When it comes to having an effective social media marketing campaign, what platform you use can make all the difference.
Yesterday I talked about the message(s) you are trying to spread across your social media network. Today i am talking about the tools you use to spread that message.
You are no doubt familiar with the Big Three (or Four) social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+. But the landscape of available social media platforms is far reaching, with new system popping up almost every day.
Tumblr, Posterous, Path, Beepl, Quora, Vimeo, YouTube, Pinterest...the list goes on. Your job, as the person responsible for establishing an effective social media marketing campaign, is to find out which social media platforms work for your message.
How you go about this is to determine first, what is the demographic you are trying to reach? What message do you want to send that demographic? What forms do you want that message to take (photos, white papers, videos, brief messages, blogs)?
Once you have the answers to those questions you can start researching the social media landscape to find the best fit. Join them, use them and see how they work. Don't be afraid to interact, reach out to existing users to test the waters; see how well your message would be received before you start sending them out.
Remember, social media marketing is relationship marketing. If you try to carpet social media sites with your message, with no regard for the established lines of communication or the needs and desires of the people who use that network, your attempts at marketing will not only fail miserably, they stand a good chance of doing harm to your reputation or the reputation of your brand.
You also want to give serious thought to choosing just one or two social media platforms at a time to test for your message. It can be a daunting task juggling multiple social media networks, so don't bite off more than you can chew. Take it slow and see how things develop over time. Those sites from which you get a good response can stay in your network, the ones which don't deliver, you can drop.
The most important lesson to learn, and to teach your clients, is that social media marketing is a MARATHON, not a SPRINT. Be prepared to be in this for the long haul to see results. If you expect to see overnight results you will likely be sorely disappointed (and so will your clients.)