Social media as a marketing and campaign tool
by Brian Keaney
Today at the 2.0 Life, David says that he is “a serial early-adopter” of social media. I’m most certainly not, for a few reasons. Most importantly, it’s for the very reason David says he quits most of them: “Most of the time, social networks don’t have any real value unless everyone you know is using them, and most don’t have any value even if everyone is.”
Like most people I know, I’m a busy person and I have neither the time nor the inclination to try every new fad that comes down the pike. If I am going to invest in a technology, I want it to have a proven value. This is often the advice I give to clients. Many feel they should be everywhere at once. I disagree, and counsel that rather than trying to do too much at once, they should focus on a few that 1) they (or I, under their name) can do well, and 2) give you the most bang for the buck.
Facebook is an obvious choice, simply because it is so ubiquitous. It is the place, as David says, where everyone you know (and many you would like to know) is already. It doesn’t take much to set up a fan page or group, and, once you let a few friends know about it, then it can spread like wildfire. Each time someone joins your group a notification is sent out letting their friends know they support a candidate, or enjoy shopping at a particular store. If the friend also join up, a notification is sent out again to all their friends, and so on. Even if they don’t join, simply seeing the notification is a free endorsement.
Twitter grows in popularity each day, but can be slightly tougher to do well. It requires more work than Facebook, but the payoff can be even bigger. At b.good (disclaimer: I am the winner of a contest there), they know how to “tweet” effectively. b.good has an interesting marketing strategy. Disdaining things like newspaper ads, they will tape coupons for free burgers and fries to objects in the neighborhood of their restaurants. When they do, a tweet will go out to their followers alerting them, often with a photo showing you where you can find them. It’s a great way to get people in the doors who might not otherwise.
For the professional set, blogging is probably your best bet. Of the three social media mentioned here it takes the most amount of work, but there is no better way for you (or me) to showcase your talents. This morning Jay Donahue posted to his real estate agency’s blog the do’s and don’t’s for holiday decorating while trying to sell your home.
No one will want to buy the cow if you give away all the milk, but supermarkets know that by giving out samples they can entice you to buy. The same is true with blogging. If you are a tax professional, you don’t want to provide step-by-step instructions on how to file your tax return. However, you can use it to alert your clients (and potential clients) of a change to the federal tax code that could affect them. In doing so you can establish yourself as an expert on the topic.
All three formats mentioned here, plus many others out there, provide a very cost-effective way to expand your base of clients, customers, and constituents. And, as they are social medias, you might even find yourself making a few friends along the way.