Social Media – Getting Started


It's a social world.

Internet marketing has revolutionized everyday business communications in the 21st century. Facebook and Twitter are two dominant social media sites that have become  essential components of any corporate marketing plan.

Social networking tools enable companies to gain an immediate online presence with no startup costs, with these benefits: networking, branding awareness, increase in web page views, and promotion of products, services and activities.

In a medium where every website has a URL, social media plays an important role. Prior to Facebook and Twitter, our websites had to be recognized and ranked by search engines, like Google. But now, we can get our business noticed by leaving URLs on message boards, blogs, and social media sites. We are creating our own links to our web pages.

The social media phenomenon keeps growing and has  created a need for people to manage social media. All those twitters and tweets and Facebook entries don’t get written by gremlins.

Whether you hire an experienced social media networker to work in-house or you outsource the responsibility to a PR firm or marketer, you should make sure that your social media strategy is integrated with your offline marketing program.

Starting a Social Media Campaign

Twitter and Facebook are manageable places to start a social media campaign, which is consistent with your in-place marketing program.  Here are some tips on making it work:

Step #1 – Set a policy. Develop language and branding that is consistent throughout the organization.

Everyone in the organization has to use the same language when relaying brand and product messages. Taglines, logos, and boilerplate language must be integrated consistently.

Step #2 – Make a commitment. Assign the tasks to one or several people in the marketing or business development section and enable them to learn the skills.

Many companies start a social media plan, and then treat it as an unwelcome stepchild.  Blogging and social media require an ongoing commitment.

Step #3 – Out-of-the-box thinking is called for to set the company apart from its competition. Be imaginative about a product launch or special event. Blast it everywhere.

Step #4 – Learn how to talk the social media language. Engage, engage, engage to get people excited about news. Use contests and promotions. Ask questions. Start discussions.

Round out your total marketing program with a well-written informational website, blog, and social media strategy. Today’s dynamic digital ecosystem demands a social networking effort. It’s time to get on board the social media train.

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About Arlene

I am a journalist and marketing writer with a general business background. For more than 25 years, I have worked with professionals in health care, technology, law, financial services, and other disciplines to develop and write articles, web content, and marketing communications that represent their accomplishments and expertise. Since 2004, I have been a writer and contributing editor for The Prepaid Press, a monthly print and online trade publication that covers prepaid calling, payment processing, gift cards and loyalty, and mobile finance. Prepaid is one of the fastest growing industries and I am grateful to be a participating member of the team. Currently based in South Florida, I can also be found in New York City, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon, three locales where you can enjoy great food, meet fascinating people, and experience awesome scenery and urban sights.
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