With websites like Facebook having over 400 million users worldwide and Twitter crossing 50 million tweets per social media managementday, social media is becoming a game changer in the field of marketing.

Some companies have brilliantly used social media to gain visibility and market their products. Coca Cola was recently named as the brand “making the best use of Facebook”. ‘Expedition 206’ was the largest social media project ever by Coca Cola. In the B2Bspace, Dell has effectively used Twitter to connect with its customers. Even the ‘Go Green’ campaign by Dell is an excellent example of using Facebook to generate interest.

Today, if your business is not on the social network you are losing out on a huge marketing opportunity that exists in the online world. If your target audience is there, then doesn’t it make sense for you to be there too?

Why should your business be on the social network?

  • Reach out to a global audience: Today’s customers are not location based. They could be in Kolkata or California. As a marketer you need to reach out to all like-minded people in the most cost effective and impactful way.
  • Create the hype: Remember the Zoozoo campaign by Vodafone and the hype it created? It was one of the most successful online campaigns that was carried out and had a fan following of millions residing on the internet. It is also one of the best campaigns that used print, electronic and social media in the most integrated fashion. You can easily achieve faster word-of-mouth publicity with social media campaigns.
  • Connect with and motivate customers: Launching schemes, running online contests, awarding loyal customers. The interactivity of the online world has a lot to offer. A marketer can easily use this to connect with customers.
  • Create brand awareness: Especially for B2B companies Linked In, Twitter and targeted groups can help in creating brand value in the cheapest and the most effective ways.
  • Thought leadership: Blogs, communities, forums are some of the best means to position your company as a thought leader. These are the segments where you can tap your potential customer. By genuinely and intelligently answering in the numerous online conversations and sending out informative articles, you can build thought leadership in your domain.
  • More visitors to your website/blog: By posting informative links on your social media accounts, you can garner move views, click-throughs, and conversions. Google now takes social media into account too and will do it even more in future. Having your relevant keywords in the posts will help.
  • Lead generation: At the end of the day, everything boils down to sales. Social media has proved to be an effective approach to generate leads. Especially Search Engine Monetization and optimization are tools which are beneficial in this.

Even though it is a relatively new medium, the battle for consumer attention has become tough already. Using it intelligently can get you the right benefits.

Some social media goof ups:

  • Not having a dedicated social media objective: Every company cannot just generate leads through social media. The objectives could be related to number of conversations, positive comments, brand impact, and so on. What is it that you want at the end of the campaign? What do you want to achieve? This must be clearly defined right at the beginning.
  • Providing delayed or no response: Your audience is on the internet all the time. You cannot afford to have a lazy approach to response. In the online world prompt response speaks volumes about the brand.
  • Not deploying dedicated resources: Social media as a space is relatively new and is constantly emerging. It’s important to have a dedicated specialist executing and monitoring the activity. No seriousness, insufficient content, no tactics to attract people, delayed responses – will only aid failure of your social media efforts. You should have a genuine attitude to help customers and give intelligent info to them.
  • Only dictating and not interacting: Social media is all about interactions and conversations. Communication has to be two-way to create an impact. Participate and succeed.
  • Not monitoring your brand name online: One negative comment can have a ripple effect and spoil your efforts, but if you are in the loop, you can give it a positive twist to negative comments and also learn what your competitors are doing on the online social space.

To conclude: Social media is a medium that cannot be ignored. To achieve best results marketers have to look at using all pillars: print, electronic and social media in tandem to get the maximum return on investment.

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