My last post mentioned three traditional marketing rules that weren’t appropriate for social media so I found it only fair to also give three traditional marketing rules that are still relevant in the social media marketing world.
Marketing isn’t about how much you spend.
Everyone knows the importance of word-of-mouth marketing (if you don’t, read my earlier post on “The Referral Engine,” by John Jantsch). Even before social media existed, one of the major goals of marketing was to get your customers to refer your product or service to people they know. You first needed a great product or service, then you needed customers, then you needed them to let people know about your great product or service. Personal referral is the best way to get the word out about what you do and it’s absolutely free. Social media works exactly hand-in-hand with this concept. What better way to get the word out than to have people promote and refer your business on social media? The Facebook Like button, now accompanied by the Tweet, +1, and a full array of other links, has made this one of the easiest things you as a promoter can do. In the days before social media, if someone had told you they had a way to drastically increase your potential customers that was absolutely free and required little effort, you would have never believed them; but that’s exactly what these links can do. They’re a fully interactive, easy to use way to get people to refer your business to others.
Marketing isn’t just advertising.
Even in traditional marketing there is so much more to promoting your brand and company than just running ads. Marketing is about making others aware and promoting your brand, company, and product or service. It’s important to realize this is done through more than just advertising. In the same way, social media isn’t just about ‘selling’ your product or service. It’s not helpful for people to be reminded daily or hourly how great your business is. It’s important to post about other things related to your company such as your culture, community involvement, press releases, events you’re attending, etc. Social media is a great way to let people know that your company is a group of real people who have opinions on various things, a company culture, and that you’re involved outside your business and that your company is not just an office building that sells a product or service. Writing about these things through blogs and tweets can encourage interaction from potential customers and from potential employees.
Traditional marketing has been proven to produce better results when it interacts with viewers through color, images, and layout and design. It’s important for advertising and marketing to have a call to action so people realize what the next step is (aka the goal of the advertisement). In the same way, social media can be used to interact with followers. A couple ways this can be done is by adding images to messages or by holding contests or giveaways. Get people excited to follow you and interested in what you do. We all know those all too obvious spam accounts that continue to post random links with every other word spelled incorrectly or which include too many emoticons; but there’s no reason you can’t offer discounts or promotions on social media. Several companies tried to gain followers by offering up Google+ invites to those who tweeted back. Other companies offer rewards for RTs or the best answers to questions they post. Social media is a great way to get people to do something and to interact with your brand, company, product, or service.