Maneuvering the social media landscape can be a tricky business: DON’T link your Twitter to your Facebook account; DO feed your blog. DON’T deactivate commenting on your fan page; DO monitor the conversation for inappropriate or offensive comments (which you are responsible for managing.) DON’T self-promote; DO send out valuable content and engage with your customers. There’s a lot to remember, and the fact that it’s constantly evolving with new best practices being developed almost weekly, using social media as a marketing and branding tool has become a full-time job.
Research shows that social networking sites aren’t the best medium for advertising… yet. Users are still resistant to social media ads as being intrusive in this particular space. If social media is one of the most effective marketing tools but advertising isn’t being well-received, then it’s engagement that customers are seeking.
Content is key to effectively building a brand and generating word-of-mouth. Some recent stats published by eMarketer show inbound marketing channels as the most cost effective approach to generating leads over outbound marketing, with LinkedIn and blogs being at the top for successfully turning leads into customers, meaning brands need to allocate funds for creative and valuable content creation. There’s a good 70 / 30 rule of thumb that branders and marketers should follow when publishing updates on any social media site. Only 30% of status updates should be self-promotional content while the remaining 70% should be valuable content that is interesting, educational, or sparks a dialogue with followers. It’s also a good idea to monitor the frequency of status updates depending on which platform you’re utilizing. For example, it’s common practice to tweet 3 – 5 times a day, whereas Facebook and LinkedIn only require your attention once a day.
As Jeffrey Eisenberg summarized during his keynote at PubCon last week, “meaningful interaction with your audience will result in conversions and a positive relationship with the customer. –Marketing Pilgrim