Rethinking Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Social media marketing already become a hype nowadays. TVs, radios, newspapers & magazines are putting this topic as favorite marketing topic to catch customer attention. However, many start-ups still use old-way marketing to this brand-new channel. They bombarded customer with promo blasts without understand huge potential behind the power of social media: permission-based marketing.

With so many ad forms blasts everyday, customers become too overwhelmed by advertisement or any kinds of interruption-based marketing. TV commercial, newspaper ad, text messages ad, tele-marketer, billboard are battling to get audience’s attention now. However, we need to understand the change that happened now:

  • Advertising already lacked of credibility, the crucial ingredient in brand building;
  • Too many Ad noises can blur customer decision-making process;
  • Advertising should only be used to maintain brands once they have been established through publicity.

Laura Rise & Al Rise in a best-seller PR book “The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR” (2004) already laid foundation about different way to do marketing. Permission-based marketing engages customer through activities that attract customer attention, such as through PR event, gamification, customer-generated review, and – of course – social media. Permission-based marketing wins customer heart in an elegant way.

Social media as a “new media” enables permission-based marketing to the fullest potential (Yuswohady, Customer 3000, 2012). By engaging customer in daily conversation, solving their problems, playing with quizes or games, marketer will be able to get customer’s attention and sense of belonging to the brand. Many brands already succeed utilize this strategy in gathering raving fans. Some even changed web domain name in order to avoid “brand-promotion” image, such as Caring Career (Caring Color) or Gilamotor.com (Evalube).

Startup needs to understand basic principles of successful social media marketing (SMM) strategy. This new media should use in a new way, not only for blasting promotional offers as the conventional approach before. Social media should able to leverage customer connection to a new way: customer engagement that drives brand loyalty and advocate.

There are 4 building blocks of SMM:

  • SMM Strategy Integration. SMM should be in-lined with marketing plan that already set before. Ensure that messages across various marketing channel is uniform and integrated. That’s why Social Media Team should always need to be updated with the information from other teams. You need to prepare Social Media Canvas to ensure integration with current marketing messages. Beside that, in this phase, it is necessary to communicate company passion to targeted customer. About why this company exist in the world – not only for money. Passion will become fuel for influencer to blast your message to their community.

Beside integration with offline-marketing plan, necessary also to ensure continuity of SMM Strategy. Some tools are needed:

  1. Editorial Calendar to monitor daily execution. By visualizing the calendar, every social media team will aware what to publish in a specific date.
  2. Social Media Radar to listen what customer said about our product and competitor’s, also trend within our industry.
  3. Social Media Policy to manage communication flow for different schenarios. In this guideline, you can define the roles of each party, company tone & voice, response rate, and confidentiality issues.
  • Content Marketing. Stay relevant with customer by providing daily life style & problem solving content. Think as a magazine publisher. Define your customer personas from their interest, aspiration, and opinion to understand more about their thinking. After that, you can decide whether to develop content in form of video, infographic, white papers, presentation, game, picture, podcast, or articles based on customer preferences. Please do not bombard your customer with promotional messages. Please consider content first. Some experts give rule of thumb “10-to-1″ to give offer. 10 informative contents for every 1 promotional message.
  • Social Media Campaign. Campaign or contest can boost fans in short term. By giving prizes, discount, or recognition to customer, startup can develop marketing method to increase number of fans. Some famous method such as like the pages, share to x-number of friends, take picture with products, create video or testimony, contribute article, answer questions, and many more. This campaign can be used also to leverage number of content. So you will have additional fuel for your content engine.
  • Conversation. The last but not least is conversation. Be relevant to them through understanding their life style and opinion about our product. What is their daily conversation? What is their aspiration about life? What is their value? What are their problems with our product? By understanding this, you will be able to create the posting in various manner such as kultwit (“Kuliah Twitter”), quizes, polls, quote, cool hashtag, or even just a greeting.

So now you understand the way to create long-lasting relationship with customer. Through these 4 building blocks, customer will get comfortable with your brand and also not hesitate to spread good news about your brand. Let’s build your own strategy!

Fandy Yasin

Fandy works in Toyota Motor Asia Pacific Pte Ltd (Singapore based). His job is to improve customer retention & sales in emerging countries. Previously he was Head of Marketing Analyst section at PT Toyota-Astra Motor. Since university, he presented 5 industrial engineering researches at various international and national seminars with team. As Top 5 Rank Astra Basic Management Program, Fandy is directly involved in concepting the marketing plan and ensuring communication & smooth implementation in dealers. As professional marketer, Fandy often speaks or gives consultation to some blue-chip companies and top motivator. Now he lives in Somerset and enjoy his weekend at gleaming of Orchard area. Meet Fandy at links below.

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