Social media is different than anything else in marketing. It's not push. It's not pull. It's engagement, and it requires a thoughtful understanding of your audience, a clear-headed focus on expectations, and a little bit of daredevil personality. Welcome to the new millennium.
Social Media Marketing Services
You sometimes hear that social media will be the low-cost, DIY replacement for all those other expensive, time-consuming marketing activities.
That would be lovely, but it's not true. Social media is just another tool that we can use well or unwisely. It's interesting and useful under the right circumstances. It has surprising value in short-lived promotions.
But the biggest benefit of social media comes when you focus on the message, not the medium. It's not enough just to show up. You have to do or say something worth talking about.
The most important thing to remember is that old rules still apply to new media: You have to be where your customers are, deliver value, and use the medium effectively. Do that, and social media can be your friend.
C3 Social Media Services Include:
- Determining whether you need social media, and which ones
- Planning & Strategy
- Setting up blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, and other media
- Developing content guides
- Helping clients develop monitoring and oversight systems
- Cost-effective content services
Case Study: Social Media, Millennials,
and Health Insurance
The wide range of possibilities in social marketing—and the potential for very public missteps—can make the subject feel like a minefield.
When one health insurance company wanted to explore whether or not to use social media to market to millennials, they came to us for help in exploring their options.
We put together a simple plan with some suggestions:
- How they could start small, and build while they got comfortable with the media
- How they could integrate social media with their existing marketing programs and channels
- How to staff the project appropriately
- How to develop guidelines for their in-house content developers
- We even suggested what we think is the world's first flash mob with crutches
The company took a lot of our suggestions—though, to our disappointment, not the flash mob. Most important, they entered the world of social media with confidence and purpose.
Social Media FAQs
Do I even need to be on Facebook or Twitter?
Maybe, maybe not. No one needs to use every medium. There's a reason that Mattel doesn't advertise Barbie dolls on matchbooks, and that Boeing doesn't buy commercials during Saturday morning cartoons.
As in any medium, how and when to use these media depend upon your target market and goals.
If we decide now that social media marketing is not for us, can we be done with the decision?
Probably not. Advertising and marketing have always been changing landscapes, because target audiences are changing all the time, too. Social media is evolution on steroids. Your audience may not be interested in social media at all right now, but in six months or two years, they may live there.
Sometimes it's a question of timing. For one of our clients, social marketing was completely unnecessary until recently. Now, however, they have an unusual opportunity, and social media is the perfect place to promote it, as one channel among many. Even then it will have a relatively minor role in the promotion.
What's the best way to get started with social media?
Slowly, thoughtfully, and with purpose. Absorb each change fully before adding others. Testing one at a time will also help you establish a baseline for measuring the results of each medium.
Our employees include a number of young people who live on social media. Can't we just turn our social media program over to them?
If you've ever purchased a new stove, think about the person who installed it. Would he be the first person you'd ask to cook your family's Thanksgiving dinner? He might be a fabulous cook, but until you're all sitting around the table, you have no way of knowing that.
There's a vast difference between understanding technology and generating the content that goes with it.
If your staff includes social media whizzes who can write really good copy, develop and edit appropriate images, are passionate advocates for your brand, and possess excellent judgment, by all means, let them have at it.
If you're unsure, you might need to execute your social media program another way. In any case, it's absolutely necessary to maintain a close watch over it.
Why do you count blogs as a social media?
A blog, like Facebook and Twitter, encourages immediate response, dialog among people with a common interest,and sharing with others. In that sense, it is very much a social medium. It also requires marketers to address many of the same issues as other social media—developing a steady stream of relevant content, managing messaging and brand, etc.
Can we use Facebook updates as a substitute for a blog?
We don't recommend it. There are copyright issues with Facebook that have the potential to complicate ownership of the images and information that you post there. See Michelle LaPointe's blog for more information.