With the exponential growth of the information age coupled with the recent economic landscape, it seems that marketing methodology is a whole new playing field – but this, in a way, is a myth. “Social media is just a new way to do old business. The tools have changed, but the need for knowing your audience, having an end goal, testing theories, and acting on lessons learned remains the same.” (Danielle Brigida, 2008). Perhaps, the flow of marketing has changed from outbound to inbound, but the basic tenets of branding yourself by gaining exposure to your target market are largely similar.
The first step is to know your goals; without clearly defined goals, you’ll have no way of measuring your results. Furthermore, without specific goals you may not even create or implement the best possible way to achieve those goals. After clearly identifying your goals, be certain you know your audience and how they can be reached. Different social networking forums have different characteristics, such as:
Facebook has over 60 million users, among which the fastest growing demographic is 25+
MySpace has more than 110 million users, comprising 1 in 4 Americans of voting age.
With MySpace your profile can remain public to all, and you can target potential friends by geography, demography and socio-economic characteristics.
Obtain full support from management
Be out there and create profiles wherever you can. Make your web presence as large as possible, and offer content that is interesting and useful. If you use articles as content, make sure that they too are sufficiently optimized to be read by the search engines. Once you’ve had success with content in one place, spread that content to other places in the social media network. After you’ve established a substantial amount of useful or entertaining content, people will visit your site for itself rather than finding its content on other sites. Remember to promote yourself or your site in your content, but discreetly enough so that the content is not overshadowed by your efforts to sell yourself. When using video content, be sure to label it with tags so that it’s searchable.
When relationship building (this should be the cornerstone of your social network marketing), seek mutually-symbiotic relationships with like-minded people. Facebook makes this possible with their network system, while MySpace offers an advanced “browse” feature. The point is that social network technology allows anyone, especially marketers, the tools to tailor their stream of inbound marketing to the right audience the majority of the time.
Track referrals, friends, successes and failures; pay attention to traffic spikes and dips. While the majority of internet marketers do not test the efficacy of their efforts, measurement and observation can make all the difference between a low-cost marketing success and a costly marketing flop. Interestingly enough, measuring the success of others’ efforts in marketing can behoove you as well. For example, if you find a video online that is relevant to your content and you can see that it’s been viewed many times, respond to it. You can post a written response or a video response, depending on the site you’re using; while video posts with few views are rarely found, by posting a video response to a highly-viewed video, yours will be visible every time the other is found – it’s called piggybacking.
High Traffic Drivers (Highest referrers)
Quality Traffic Drivers (Longer time on site)
If you’d like to have a community page on any of the social networks, but don’t know where to start or don’t have the time to manage it, consider this. izmocars’ Rainmaker program provides these services, including the measuring, monitoring and management of social media activities. Some dealers have a lot of success with this strategy, while others have found that is not an effective for them as a traffic driver but it does help with Search Engine Optimization. Talk to your Strategic Account Manager and ask him or her if this strategy makes sense for you.
Article by: Camille Forte, izmocars Strategic Account Manager, Eastern Region.