If used correctly, social media will get you publicity. Just remember that social media promotion and online marketing must work in conjunction with traditional marketing methods, such as:
- Brand building
- Trade shows
- Public relations
- Media coverage
All of these promotion tools are still important. At the same time that you are active on Twitter and Facebook and other forms of social media, you still need to create press releases, advertise in the local papers, and network face to face to get referrals.
Add social media to the marketing mix. Online social networking provides one of the most efficient channels for marketing. It enables you to expand your customer base and have more direct contact with the customer.
For example, Little Twig, an online drug store, wanted to raise brand awareness and increase sales. The first step was to create Facebook and Twitter profiles. Little Twig then sent out an email marketing letter to all of their contacts requesting them to become fans or followers. Tweets and updates are posted on a regular basis to sustain visibility and create interest in products.
Here are a few other ways to use social media:
- Old news is new news to many. Think of a product that you want to promote and add some information to it. Maybe it’s a baby aspirin. Attach some recent research about baby aspirin and send it out as news through Twitter and Facebook.
- Announce the specials you are running at your store or from your website. Once is not enough. Twitter the special every few hours during the day and continue throughout the week before the special expires.
- Run contests and invite people to sign up for prizes and drawings. By getting people to sign up, you are engaging your customer and building interest.
- Send out holiday greetings through Twitter and Facebook and share a view on a current event. Let’s say you run a restaurant, beauty salon, or any type of business. Your message could be: “Happy New Year, we predict that business in 2011 is going to pick up. There are signs of an economic recovery on every front. Bring in a newspaper clipping about the economy and you will get a 10% discount on goods and services.”
On that note, best wishes for the holidays. Stay out of the snow. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.