Are You Using Social Media Marketing for Marketing or Social Media Marketing?

Are You Using Social Media Marketing for Marketing or Social Media Marketing?

Although social media marketing is hot, many online marketers, especially those from offline businesses and retailers, have trouble gaining traction through their social media marketing efforts. The biggest problem is that SMM can be used as an interactive form advertising.

For retailers and offline businesses, this can be particularly difficult as interactive advertising is not a part their marketing or advertising mix for the past few years. They ran their TV and radio commercials, placed print ads in magazines and newspapers, and printed flyers. Then they mailed them. The direct contact with prospects and customers was left to front-line sales staff, while marketing departments remained hands-off and distant from the public. It’s safer to have your marketing department handle social media marketing than having it handled by individual departments or retail locations.

Experiential online marketers might have an advantage because they’ve used e-mails, ezines, and blogs for many of their advertising activities. Each of these tools already has an interactive component. Many are still making the same mistakes as the novices. While they know the basics, this group isn’t putting in the time to master SMM.

Social media is key to success in interactive web properties such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter. Ask anyone who promotes a product online or any other person. They’ll likely tell you that they use social media, but they only post there. Ask them how many times they click the “Like” button on Facebook or the “+1” button on Google. Also ask how often you comment on others’ posts. You’ll get a blank stare most of all.

Engage your audience to succeed with your social media marketing. Interact with your prospects and industry leaders. Be friendly, supportive, and helpful on both your personal pages and in the relevant groups on Google+ and Facebook. Marketers know that people prefer to deal directly with people they trust. So use social media to build real relationships and keep your brand and name top of mind for prospects. Use Twitter to respond and retweet, and thank others who retweet you tweets. You can also use the FriendFeed, Pinterest, and LinkedIn ‘comments’ features.

You need to be careful about how much time you spend on social media. They can quickly become a time sponge that makes it impossible to get everything done. You can stop by them at the beginning of your workday to catch up on what happened while you were away, and then close them down. You’re good to go for another 10 minutes at lunchtime, and another 10 at the end. You don’t need to keep the social media sites open in multiple browser tabs unless you are using them for customer service.

Think of your site as a ‘club’ or a golf course. You’re there for fun, to socialize, and possibly make some big deals. Social media marketing is no different. You won’t get any smm panel cheapest business from those you don’t like at the club or on a course.