OK, I admit it - I am NOT an expert on this stuff...but, hey, I'm in the game and I am learning! I have uncovered some compelling reasons to use social media in your marketing mix and a few sensible rules of engagement...
Why incorporate SMM into your marketing mix? Well, as opposed to advertising- SMM is free. It's also credible - peers advising peers.
My role, what I do and what I love to do is promote my client's events, services, products and brand through any and every avenue possible. I have fun doing this because the world of social media allows me to engage with and follow folks who have the same interests and want to hear what I have to say - and vice versa. What you can do with SMM is this; build a community. Engage with your customers, partners, prospects and peers. Have a voice. Listen and learn from others. Use social media tools to help build your brand.
Tips I have found on colleagues blogs and tweets:
1. Know why you’re using a service.
I use Twitter (http://twitter.com/dvendley) to access relevant links to useful knowledge and influential people in my idustry and to reach and develop mutually beneficial relationships with others. Linkedin provides me the ability to tap on or grow the collective knowledge and expertise in my network. This is assuming I've linked up to people I know or trust to be reliable, of course (I have). Then, even if my immediate contact does not know the answer, their contacts down the trust chain may or can refer to people who can help me. Facebook has proven valuable both personally and professionally. I have created groups and connected with long forgeotten colleagues and aquaintances who are now valuable resources, prospects and who can link me into their networks..
2. Know what your followers or friends want - provide value.
Understand what your friends, family, colleagues and customers wnat and give it to them. Simple as that. Keep it relevant and engaging.
3. Cross-pollinate your friends
from one social media service to another. If I tell my Twitter followers I’m on Linkedin or Facebook, I will get new followers “crossing over” from social media service to another.
4. Use the same avatar for each service
so that you’re instantly recognizable by your friends from other services.
5. Help others unconditionally
Doing so attracts people to you and helps you be seen as an expert. I know this doesn’t seem very “markety” but that’s the point: it’s actually the best marketing you can do. If somebody showed they gave a damn and helped you solve a problem or answer a question, wouldn’t you be more inclined to follow/friend that person, maybe check out their blog?
6. Put in the time.
This is the hardest point for many to deal with. They just don’t have the time. My advice is to pick two social media sites that resonate with you and use them.
ou can wear your followers and friends out if you over-use a service. They’ll get sick of you, even if you’re providing value. It’s like the social media version of that person at the party who just won’t shut up and you want to wring his neck.