Social media, and by that I’m lumping together blogs, RSS, social networking and bookmarking, presents the marketer with a rich set of new tools to help in the effort to generate new business.
But, if that’s the only way you view social media, as a set of tools to perform a set of tactics to reach the set of objectives you have always tried to reach with your marketing, then not only are you really missing the opportunity, you will probably find yourself wondering what all the fuss is about.
You can’t approach new media with old thinking. Taking full advantage of social media requires understanding and adopting a specific social media strategy.
First and foremost you must appreciate the differences between social media and, say, direct mail. With direct mail the outcome is likely to create an action, with most social media, it’s to create a connection. Both of these have equally important places in the long-term health of a business, but how they happen is significantly different. Try to do one with the other and results may actually backfire – ie: Ads on Facebook?
I think the best way to look at social media is to view it as a way to open up access points. These points can then be leveraged to create content, connection, and community. Do that well, and they can also add to lead generation, nurturing and conversion.
I’ll talk more about this in a free webinar this Wednesday put on by the good folks at Jigsaw, but here are couple point to ponder.
Choose your social media tools with an ideal interaction in mind
~ Is a blog a starting point or an ending point?
Choose your social media objectives with connection in mind
~ Are you after traffic, primary and secondary links or access to communities that think and act alike?