Social media is in its infancy as a promotion tool. Some have gone as far as to claim social media is a marketing platform. I’m not sure I agree with the latter, but rather social media is just one part of an marketing strategy.
Regardless, I’ve been fascinated by a number of tips and use case scenarios that have been published about social media promotion. There are lessons to be learned, both on what to do and what to avoid.
Here’s a quick snapshot of things I’ve found recently:
- Content distribution. Highland Communications published some good advice on LinkedIn’s Q&A, which underscores creating content is just one side of the equation; distribution is the other. Among the good suggestions are: optimize your blog for search engines; provide links for social-bookmaking sites; post comments on other blogs and link back to your blog; included links to your blog in your e-mail signature block; post links to your blog on social networking sites (like Twitter and LinkedIn, which for example, has an application called BlogLink that will integrate your blog, as well at your contacts’ blogs into your profile or landing page).
- Leverage Twitter: Tessa Wegert wrote about two different approaches to using Twitter for promotion. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos personifies his company’s brand and simply keeps his Tweets real, that is truly about what he is doing. WholeFoods answers questions from customers on Twitter. Dell made special offers on Twitter to drive sales.
- Learn from others. Mat Siltala wrote “Skittles.com has changed its home page to nothing more then a Twitter search for “Skittles” and a little navigation graphic for the rest of their site.” However, word of caution, while Skittles’ efforts are unconventional, its Twitter presence has not been devoid of unintended consequences. Good initiative, but this approach need some refined thinking.
- Value friendship. Give customers a reason for finding you on social media sites. For example, drive loyalty programs through your social media sites by offering discounts, airline miles, rewards or other benefits exclusively to your friends on your company’s Facebook profile. Since followers will be watching for good deals, you’ll also have a chance to bring them up to speed on major announcements.
- Integrate offline marketing efforts. Ogilvy previously summarized a great post on how Dentyne gum has run a print advertising campaign with a play on social media. Unfortunately the ads I’ve seen don’t appear to include references to Dentyne’s Twitter address or Facebook profile.
Have you heard of other interesting use cases for social media and marketing? Please share them here!
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