Does Your Social Media Marketing Set Off Fireworks?

Fireworks are symbolic of the Fourth of July. They commemorate the rockets’ red glare and the bombs bursting in air (which actually was the War of 1812) when we defended our freedom as Americans.

Social media marketing has a lot in common with Independence Day. Social media is a move away from traditional media and communications. In many organizations, however, the use of social media causes management to send up severe warnings.

Social media provides engaging interactive platforms for users to create, share and comment on content, in a variety of formats including text, video, photographs, audio, PDF and PowerPoint presentations. It is a means for participants to communicate on a one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many basis with their social graph, other users and the public in real time or asynchronously. As a result the speed and breadth of information dissemination is enhanced with social media.

How does your social media marketing set off fireworks

As a marketer, it’s useful to think about how your social media marketing moves your prospects and customers the way fireworks do.

  1. Get family and friends together. With social media, it’s useful to have a special group you can call your own, some refer to this as a social media tribe.
  2. Invite neighbors to join you. Use meetups and other forms of social media gatherings such as Twitter chats. Remember, these events can occur both on and off-line
  3. Wave your flag. Integrate your brand into your content. As a good example, look at Google which modifies its logo for major (and many minor) holidays.
  4. Offer holiday savings. In today’s marketplace, what’s a holiday without a jumbo sale? Give customers special promotions to entreat them to engage with your firm on a social media platforms as well as to shop in your online and brick and mortar stores.
  5. Provide entertainment regarding your products or other company stories. People love to be entertained. Use a variety of social media videos and meetups.
  6. Recognize members of your community. Give your audience members their 15 seconds of fame. Oreos does this with their weekly photographs on Facebook.
  7. Strut your stuff. Use social media platforms like Flickr and YouTube to share your content. Invite the public to join in the parade.

3 Tactics for social media marketing problem prevention

Just like real Fourth of July events and fireworks, care is needed so that your social media marketing doesn’t backfire. To this end, think like a boy scout and be prepared for these three problems.

  1. Have guidelines and guards to keep order. In social media terms, this includes brand monitoring, social media guidelines and contingency planning. It’s also useful to consider social media’s social responsibility. The goal is not to restrict people from having fun but rather to ensure that all activity is safe.
  2. Help the public with an information center. From a business perspective it’s important to be able to answer your prospects’ and the public’s inquiries in a timely manner. This means manning all communications channels with people who are experienced and have the appropriate skills and resources.
  3. Create a first aid center. While no one wants accidents to happen, it’s important to be ready to respond when needed. To this end, a crisis management plan is useful. Remember the plan by itself isn’t effective unless those involved are well trained.

When it comes to social media marketing, every day should be a day that you celebrate like the Fourth of July.

Do you have any suggestions to add to this list?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

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Photo credit: Bobosh_t via Flickr

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