Sunday, September 22, 2013

Defining Social Media

Social media is not a scary beast that you should run away from. Ok, maybe it can be, but look at it this way:  What if companies ignored television advertising when it first became an option? I'm sure a lot of marketers shied away from the medium, but after some time, it became the most effective way to market products and services - and it still is.

Social media is a marketing tool in your toolbox. It lives alongside print advertising, email marketing, online advertising, mobile, blogger outreach, press releases, print materials, in-store pieces, coupons, website, SEO and any other marketing tool you have. Social media can help kickstart a new business to create brand awareness, but you cannot ignore traditional marketing or additional marketing tactics along the way.

In order for your social media marketing to be successful, you must 1) believe in your product 2) believe in customer service 3) believe that it's ok to let go of the reigns a bit and have a conversation with your customers. Without these, your social media will fail and you'll lose faith in this viable marketing channel.

If you're open to the idea that your customers have a voice, an important one, then try social media marketing. Just remember, when you start it, you have to commit to it. Social media marketing is not for quick-starts; it's a nonstop journey to successfully market your product or service to the correct people in the correct way. It's a way to glean consumer insights just by listening to what they say about you, your product or service, your competition, your industry or what other things they like (grumpy cat!) Social media is a way to connect with consumers in a new and interesting way, to tell them the story of your brand in a meaningful way so that when they see your brand on the shelf, in the lot, online - in a sea of similar products or services - they choose you.

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