Five Social Media Marketing Tips

Stacey Alexander’s excellent June 10 post: How do I effectively find my target audience with social mediashares great tools, tips and hints for finding your tribe inside of the floating, changing, now ubiquitous social networks. This post is a response to Stacey’s last question:

What are your tips for finding and marketing to your audience in social media?

Social Media Marketing Tip 1: Let Principles Drive
Good To Great, Jim Collins book about corporate greatness is an instruction manual. Great companies spend time exploring and writing down who they want to be. Like ancient samurai great companies develop a Bushido code stressing self-discipline, courage and loyalty. Think of social media as great reflecting pools. Values you believe will be projected a thousand times amplified with each projection. Even strong, simple, positive values can be distorted in social media’s multidimensional hologram. Know, define and write down your company and brand’s values, principles, philosophy and beliefs. Use simple easy to understand language. When challenged listen intently and modify if needed. No code is sacrosanct or inviolate. What it means to be social media samurai changes, grows and is shaped by organic interaction, interaction with customers, stake holders and team members. When in doubt let your principles drive. If principles fall short honestly own your company’s, brand’s or product’s short comings and solicit help to refine, rebuild and refocus.

Social Media Marketing Tip 2: Conduct Don’t React
We are not alone. No matter how previously self sufficient every company, brand, product and individual lives in growing codependency. This means any one’s greatest skill is their ability to conduct a growing orchestra. Social media marketing is increasing the number of variety of musicians in the pit. Creating consistent, cohesive communication can be difficult, but leadership and confidence can’t be faked. When I was a junior marketing newbie at M&M/Mars Charlie Purdy taught me, “Plan or be planned for.” The update of Charlie’s statement would be, “Conduct social media or social media will be conducted for you and you may not like the result.” Invest and believe in Social Media for whatever reason works for your company. Some companies will invest out of fear. Some will invest out of greed. Smart companies invest in social media marketing because they care. They are about values, products, quality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Social media marketing reflects and amplifies your company’s beliefs. If you don’t believe in social media marketing then Don’t Do It. Attempting to use social media marketing for any thin reason appears fake immediately. The only thing worse than NOT participating in social media marketing is doing so for the wrong reasons. Wrong reasons are any reasons not grounded in values and expressed honestly. If and when you do believe in social media marketing’s ability to add new dimensions to your company’s communication go all in and conduct this new expanded orchestra with confidence and humble leadership.

Social Media Marketing Tip 3: Create NonZero-Sum-Ness
The only benefit that endures, I learned at M&M/Mars, is mutual benefit. Don’t think of this statement narrowly. Benefit could be environmental benefit, social benefit or cultural benefit. Cause marketing is all the rage currently. Social media marketing is fueling cause marketing’s expansion. Causes play well on social networks. Robert Wright’s NonZero speaks of our genetic tendency, now shaped by generations of Darwinian effect, to share. We share because sharing is, more often than not, the winning strategy. We share because our sharing genes get passed on. We share because doing the right thing is rapidly becoming the right, i.e. cheapest and most profitable, thing to do. Sharing is always mutually beneficial. This is the “gift economy” idea. Freely giving pays real dividends, real ROI. In a Google powered content marketing world where word-of-mouth is the only trusted advertising it is not hard to understand why sharing creates traffic creates revenue. Why doing the right thing is the right thing to do.

Social Media Marketing Tip 4: Invest in the Gift Economy
Attribution is a bitch. This is the “It’s A Wonderful Life” problem. Your company, brand and product is out there making connections, creating tribes, earning brand advocacy and converting customers to evangelists. It is hard to know what actions create what relationships. Best to build on instead of take down. Best to be generous in attribution instead of stingy. Best to invest in the gift economy even when exact 2 + 2 = 4 ROI metrics aren’t readily available or are impossible to calculate beyond a SWAG.
Social Media Marketing Tip 5: Trust But Verify
Forgive me for paraphrasing Ronald Regan’s famous edict about working with the Russians, but it is possible to go broke in the gift economy. Engagement points are infinite, but return will cluster around a 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of your social media marketing return will come from 20% of your programs, promotions, ideas, campaigns and initiatives. Attribution is a bitch, but create a model, a model that can be trended, to understand return on your social media investment. Trust but verify should reinforce the importance of social media marketing. If you seem so spend way more than your return look at your attribution model hard. Social media marketing ROI credit must flow fully down stream. If your social media marketing efforts are not generating return check your attribution assumptions and look upstream for revenue holes. If your social media marketing is still falling short, generating negative return, then lower your budgets and test until you see positive ROI. You can always slow down, re-segment, refocus or recast your ideas. Social media marketing is the very definition of a “no harm, no foul” situation. The biggest harm is NOT doing something. The second biggest harm is doing something for the wrong reasons such as non-value based sales manipulation to name just one. And the third biggest harm is conducting social media marketing without a quantifiable ROI model with some attribution assumptions based in benchmarks, experience or facts.

Following these five social media marketing tips will help you know what to do with your target audience once you follow Stacey’s map for finding them.

Martin

Posted by Martyat 10:37 PM

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