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Friday, July 10, 2009

Social Media Marketing for Business | Applying Old Rules To A New Game

How Is Your Business Using Social Media Marketing? Part I
By Rachael Dror 630-269-3725

Social Media Marketing is different from any other kind of marketing or advertising. It is accomplished most successfully through lateral vs. vertical engagement with current and prospective customers.
While other forms of advertising are based on a top down approach, the brand dictates the message and the consumer receives the message, social media marketing is not about the brand but rather the experience and tools a brand provides for consumers to use and spread through their online networks. In this consumer-centric environment, engagement and conversations are important but even better are ideas worth spreading. You know that your social media efforts are successful when your consumers take over the distribution of your message!

Brands must learn how to set the stage for success and then step back and watch it happen. Micromanaging a brand’s message on social networks is time consuming and ineffective. Success is when a brand’s message is spread naturally with minimal effort. If a brand refuses to handover control to the masses, it will live a lonely and irrelevant existence in the far reaches of the social space. Time and resources are better spent on development and deployment. After the launch, analytics and accountability should take center stage.

Companies often confuse employing social media as part of their customer service approach with using social media to meet marketing objectives such as brand recognition, increased site traffic and sales conversions. Having a company Twitter account to monitor and respond to customer complaints or questions is an example of using the medium as a customer service tool. Creating a branded Twitter application for a target market to use, link to and spread because they like its functionality is an example of good social media marketing.

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