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The Jump-Off: Starting on Social Media Marketing

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

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The term “Social Media Marketing” can seem overwhelming, especially for large companies that may be hesitant to get into it. Unlike traditional marketing techniques, SMM is a fairly young and dynamic field – which is probably why many companies are lost when trying to figure out how to jumpstart their own social media campaigns.

This phenomenon is not new. When the Internet first took off, nobody knew what to do with it, and how it could open up opportunities globally. Factor in how some of the most prominent companies already had millions of dollars invested in more traditional marketing campaigns – the idea of spending for some new technology will be disconcerting.

The secret however, is a lot simpler: jumpstart a social media marketing program at the back of a more traditional advertising campaign. Slowly segue into it, that as the campaign starts to die down, you have something to sustain the attention and relevance with the people.

One example: if your company makes baseball equipment, and you have a board traditional marketing scheme aimed to inspire and get people to play, you can use a social media push to keep the interest high. This lets you hold the audience’s attention, even as baseball season ends, for example, as you use blogs or Tweets to feed them content that catches their eye. You are able to save money on traditional advertising costs, but you are able to keep them psyched for your next major push.

It’s also useful to implement a social media campaign at the tail end of a regular marketing drive, simply because people in your company, from management down, still need to get accustomed to social space. It will spare you embarrassing mistakes as your company starts to figure out how to best use social media.

Here are steps to make this leap:

1.)  Be flexible. You can’t just shove your message down their throats. Let go of the message to an extent, and find ways to engage conversation with customers.

2.)  No to hard sell. This isn’t a normal campaign. An overly aggressive approach will scare people away. You want to buy them in for a long haul, so don’t try to “sell”, but try to “invite”.

3.)  Listen to feedback. Social media marketing lets customers speak their minds. Please listen. You get a lot out of hearing what they have to say, and can adapt your business right.

4.)  Social Media alone won’t be effective. You need good traditional campaigns too. Work them side-by-side for best results.

5.)  It doesn’t count if you don’t continue the conversation. If all you want is a single, big marketing push, don’t bother with social. You’ll get your point across without it.

Social Media Marketing Success Tips – Capitalizing on Value, Relevance and Trust

Monday, November 16th, 2009

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The rules of marketing have now changed. Modern marketers and brands, especially those early adapters of digital commerce, have come to realize that they just can’t get in alone. This is essentially true to Internet marketing. In the early days of e-commerce, marketers reached out to online audiences in ways that were really no different than the traditional means of advertising. Advertising banners and texts were common sections of websites, and they still are even today.

However, as user-generated content and influence proliferated with social media, marketing has dramatically transformed. Marketers and brands who win the hearts of digital influencers, or respected personalities in the online world, can also almost instantly win the approval of thousands of people.

These digital personalities are the new marketing allies of today’s marketers and brands. This new breed of online leaders heavily influences scores of followers with their blogs, tweets and through other means of sharing information on social media like Facebook, Digg and StumbleUpon.

As certain names are steadily dominating the virtual social spaces, marketers and brands are realizing the indispensability of harnessing these personalities. But how do marketers and brands win the hearts of social media influencers?

Marketers should be aware that just like traditional media, influential personalities have the power to make or break their brands. Becoming too pushy and too aggressive are simply not enough. In fact, these conventional marketing attitudes could turn off influencers, and could get a brand banned from that ‘celebrity’s’ precious circle of influence. At the onset, marketers and brands should try to win the hearts of these market ‘leaders’ by helping the latter see what’s in it for them. What can marketers offer in exchange for the influencer’s cooperation?

Another crucial point for marketers to consider when trying to win the approval of online personalities is the relevance of their products, service or content to influencers’ ideals. As a marketer, for example, is your product, service or content appropriate or relevant to a particular name’s interests? Are you confident that your service is able to provide value to his or her audience? Without any relevant product or content worth heralding, any amount of persuasion on the part of marketers to woo digital influencers would prove futile.

On the other hand, digital influencers have a solid reputation to take care of. That is why foremost in the process of trying to win the approval of digital influencers is trust. Marketers and brands should be certain about the trustworthiness of their products, services or content, and should be able to deliver promptly on their guarantees. Any product or content that does not live up to trustworthiness is certainly going to end up being shoved down to the recycle bin and left to oblivion.

So how do you market your brand with digital influencers? Create value, relevance and trust, and you will be on your way to social media superstardom and financial robustness.

A Tale Of Two Filmmakers: Making A Social Network Do the Work

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

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Where once the film world was divided into two clear lines – Big Money Hollywood, and the Independent others – now a new team of filmmakers have arrived. Where starting filmmakers had to negotiate with studios to fund their project, two bold films turned things around, and have changed the face of the industry forever.

“The Age of Stupid,” a film about climate change set to open in September, was paid for by the filmmakers, themselves and their backers: the 220 people who heard about the movie through their informal contacts and social networks. Through them, “Team Stupid” managed to solicit donations ranging from £500 to £35,000 from each of the donors. Each of those who contributed raised the £450,000 budget of the movie, funding equipment, production and the staff and crew who worked for wages far less than market rates.

 

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