Are you or your employer new to social media or relationship marketing? Here’s your chance to get up to speed with building your brand online, with the following excerpt from the first chapter of Mari Smith’s new book The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web.
To help you get started with social media marketing, let’s use the acronym P.O.S.T., a concept developed by Forrester Research.
P.O.S.T. helps to simplify and use a template for how to approach social marketing.
P Is for People
Where are your people? Are they mostly on Facebook? Are they on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google Plus? Are they on a completely different network
that may be serving the Asian or European market?
You need to do some research and find out if your target market uses a particular online social network more than any others. Before you can do this, however, you first need to be clear about who your target market is.
Marketing professionals have long used psychographics to determine target markets — an analysis that consists of behaviors, trends, cultures, and ways of thinking attributed
to certain geographic locations.
With such a surge in online engagement, you can now also assess your target market based on technographics.
Technographics is a composite picture of the type of people you’re trying to reach, which networks they hang out on, and — perhaps most importantly — how you’re going to reach them.
O Is for Objective
What do you wish to accomplish through new media marketing? What is your main goal here? Do you want to build your e-mail list and sell more products? Are you looking to just improve brand sentiment, or do you want to launch a new product or service? Are you interested in creating more demand or increasing existing registration numbers?
Your overarching end result of your marketing needs to be clear.
S Is for Strategy
This is a step that people often miss entirely in the world of social and relationship marketing; they go straight to tools and tactics and overlook strategy. Many business owners get involved with social media as a result of peer and media pressure.
They jump on board — often blindly — because they’ve heard about Facebook and Twitter on the news every day and have seen other companies using Facebook as their primary landing page.
Unfortunately, they don’t join the sites with any clear objectives in mind; sometimes they don’t even know if their target market is engaged on those platforms.
In short, they don’t have a strategy. They just throw a page and profile together hastily and hope that somehow, something magical will
You have to plan out your strategy and ensure that it’s in alignment with your primary objective. For instance, when you set out to create your
Facebook fan page, ask yourself how you will engage people. Will you run a contest to drive people there? Will you send out a broadcast message to your current e-mail list to persuade your subscribers to come over and join you?
Will you let them know about a special offer that’s available only to fans?
T Is for Technology
Many businesses get this entire P.O.S.T. system backward and are trying to work with T.S.O.P.—in other words, they begin their efforts with technology.
They start by joining Twitter and Facebook and throwing together some semblance of a social profile.
Their “strategy” might be to use automated systems or hired staff to help build fans and followers, because they heard somewhere that it’s all about the numbers, and whoever
has the biggest Klout 2 score wins.
Unfortunately, most of these companies aren’t even clear about how to use these social sites—and many haven’t bothered to do the homework to figure out whether their target markets are even actively present on these sites.
However, it’s hard to imagine that at least a cross section of your target market would not be on Facebook. Facebook has well over 800 million active users is inching toward its first one billion members.
With that number of people on one platform, it’s almost guaranteed that your target market will be in there somewhere. Perhaps not every member and maybe not 100 percent — but it could be 20 percent or as much as 50 percent, with the remainder active on sites like LinkedIn and Twitter.
Excerpted from The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web by Mari Smith. Copyright (c) 2011 by Mari Smith International, Inc.