You’ve started to implement social media into your marketing strategy. You’ve created a company blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and LinkedIn profile. You’ve loaded them up with company announcements, industry news and educational posts. So where are your friends, fans and followers, you ask? Probably on the social media pages of other companies that are more invested in promoting their social media presence.
I’ve touted the virtues of social media in several posts. Yes, it’s economical, easy to implement and has the potential to be extremely effective; but just as real relationships take time, commitment and tender loving care, so does your virtual network. What’s more, you have to let your presence be known first, and then convince people that they should want to associate themselves with your company.
If you’re serious about making social media work, you need to integrate it as much as possible into your traditional marketing activities. Here are some specific examples:
- Post icons or links to your social media pages in e-mail signature lines.
- Connect to your social network pages from your website.
- Integrate social media into contests and promotions. For example, contest entry could require that people follow your company on Facebook, or you could post a code or announcement for a sales promotion on your Twitter feed. You could also hold contests directly on your blog, Twitter feed or Facebook page and alert people of them through traditional outreach such as e-mails or postcards. Suddenly, your social network is an exclusive club whose members get special perks.
- Make your social media even more social: Add social buttons to your blog posts that will allow readers to share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and more.
Also, it’s not enough to send a single e-mail to your contact list that announces your foray into social media. Just as with your company’s products, you have to continue to market your social media efforts, lest they fall out of your audience’s consciousness completely.
A word to the wise: All the promotion in the world won’t help you if you aren’t active on your social networks and don’t post quality content, links and announcements regularly.
For more information about how to promote your social media efforts, check out these articles: