Q: Social media – why and for how long?
A: Social media is an easy and effective way to share information, listen to your customers and gather valuable information on their thoughts about your products or services. How should you use it in an advertising campaign? Think differently. Most people develop campaigns and distribute the messaging for that campaign through traditional media. In the traditional model, each campaign has a definitive start and stop date. With social media, there’s no need for a stop date. It is an ongoing conversation between the advertiser and the customer. Consider it a quality conversation, without a defined timeframe.
Q: Social media versus traditional?
A: Traditional media delivers a single message through one-way communication to the largest audience possible.
Social media delivers several messages through two-way communication to an audience that is interested in the brand. There are countless ways to deliver the messages — blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, to name a few — but the goal of each message is to generate a response from the user.
With social media or traditional media, you need to have a media strategy that includes research, execution and evaluation.
Traditional media can be measured by ratings and estimated traffic count, giving you a sense of your reach and frequency, and how that plays into reaching your overall goal.
Almost every social media has some form of analytics that include the number of users (friends, followers, etc.) and a click through rate. Some sources, like Google Analytics, are free and go much deeper into who visited your site and what items they were interested in. With social media, this information should constantly be evaluated to help you make changes and focus on the topics that are most widely viewed.
Q: Do you integrate the two – social and traditional?
A: Absolutely, you can always promote your social media with traditional media by utilizing social media icons on your ads or TV spots. Traditional media also works to generate new customers or followers on your social media sites, blogs, etc. Although you hear a lot about social media, recognize that it is still just a tool to be used in your marketing efforts. Like TV or radio, social media is not the be-all and end-all. You need a mixture of mediums working together to achieve your ultimate goals.
My suggestion is that you get started right away. Begin having conversations with your potential customers, and listen to what they have to say about your company or product. This is the easiest way to find out where you stand in their eyes. You will gain a better understanding of what they are interested in and be able to focus your messaging in that direction. Good listeners in the social media realm are the ones that have the majority of success in their efforts.