketing efforts by using a variety of social media platforms. The major options that appear in search engine results are YouTube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.
- Build relationships with fans, advocates and the general public. Social media can help support your biggest fans and influencers who in turn can enhance the information that your prospects and customers gather and share.
- Monitor your reputation. Regardless of whether your firm actively participates on social media platforms or not, it’s critical to monitor what’s being said about your brand and/or offering and the sentiments surrounding these conversations. Since this happens without your firm’s involvement, be prepared because positive user support can turn negative in a heartbeat!
As with any business initiative, you must understand the underlying business rationales for utilizing social media. This influences how you develop and implement your marketing strategy.
How does your business rationalize adding social media to the marketing mix? Please share your insights in the comments section.
Photo credit: Mike Knapek via Flickr