Social Media Marketing can be a very good asset to growing and developing your internet marketing strategy. One of the problems that a lot of business owners are experiencing are the hurdles they have to jump in order to develop a social media marketing campaign.
These roadblocks could prevent businesses from growing there online social following and generating leads and loyalty with current customers and new prospects. By not taking the time to get over these hurdles you will not be able to take advantage of the benefits that social media marketing can do for you company.
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How to Cure Social Media Paralysis
This week Forrester Research released Q1 survey results of 99 CMOs and marketing VPs voicing concern on social media’s impact on brand-building. 92 percent of respondents agree that social media has fundamentally changed how consumers engage with brands, but more than half say they still haven’t integrated social into brand-building.
Half of B2C marketers surveyed agreed with the statement “social media has the potential to build my brand, but I’m not sure how to capitalize on it.”
1) Confront discomfort head-on. Fear blocks productive action. While it’s all well and good to have a running list of concerns in your head, putting pen to paper moves them from your mind and makes them visible. HyperIsland, a creative training shop, refers to these fears as your stinky fish. You may be surprised that some of the fears, when you see them in black and white, are irrational. Others may be valid and raise more fundamental concerns about your brand as a whole. Most challenges can be dealt with if you put plans and controls in place – but first you have to define what they are and share them with your team.
2) Seek quiet counsel to separate signal from noise. A social business mentor can do a world of good. This could be someone in the industry whose executive-level work you admire or an accomplished pioneer at one of your agencies. Make sure whoever you choose has a mix of vision and understanding of execution. Find someone who has created what you want for your brand and learn from them. If anything, there is too much noise presented as counsel from authors, consultants and agencies of all stripes today. A sounding board for inputs coming in can help crystallize plans that move business forward.
3) Embrace ongoing imperfection. Much of social media inertia can be attributed to the fears I referred to above. These still include perceptions of control and perfection in brand communications. The reality is you must always evolve programs to make engagement pay. The route to success is never linear, as anyone who’s ever started a prosperous company can tell you. Twitter itself was first called “twttr” by its founders, and was developed as an offshoot of their ill-fated podcasting company. Guided by knowledge about your market, insights about what they want and need, and suggestions from those who’ve been there and done that, you can try and try again until bonds are fully formed.
4) Focus to drive relationship-building versus broadcasting. Far too many social programs are still driven by platforms themselves – be it Facebook, Twitter, or the next new network on the horizon. “What’s my Twitter strategy?” is not a social strategy. To maximize impact, define strategy and responsibility for specific communities. Companies fully invested in social like Dell show how specialized programs can be. Why? Customers may not look for the same information as media. Media may not be interested in customer service inquiries. An innovation program may be better targeted to an innovation community than the general public. Social platforms are connective tissue. Behind each should be a clear engagement plan executed by people who deeply know constituents each serves.
Lastly, understand networked-based business is still in its infancy. Don’t expect the time will come in your social media progression where you think, “Okay, we’ve finally nailed it.” It’s a process, not a destination. A work-in-progress in a very literal sense of the term.
By taking the time to overcome whatever it is that is preventing you from taking action and developing a social media marketing strategy you will be able to put forth your plan.
Getting help when it is needed is the best approach to taking action. If you have to learn how to do something and the execute it, chances are you may not take action. However by outsourcing the work you avoid the time it takes you to hit the learning curve and put what you have learn into action.
By taking this approach you stand a greater chance of success.