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Social Media Strategy: The Key to Social Media Marketing Success

Social media marketing has been touted as a “cheap and easy” way to spread your company’s marketing message.

Social media marketing is ideal for those businesses that:

  • understand the GDP of your customers (Goals, Wants, Problems)
  • are able to articulate how their business helps customers achieve goals, satisfy wants, and solve problems
  • have customers who are already “fans”
  • whose clients are technically savvy.

While it may be a startup marketer’s dream come true, it’s important to remember this fact:

The Internet never forgets.

What this means is that any “mistakes” you might make definitely have the potential to “live long and prosper.”

Unlike other media, marketing messages sent over the Internet are indexed and saved. (This is good if it’s a message you want to live on forever.) However, in addition to the “permanent” nature of your Internet marketing messages, these messages always have the potential to go “viral.” While going “viral” is a good thing when it comes to a message you WANT to spread quickly, this phenomenon is as welcome as a nasty flu bug when it happens with a message you’d rather not see the light of day.

It can be the best of times, or the worst of times.

When a marketing message strikes a chord and goes viral, it’s a company’s worst nightmare.

Social media marketing has “raised” the stakes in the whole “marketing” game. See, when your “poorly executed” radio or television ad is aired, it’s quickly forgotten. Likewise, your “poorly executed” newspaper ad will quickly find its way to the bottom of a birdcage.

While “poorly executed” advertising attempts may be a waste of money, they won’t cause lasting, permanent “damage” to your brand. You can always “correct” a past mistake with a new campaign and message.

However, when your message is taken to the Internet, the stakes are raised significantly. A mistake made online can last as long as web pages are active and indexed.

Take the case of Pepsi, when they ran the now infamous “Pepsi Suicide” ad campaign. What advertising executives thought was edgy and provocative turned out to be positively offensive. Pepsi was in the unenviable position of apologizing, but the viral effect was in full swing. The controversy spread, and Pepsi discovered too late that these types of viral campaigns often become a permanent part of a brand’s DNA.

Fortunately for Pepsi, they have plenty of money and if anyone can “buy” their way out of a bad social media strategy, it’s Pepsi.

While the Pepsi debacle made national news, if you’re a smaller company and don’t have pockets as deep as Pepsi, you can’t afford to play with fire.

That’s where a strong social media strategy comes in!

Crafting a solid social media strategy isn’t difficult if you already have a solid and comprehensive marketing strategy or communication strategy. See, social media is just another form of communication, so start building your social media strategy using the “bones” of your existing marketing or communication strategy.

Crafting a social media strategy is essential for all businesses, no matter how big or small.

This is not a “fad” or something to be taken lightly. This is your company’s reputation at stake here.

Remember: the footprints you leave on the web are not left in the sand, they are left in the cement.

Be careful!

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