So many times we think that since new media is new, the tried and true principles of marketing no longer apply. Wrong. By utilizing social media channels we marketers now have the ability to better target messages so why are so many people sending the same message over all of the different channels. Sure you can allow twitter to update your Facebook status and your LinkedIn status but are you sure that is what you want to do. Would you put the same ad on a billboard, an online magazine and then print it out and use it as your business card? Below is a list of questions to start with when considering a new marketing channel, and I insist that each social media site be treated as an individual channel. The answers are likely to be different for each channel and therefore an individualized approach should be taken with each.
- Who can we reach through this channel (friends, business contacts, new business opportunities)?
- What is the atmosphere surrounding our message (social, business, informational)
- What time of day and in what state of mind are people in when they are likely to interact with me?
- Why do I value this interaction?
- How can I provide value to my connection through this interaction and the relationship we have now established?
- Do we have a plan in place for listening (monitoring) not just for speaking (posting)?
- How do we evaluate the success or failure of this marketing effort?
The key differentiator with “social” mediums is that people are reading your message because they elected to do so. It’s not like traditional advertising where marketers push their message to anyone that is viewing or reading another program. With platforms such as twitter, facebook, squidoo, etc. people elect to read your messages. This gives several advantages to a marketer:
* They can talk more socially
* They can develop relationships
* They can create a more targeted message
* They can add more value
With opportunity comes responsibility though. People that elect to follow other people or corporations expect to receive value from it. If marketers don’t provide value and good content, then people can just as easily elect not to talk ‘socially’ with them anymore.