We are evaluating adding social media to our marketing mix, specifically Facebook and Twitter accounts. Is this a good marketing strategy?
By Jennifer Manocchio
Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites can be an excellent addition to your marketing strategy, but it all depends on what goals you are trying to achieve. You don’t want to invest in social media marketing because it is the latest trend and “everyone else is doing it”.
Just like any other marketing strategy, social media requires a time and money investment. It is a long-term strategy and requires a certain level of commitment from internal staff. Sure the sites don’t cost a dime to create an account, but you will need to support social media in order to increase followers, increase engagement, and continue to manage these sites.
The first step to effectively evaluating social media is to answer the following questions:
1. What are your goals for getting involved in social media (engage your target audience, create leads, generate sales, provide customer service support, etc.)?
2. What do you expect to gain from the social media involvement (enhance reputation, increase sales, reduce phone calls to call center, etc.)?
3. What level of commitment (time and money) are you willing to make to achieve a successful social media effort?
4. Is social media the most efficient and effective strategy to achieve your goals? Can other strategies (e.g., advertising, direct marketing, publicity, etc.) be equally or more effective?
Also, I highly recommend reading a great article published in Advertising Age – Ten Things Social Media Can’t Do — to set accurate expectations on what social media can and cannot do.
If after answering the questions above you feel social media will be a good addition to your marketing mix, then use your answers to start developing a social media strategy.
Identify what sites you will utilize, what the focus of the content will be (product reviews, customer service inquires/answers, special promotions, educational content, etc.), who will be the face of your company, frequency of updates, time commitment, how results will be measured and how often.
Too many companies view social media (blogs, videos, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) as a quick and easy solution to create sales, but in truth, it is no less time consuming and costly as more traditional strategies. However, if done properly, social media will generate results and help support your overall marketing strategy.
Need a social media strategy and support with implementation? Contact me at jennifer at sweeneypr.com or 910.772.1688.