Social Media - it's everywhere!
Both large and small organizations use social media. Large companies are most visible and usually use multiple channels, but small businesses are active as well – in fact, over 41% of small businesses use Facebook to support their marketing efforts.
And no wonder -- social media can be used for both outgoing and inbound communications. Organizations can listen and monitor for customer service and public relations feedback as well as communicate and engage their target market.
But you may have noticed that some organizations get more out of their efforts than others. Their audience likes, shares and comments more often, resulting in greater awareness and better connections.
What are the keys to these successful social media programs?
1) Specific Goals
First, these organizations are not just "doing" social media. They start with objectives that are aligned with organizational goals and values. Social media is often used to support specific objectives, like growing awareness for a new offering, communicating brand and organizational values, or supporting recruitment.
2) Audience Knowledge
The program is built on knowledge of the target customer and what interests them.
3) Offers Value
Social media should include information and topics of interest to engage. Posting information that is entertaining, or that customers might not find elsewhere (like exclusive notices of sales or coupons), and encouraging interaction is key. These organizations think of social media as a conversation with their followers rather than a sales announcement tool. With social media, you have to earn your following, so any sales messages have to be subtle and sprinkled through the other messages – less than 20% of the content.
4) Prioritized Tactics
Successful social media programs take time and consistent effort to build a following. To maximize resources, efforts are focused on channels that appeal most to the target market and fit the organization’s content. They try to be where the potential market is, but don’t try to be everywhere! Better to excel at two channels than have a scattered presence on five.
5) Team Effort and Coordination
Coordination helps get the best out of social media. For small business as well as larger ones, a designated team and coordinated calendar are essential. Planning consistent messaging across platforms, knowing in advance of events and other initiatives, leveraging the following on one channel to point to content on another, and having a reliable source of fresh content are benefits of a well-coordinated team.
6) Clear Guidelines
Many industries have regulations and restrictions on what can be made public. In addition, it is a good idea to have ground rules that employees may refer to when posting or re-posting/retweeting information about the organization.
7) Measurements, Analysis and Adjustments
Success social media efforts are tracked and measured so they can be continually improved. Simple measures like shares, likes, retweets and comments can indicate engagement. A growing number of followers can indicate awareness. Depending on the goals, there are other measures as well:
Great social media programs have their finger on the pulse of the audience and stakeholders. Feedback collected from customers and employees is used to refine the content and can be valuable to marketing and business growth decisions.
Thanks for reading! How does your organization run their social media programs? What have you found that works best?
If you have questions or would like to explore team-based social media marketing, please contact us.
Image credit: John Atkinson's Cartoons
Broad Reach Marketing helps professional practices and local businesses engage and retain customers with practical, effective branding, strategy and promotions.
We love to help good ideas and organizations grow!
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Augmented Reality (AR) is an exciting frontier with great possibilities for incorporation into your Marketing Strategy.
The first most wide-spread application of this new technology has been recently offered by Niantic and their augmented reality game – Pokemon Go.
I’ve tried it – have you? I've seen kid and adults all over pursuing the virtual creatures. It can be a good way to get out, get moving and even play as family activity.
But what does this mean for small business marketing?
It could be the start of a new trend. According to Larry Kim, Founder of WordStream:
“What this means for marketers is that the next time those adults are asked to interact with an augmented-reality interface on their mobile device, it's no longer a foreign concept to them. They're growing comfortable with it. They even enjoy it. That's super important, because pushing new marketing technology on consumers before they're ready typically spells instant rejection of the concept.
Virtual and augmented-reality devices are expected to become a $4 billion market by 2018. Pokémon Go just ramped up adoption in a massive way, helping pave the way for businesses that will use this technology in the future to connect with consumers.”
This technology as a new marketing tool could be growing exponentially over the next few years and even months, so now is the time to learn, experiment and analyze how it might or might not fit in with your organization’s marketing efforts.
If you are a consumer-oriented business that relies on foot traffic, Pokémon Go might be a great way for your business to “Lure” in potential customers. You could take advantage of being close to Pokemon “Stops” and “Gyms” by enhancing your advertising and signage with a Pokemon theme.
7 possible ways to use Pokemon Go in your local marketing campaign:
Not for everyone?
But Pokémon Go isn’t an opportunity for everyone. While a family resturant or new business might enjoy the extra traffic and exposure, business and insitutions that have secured areas or security policies might want to opt out of having any of the virtual creatures on their premises.
For example, hospitals, like the Carolinas HealthCare System, are beginning to see new visitors in unlikely places. Game players may emulate suspicious behaviors, like walking around randomly taking pictures or looking at ways to enter facilities or get in the way of emergency entrances.
The Academic Medical Centre (AMC) in Amsterdam voiced their request in a clever way on social media:
"There is indeed a sick Pokémon at AMC, but we'll look after him well. Please don't visit him," the Dutch medical center stated in a Tweet that included a picture of Pokémon character Pikachu surrounded by tissues.
To request removal of a PokéStop from the app, organizations can contact Niantic, the developer, and complete a form. (Select “submit a request,” in the upper right corner and “report an issue with a Gym or PokéStop” in the menu.)
But for the majority of organizations, there are opportunites in the growing area of AR. So jump in to learn, experiment and apply augmented reality opportunities like Pokémon Go, keeping your target market and security in mind.
For example, if you use Google Drive/gmail, as many smaller businesses do, and register to participate in Pokemon Go, you give Niantic access to your entire Google account. What we did at Broad Reach Marketing Services is use a separate Gmail account for experimenting with Pokémon Go. Easy solution, but you must be cognizant of safety implications of signing onto Apps and games with your business addresses.
As augmented reality interface options become available for your marketing efforts, remember they are just another tactic – and as with any tactic, consider how the offering aligns with your customer base, branding and service offerings.
Have fun while you learn about this exciting new marketing development!
Thanks for reading,
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Marketing Tips is dedicated to providing busy professionals and local businesses with information on marketing trends, strategy and tactics in a way that is both accurate and easy to read.