Whenever I go up to work for a Tech company they often ask me to devise a Social Media strategy for them and when I ask what do they eventually want to achieve? I get confusing replies. The biggest dilemma that start-ups face is that they do want to work on the Social Media Marketing but they don’t know what they want to get out of it exactly. It’s been one of the most common problems that we, as a marketer, face.
Social media marketing (SMM) can be used for various purposes. One of the biggest challenges that people face when they go to a company to help with social media is; when they inquire about the past work. The point here is how you can relate the past experience of that person in your company. Instead of asking about the past experience why not see what the guy has to offer you. I mean what if a person was doing a social media for a B2C consumer product, how would that help your company? That wouldn’t even help a company which is dealing with B2B market. Let us differentiate the two approaches and see what can be done in both the cases.
B2C Social Media Marketing:
B2C social media marketing is when a marketer is handed a consumer product. For instance, if coca cola asks a guy to do its Social Media marketing the strategy that a guy would devise would be completely different. Starting from the scratch, Facebook would play a vital role here. As people log into Facebook to socialize and interact with their friends. They don’t tend to see different technological updates on Facebook that much (I am talking about the general patterns). Pinterest would be handy too if you have an apparel to market. People need to see the product, so Twitter wouldn’t be that much handy here as you won’t have the liberty of displaying images with your product. You can use “Call to Action” (CTA) along with the Images to actually persuade the reader to know more about your product and eventually buy it. The bottom line is you can use SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS where you can actually display your product as it will help a lot in B2C Social Media Marketing.
B2B Social Media Marketing:
B2B social media marketing is altogether a different science and it involves a different strategy. You just can’t implement the same strategy as you were using for B2C companies. B2B social media marketing involves professional marketing. LinkedIn is the best platform for that with millions of professionals to target. Twitter also plays an important part in it. I won’t encourage using Facebook that much, until or unless you have something really AMAZING to offer the clients, for social media marketing. Let me tell you why, how many people do you know tend to read about professional stuff on Facebook. Facebook is for casual things, people like reading about funny stuff, they want to see consumer products which can actually help them so they join in Fanpages of Brands and do interact on them but if you are a TECH company then Facebook is really not your deal. You can use it for sure to give yourself a chance but you can’t rely on it.
Now the big question, WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING?
Most of the startups won’t have an answer to that. Some would be blunt enough to tell you that they want to get LEADS through that. You have to reply to that question, a simple answer would be
“You can’t generate SALES from the SOCIAL MEDIA alone; every sale that you make through Social media is actually a bonus. Social Media helps you create BRAND AWARENESS not hardcore LEADS OR SALES.”
Social Media Marketing is about creating Brand awareness, just like the traditional Advertising. If you want to get the leads then SOCIAL MEDIA OPTIMIZATION (SMO) is the thing for you which actually is an integration of Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and most importantly Blogging. I know it may sound a lot of work and hectic but let me be very clear here, if you plan on running your business for a long duration and if you want to be one of the top companies then you can’t just neglect anything in this game.
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Social Media Marketing is a counter of Advertising in Electronic media, since most people (that includes me as well) tend to spend most of their time on Digital Media (Internet) rather than watching TV. This is where social media marketing comes into play. Don’t confuse it with something else, first be sure what you want to get and then go for the killer strategy.