LOSING CONTROL IN SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
I recently blogged about a webinar I attended featuring David Meerman Scott. The webinar described what businesses are doing to grab attention for their products and services – both on the web and in the media. (In case you were wondering, there are four ways to do this, which you can read about here in David Meerman Scott’s blog about attracting attention to your business).
During the webinar, Meerman Scott spoke mainly about one particular way to grab attention: by earning it. And the way to do this is through a good social media campaign. I’m going to summarize just a few points that Meerman Scott drove home about creating a successful social media program that really will grab the attention of the folks you’re after.
1. “On the web, you are what you publish.” That was one of the first things that really caught my attention. Online publishing includes just about any online content, including:
• press releases
• Twitter and Facebook updates
• whitepapers and viral articles
• videos for YouTube
• and your website itself.
Make sure that, when you publish online, you’ve got useful information that really targets your buyers – what they need, what they’re looking for – and says everything in plain language that we can all understand. If you don’t already circulate press releases, you should start. Or, consider writing a catchy e-book to spark interest in your services. Use any platform you can – YouTube, blogs, Twitter, Facebook – to share your content on the web. Because without content, your blog and your Facebook page, your website, and your Twitter account are nothing but big, blank wastes of Internet space – which translates to your businesses appearing to be the same.
2. Play nice – or, as David Meerman Scott put it, “If you mom would say it’s wrong, it probably is wrong in social media marketing.” You want to use your social media program to foster friendly relationships with bloggers and clients when you’re on the web, not to try and pull the wool over their eyes. People don’t take kindly to marketers using the Internet or social media to play underhanded tricks on them. If you do, you might find yourself in the midst of a major customer and blogger backlash. That means, when you’re publishing content on the web, you need to adhere to the same standards you would in real life: things like transparency, privacy, full disclosure, truthfulness, and giving credit to anyone you might borrow content (or pictures!) from. Call it social media ethics – and if you don’t adhere to this code of conduct, it can really hurt you, as in the case of 3M’s major social media faux pas.
3. Lose control. A successful social media campaign might means that you have to relax and encourage people to share information about you. Don’t create marketing and PR messages that try to coerce or brainwash people – people are going to talk about your product/business/service the way they want to. Instead of trying to direct the conversation, give them something to talk about: publish free content – and encourage people to pass it along. Give them added value. Entertain them. You can go so far as to put a Creative Commons license on your content, so people know it’s OK to share.
For a more in-depth look at David Meerman Scott’s social media suggestions, check out his ebook, The New Rules of Viral Marketing.