When looking for an effective social media methodology there are several choices, namely paid, organic and content-based. While the trade press waxes poetic about each one of them (or a combination thereof), to be successful there must be a rethinking of what marketers are trying to accomplish in the first place.
Putting awareness and branding aside (as they are a preamble to the true objective), marketers are trying to guide people to purchase solutions and services. The most effective way is to get the right message to the right prospects at the right time.
Paid social media marketing focuses on a predetermined demographic in the hope that the targeted audience is receptive to the message being sent. It is a modified shotgun approach that has a better than average result when compared to blindly messaging. Best case – right message, right people, moderate reach, moderate effort, costly!
Organic social media marketing works on building a following, is very labor intensive as it relies on continual social interaction to maintain the audience. Best case – right message, right people (depends on who responds to your efforts), low reach, significant effort, free (mostly).
Content-based social media marketing is where specific content draws prospects in. It’s really an add-on to either paid or organic where you offer additional information in the form of whitepapers, infographics and/or video.
Edison Group has been in the content development business since 2004. It has determined that content, no matter how good it is, by itself is a passive approach. Sort of like, if a tree falls in the forest…
A few years ago, Edison developed a social media marketing strategy, namely Dynamic Social Event Marketing (DSEM), that takes several social media axioms into account:
- Technology events not only attract people to physically attend, but also generate a lot of social media traffic – most of it is Twitter and Instagram based. There are recorded instances of virtual attendance being the same or more than physical attendance at events.
- Event messaging is “linked” using the event hashtag. This is important since many physical and virtual attendees rely on and monitor messaging with event hashtags.
- Technology events attract prospective customers. The theme, topics and/or Featured Speaker attract different kinds of customers at different times during the event.
- Messaging is critical as it only works if it resonates with the intended audience. The degree of impact is directly related to what is being said and how it is being said. Specifically, messaging semantics are different depending on what social media outlet is being used. It’s almost like you need to speak a different language for each social media outlet, i.e., Twitter, LinkedIn.
- Effective social media campaigns use multiple social media venues simultaneously, typically Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook.
- Messaging should contain links to enable the interested reader to find out more, whether this link provides access to whitepapers, videos, infographics or contact information.
- Messaging should motivate prospects to engage with the manufacturer and/or service provider.
- Social media programs should communicate both “passively” and “actively”. Passive communication is where messages are strategically scheduled. Active communication is where the marketer “listens” to conversations and participates when it makes sense to.
- Manufacturers and/or service providers need to “capture” lead information to generate sales. A mature end-to-end process and tools need to be in place to take advantage of curious prospects.
- Collaboration of multiple social media marketing “account” produces significant amplification, 20 to 40 times what one account can do on its own.
- A program that takes advantage of all the above, provides oversight and active involvement, and has the social media expertise can help manufacturers and/or service providers to get the right message to the right people at the right time, inexpensively is something that needs to be reviewed. DSEM is that program.