By Terry Doherty, Reading Tub®
Learn the logical starting places for identifying and selecting tools to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy.
Marketing in a digital age is exhilarating and daunting at the same time. It is enticing to be able to reach your market with a couple of keystrokes … and even more exciting that so much of the media is free advertising.
Having “so many” options can also be a speedbump. Do I need to be on all of these platforms? How do I decide which ones I need?
It may help to look at social media marketing like grocery shopping.
1. It is a necessary evil.
2. You want to get out of the store in the fastest time, with the most groceries, and least expense.
So how do we do that?
It might seem obvious that you don’t want to ~ and can’t ~ be on every social media platform. Spend even just a few minutes reading about social media marketing and you’ll hear a little fairy whispering into your ear:
Yes, you need to try that! You don’t want to miss out on anything do you?
My first recommendation is to remember that it is a fairy. Fairies and fairy tales aren’t real. Shrug your shoulders, the fairy falls off, and you can get focused.
Seriously, though, cutting through the din is not easy. Until you can cut through the noise you’ll just keep feeling overwhelmed.
1. Get out your marketing plan … the written one!
1.a. If you don’t have a written plan, you MUST do that first.
1.b. Isolate up to three goals that can be met with advertising.
2. For each of your goals, identify the medium you would use for your ad. Frame your ideas strictly in the context of print, television, and radio commercials.
3. Get out fresh piece of paper (yes, I am old school) and describe who you are trying to reach. The goal is to describe your target audience across several demographic variables: gender profession, age, and level of interaction with children and teens. Don’t forget your existing fan base!
4. Turn the data into a table. Down the left side list your target audience. Across the top, list each goal and the ad mediums that go with it. Then fill in the table by marking what medium matches the audience and the goal. Here is a sample based on my nonprofit, The Reading Tub.
5. Where are most of your X’s? Armed with that information you can start narrowing down the social media tools for your market toolbox. Here are some suggestions to help get you started.
Mostly print ads? Look at platforms like blogs, Facebook, or Twitter, which lend themselves to catchy slogans and special offers.
Mostly radio ads? Think Twitter, Google Plus, and Podcasts available through the iTunes (or similar) marketplace.
Mostly television ads? Your audience is highly visual and your platform choices should reflect that. Pinterest, video platforms (YouTube, Vimeo), Tumblr, and Instagram are four possibilities.
Please remember, these ideas are not mutually exclusive. Posting images on Facebook is a great way to increase engagement with your audience. You can send video in Tweets, too.
The ideas are just logical starting places for identifying and selecting tools, especially if you are still deciding how (notice I didn’t say if) to incorporate social media into your marketing strategy.
Just as you read the labels and comparison shop for groceries, you’ll want to do the same thing when selecting the best social media platforms for YOUR goals.
Stick to the basics
Buy only what you will use.
Avoid those impulse purchases.
See you at IBPA Publishing University in Chicago!
About the Author:
Terry Doherty started her own consulting company in May 2002. She provides coaching, research, and writing services. In 2003 Terry launched the Reading Tub®. What started as a hobby project became a full-fledged, accredited 501c3 in less than a year. She partners with other non-profits to provide at-risk readers with the tools they need to become successful students and citizens.
Terry will be speaking at IBPA Publishing University in Chicago April 26-27 – Session 901: Publishing 302: Strategies for a Winning Social Media Campaign.