“Just Throw It Up” is Not Sound Strategy for Social Media Marketing

Every now and then I feel as if social media marketing has come a long way. When I hear of a particular good social media engagement strategy where a company dedicates time and resources to making successful, or when I hear of a company that is starting to use social media internally as well as externally.

Yet many other times I realize that in the imperfect world in which we live, there are limited resources for social media marketing: specifically in regards to time, budget, and strategy.

13257-soulja3_redbox.jpgThose are the times I hear statements like, “Lets throw up a profile page” and I cringe like I do at the end of the music video for Yah Trick Yahh where Souljah Boi sings, “Throw some D’s on it” to his teacher. Why? It’s not because I don’t understand that time is of the essence, that a brand needs to have a presence, or that experimentation in social media can sometimes lead to success. It’s because quite often this type of approach often misses the bigger picture of social media marketing, and it almost always leaves out the components to building and growing a strategy of lasting value.

So, what exactly is the bigger picture?

1. Effective Social Media Marketing is more than Marketing. Gone are the days where the marketing department is set apart from other areas of the company. Social media marketing helps build brand advocates by blurring the lines of marketing, customer service, and product development. Companies that have really succeeded in social media marketing have made internal changes to help make this connection happen.

2. Effective Social Media Marketing requires time and money. Often times applying a “marketing campaign” strategy to social media marketing can develop short-term strategies that miss the long-term value in creating ongoing conversations with customers. The inherent friction between social media marketing and short-term strategies is that social media takes time to grow. Therefore, not only will marketers who dedicate resources for ongoing social media efforts will find that they have superior knowledge of their customer, but I also believe they will likely find their efforts more successful.

3. Effective Social Media Marketing requires new strategies and forms of measurement. It is difficult for a traditional marketer to work in the space of social media marketing for the first time because old marketing wisdom and strategies are primarily focused around hard-selling and measurement defined through quantitative measures of sales. This being said, effective social media marketers must develop new strategies and measurement that is tailored especially for the space of social media. Note: trying to recycle strategies and metrics that were designed for a different medium is never a good idea.

These are just a few thoughts I wanted to share. Have any more you’d like to add?

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