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Social Media Marketing Starts with Research The first step in any social media marketing campaign is research. Research will tell you how to engage your target audience, how often you should post, the messaging strategy and the value proposition for your company. It is best to monitor social media activities of your audience, competition and thought leaders for at least 2 weeks. Note the type of messages and content that are most engaging and try to find similarities among them. For instance, I was conducting research for an NBA teams social media campaign. I monitored the activities of the best and worst NBA teams to develop a list of best practices and messaging guidelines. I found that friends and followers engaged more when promotional content was tied into game stats. Therefore, whenever posting promotional information I would start with a game stats and incorporate the promotional message into details of the stats. Another tactic to engage followers is to pose a questions. This was especially effective for the NBA team. Sports fans enjoy discussing their favorite teams and players and want to give their two cents. In addition to messaging, I also found that certain layouts on Facebook were more engaging than others. During the season posting directly before and after games increased the engagement level and sports fans consume photos and videos related to the game.
Target Audience- Know Your Audience Once you define who your target audience is start monitoring their activities on social media sites. Use the following questions to guide your research: 1. What type of content does my target audience engage with most frequently? 2. Who and what type of businesses does my target audience interact with?
Competition- Speak Louder and Clearer When identifying your competition make sure you define success so you don’t try to mimic unsuccessful tactics. Keep track of the messages and content that is shared most frequently as well as the content that has no engagement. Define Success 1. # Friends / Followers 2. Level of Engagement (see Image on previous page) 3. Overall Online Buzz
Online Buzz is defined by the number of times a brand ismentioned over a give period of time. There are a number ofreporting tools that will measure the buzz for any keyword youenter. Google Alerts is a free and simple way to monitor thebuzz around your competition.In addition to the number of mentions of a brand online; thesentiment of mentions also offers insight into the success of abrands social media marketing efforts.
Thought Leaders I always like to review brands that have been recognized for their successful social media campaigns. The links below will direct you to articles and case studies examining the best social media efforts in 2010. http://soshable.com/top-social-media-2010/ http://www.portentinteractive.com/portfolio_casestudies.htm
End Result After you have completed your audience analysis, message and content review, monitored competitors and the thought leaders in social media you will be able to define the following for your social media campaign: 1. Message 2. Frequency 3. Value Proposition 4. Best Time of Day and Week to Post
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