Social Networking Marketing Strategy: 3 Tips to Avoid in 2013
The Web is full of awesome social networking marketing strategy information for businesses. Each day there are new infographics created, blog posts published, and videos recorded that can absolutely help business owners learn how to effectively communicate and grow their brands on the Internet.
But let’s be honest, a lot of the advice out there is crap. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s awesome that the Web provides a platform where anyone can have a voice, but we can’t get lazy and just accept any marketing tip we read as truth.
Here are three social networking marketing “tips” I read regularly that drive me crazy.
Before I start, I completely admit there is validity to considering (to some degree) the length of your blog posts. Blog post length guidelines are a factor, but pale in comparison to what’s most important about the content on your Website.
The thing is, you should never let the length of a blog post divert you from publishing content that you feel is valuable to your readers and your customers. Be it 50 words or 5,000 words, the value the content provides is paramount and amount of words your blogging software tells you that you’ve met is inconsequential in comparison.
Do you think Seth Godin pondered publishing this blog post because it was only 100 words long?
2. Social Networking Marketing Is Free
Social media is free. Signing up is free. But trust me when I say, as Marketing Director for our company with countless hours invested in strategizing and working on social, social network marketing is not free.
Most costs associated with social network marketing are not immediately evident. There’s no cost to register, or to just post a status or photo and let the world know what you think. Blogging can be virtually free, as well, if you use a hosted service such as WordPress.com or Blogger. The explicit costs, therefore, aren’t intimidating.
The primary expense in social media marketing strategy is measured in people and time. These are two expenses that can rack up quite a bill.
Social network marketing strategy (if you are doing it the right way) requires the creation of content, the promotion of it, and the measurement of your results. These efforts take serious man hours and different tools.
3. Social Media Marketing Has No ROI
I’m going to pass the baton to Nichole Kelly over at Social Media Explorer for this one. Her most recent rip in to the think-tank of ‘experts’ claiming social ROI can’t be measured was provoking and compelling.
The answers for social media ROI don’t have to be this hard. We don’t have to make up ridiculous arguments to try and avoid the ROI question. Rather, we need to start talking about how to add engaging in social media as a data element in a prospect and customers record within CRM or the Enterprise Data Warehouse so we can start to do some really interesting analysis. Executives don’t always need to know what the exact ROI is going to be before they make investments, they simply want to know that there is a clear path to be able to measure it after the fact. They want to know that their marketers know what core business metric they are trying to impact and that they have a system in place for being able to get the data. Sometimes, we don’t know where the true gold for social media is until we actually start measuring it in a holistic way. Measuring social media in a way that allows us to make comparisons for what happens with the audience who engages in social media and what happens with those that don’t. What’s the level of improvement when social media is involved? The key is to be able to measure social media against a control group of non-social media users.
She’s right. Just because the way in which we measure ROI in other marketing channels doesn’t meet the way it needs to be done on social doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be done.
Start with some simple measurements. Measure Web traffic and total sales before and after social involvement or alongside the growth in social. Measure the value of your time and the value of your hours spent on social with the return on sales or leads. Don’t let the fact that experts tell you an exact ROI on social can’t be measured hinder you from trying.
OK, off my soapbox for now. I’d love for our readers to share some of their own examples of common ‘advice’ they’ve read over the years that simply doesn’t work for social network marketing in the business world.
Other Posts by Chris Vaughn
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