Today’s guest post is by Elizabeth Arritt, director of marketing for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, where she leads the strategy and implementation of social media.
Any conversation on social media and marketing invariably turns to the big question: Which social media platform is right for you? Depending on your industry and your message, the answer may be most of them, but the answer is never just one. As with every other aspect of your marketing mix, the key to good social media strategy is integration.
The possibilities of integration on the Internet are endless, but here are four tips for a good start:
Everyone has an argument for their favorite social media platform. As with traditional advertising, you need to ensure your presence is everywhere your audience is, as long as the medium fits the message.
Know the rules of each community before you participate
Each social media platform has its own written and unwritten rules. Be sure to understand those rules before you start participating. For example, Twitter as a community frowns upon shouting out your message without engaging in conversation and promoting others. Facebook has different rules for fan pages as opposed to personal pages. Join the communities as an observer before diving into the fray.
Maximize behind-the-scenes integration
Once you’re versed in the media, tie it all together and make it work for you. Facebook can automatically post your Twitter posts (and vice versa) with a quick setup change. Both have feeds you can automatically post to your Web site. When it’s possible, I prefer to tailor the message to fit the medium with separate posts. On the go, however, that’s not always possible, so I’ve set up the organization’s Twitter account on my phone. If we have news, one quick Tweet from my phone makes it to Twitter, Facebook and the front page of our Web site in minutes.
It’s possible your message is being read by someone on their favorite platform, and they’ll never see your other social media sites. It’s also possible they stumbled across it, and if they don’t see your other platforms, you may never see them again. How can you ensure they know you’re where they are?
- Have a central page on your Web site listing all your available social media platforms. Make it an organization policy to have the social media platforms (or a link to that central page) in all e-mail signature files.
- Mention other platforms. Tweet occasionally that you are on Facebook. Post a Facebook link to Twitter.
- Make sure your core customers or members know where they can find you. Send a blast e-mail or put it in your newsletter, but make sure they know where you are.
The real power of social media lies in using all of it as a whole. Learn how to integrate the media and you’ll have finally mastered the ability to be everywhere at once.
Image credit, geopaul, via iStock