Cheat Sheet

Social Media Marketing For Dummies

From Social Media Marketing For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Shiv Singh, Stephanie Diamond

Social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, present unique marketing opportunities. To make the most off social media marketing, discover how to market online, explore the online social media sites and find your target market, and measure the results of your marketing efforts on these platforms.

5 Social Media Marketing Rules

Marketing through the social media platforms isn't quite the same as traditional marketing. Here are five rules that will help you have a successful marketing campaign:

  • Make sure you give your customers something valuable. They would much rather spend the time talking to each other about their passions than engaging with you.

  • Recognize that different types of influencers play varying roles at different points in the marketing funnel. Do the research to know who is influencing your customers and where.

  • Tie together all your strategies across the social media platforms. Think about how all your social programs can work together harmoniously.

  • Make your customers brand advocates and partners in your business. Give them the opportunity to impact not just marketing but product development, customer service, and innovations, too.

  • Develop your authentic social voice for the social media platforms. Make your brand a social brand.

6 Tips for Establishing a Social Media Marketing Campaign

Marketing directly to influencers — rather than consumers — through social media requires that you put together a whole new game plan. Follow these tips as you establish your social media marketing (SMM) campaign:

  • Develop SMM guidelines for your organization. It provides critical guidance for your employees as they practice social media marketing.

  • Establish clear objectives for your social media marketing efforts. Don't experiment for the sake of experimenting.

  • Create a roadmap for your social media marketing efforts. This will help you plan resources, conduct research, coordinate marketing programs, and deploy new tactics.

  • Define your metrics for success up front before you execute your roadmap.

  • Recognize that SMM programs don't have neat end dates. Plan your resources and budget carefully to allow for continuous nurturing.

  • Make sure you understand your customer base. Know who talks to each other and who influences whom before launching any program.

4 Ways to Make Social Media Marketing Campaigns Thrive

Social media marketing campaigns achieve success over the long term. Here are some tips that will help your SMM campaign flourish during its lifespan:

  • Participate where your customers want to participate and be active in the customer communities you create. Remember that your customers are your equals.

  • Design your SMM efforts so that customers are motivated and encouraged to form tribes, bringing others into the fold and engaging with one another.

  • When planning outreach programs, recognize that the "A" list influencers may not be as helpful as the long tail of the other influencers. These other influencers are more likely to listen to your point of view and act on your behalf.

  • Design your programs so that they are extremely easy for your customers and prospects to share with others on the social platforms of their choice.

How to Measure Success in Social Media Marketing

As part of your social media marketing (SMM) campaign, you need to establish related metrics and measure your results to find out if the campaign is a success. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Start with the SMM score (your brand's health compared to all of your direct competitors in the social web) as a single, strategic, brand health measurement.

  • Match your program to the platform and to the metrics available. Different social platforms allow you to measure metrics in different ways.

  • Tie all your SMM metrics to a broader digital strategy and business metrics.

  • Always prioritize metrics regarding sociographics and social action-related metrics over traffic demographics.

  • Don't ignore SMM metrics from your corporate website. Your website is also a platform for social influence and should be measured and tracked in a similar fashion.

  • Use the APIs (application programming interfaces) from the social media platforms to develop your own integrated metrics dashboard.

6 Social Media Marketing Platforms to Know

Consumers rarely use just one social platform — for example, only Facebook or Twitter — so no single social platform is enough for your social media marketing (SMM) activities. Be sure your campaign reaches each of these social media platforms:

  • Facebook: The largest social network in the world, Facebook is ideal for marketing at the awareness and consideration stage of the marketing funnel. Fan Pages, Wall posts, applications, social ads, and technologies like Facebook Connect make the platform a popular choice.

  • LinkedIn: As the largest business-related social network platform, LinkedIn has more than 79 million users. They use applications, resumes, groups, and events to help them advance their careers and find new leads.

  • Twitter: Evolving into a news, brand marketing, and customer service tool, Twitter is ideal for reaching out to influencers, handling customer service queries, and forging personal relationships with customers. Sponsored tweets are an emerging ad format on Twitter.

  • YouTube: With custom channels and the ability to upload an unlimited number of clips, YouTube is a powerful marketing platform if you have engaging branded content, but don't treat it as a push channel through which to funnel TV advertisements. Focus on building social currency with subscribers and users.

  • Blogosphere: Blogger outreach programs are a must, but make sure that you identify the bloggers carefully and reach out to them using blogger outreach best practices. Otherwise, you'll turn them off.

  • Niche social platforms: Your users may be very active on the niche social platforms. Conduct research to learn where they're participating and explore the marketing opportunities on those platforms. Try Ning, CafeMom, deviantART, and Gather.

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