Monday, January 14, 2013

Anchor Your Social Marketing

Many brands and organizations rush to set up social networking sites simply to broadcast press releases or other important company announcements. While awareness is one of the ways to use social media, it's certainly not the end all. Your social updates should be part of a larger strategy that's anchored to simplify your decision making when you need to choose between conflicting options.

You should be using your social media assets to:
  • Generate awareness
  • Engage your existing and potential customers
  • Respond to product or service inquiries or feedback (complimentary or not)
You should do a lot of experimenting to find out what really works well in order to determine your best engagement tactics. Repeat successful tactics and adjust others to learn as much as you can about your followers, viewers, etc. When you use repeatable tactics, you can start to estimate and forecast potential results such as understanding what will generate between 200-300 weekly site visits and with a known convergence rate predict potential sales. Then, you'll know how much you can invest  to achieve or improve your results.

And because people need to trust you before they buy anything from you, you should ensure that you're providing timely, insightful responses to people who engage your brand online. This manifests itself in:
  • High time on site and/or pages per visit
  • Low bounce rates
  • Above-average conversion rates or click through rates
  • High email member ratings (based on open and click rates)
Rainmakers understand what makes their existing customers take action or freeze up when it's time to buy. And often your online audience will be different from your loyal, past customers. You need to do a good job of getting existing customers to your online properties and get to know your online audiences better by focusing both on quality and quantity. Pair short, open-ended surveys with incentives to drive up response rates and monitor engagement metrics like the ones above to see if your marketing messages are actually breaking through and having an impact.

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