Social media campaigns have joined the body of advertising standard practices, but few organisations feel they’re getting ‘the most’ out of their social media marketing budget. Here’s a top strategy used by notebook manufacturer Lenovo, games development studio Bioware and automotive giant Ford: maintain a single, simple portal that allows access to all your social media campaigns from one location. They call it social.[websitename].com, and you should have one too. Here’s why, and how.
- People can get to know your company. Corporate blogs are not new, but they are still effective. They give customers an opportunity to get to know how your company thinks and works, which will in turn make them more likely to like you, engage with you, and convert to owners of your products. Identifying with a company ethos has a serious impact on the marketability of that company’s product line, and hence a serious impact on revenue and growth. Look at Apple’s cult resonance, widely held to be a major factor in the spectacular growth of the company. If you can engage consumers with your corporate ethos as well as plying them with good products, you’ll have loyal customers for life.
- Cross-platform multiplier effects. While there is a degree of crossover in which social media platform the average user uses, each platform sports a unique and vast community. This opens your social media marketing to cross-platform multipliers. This is when someone shares your site using one platform – say, a ‘share to feed’ event on Facebook – and then subsequently shares your service on an additional platform – say, ‘Liking’ a YouTube video within the YouTube webspace. This yields a much improved reach, and improved social media virality. A given consumer’s network of contacts tends to differ across platforms; this means you’re reaching multiple people from one single investment. Maintaining a single website that allows sharing to each and every one of these platforms increases the likelihood that visitors will share content to multiple platforms, enhancing your social media reach.
- You can get feedback. Corporate blogs are a good tool for getting feedback via commenters. However, the feedback process works more efficiently when you engage social media platforms. People are more likely to comment on a Facebook Page than a Blog post. By maintaining a system that cross-posts Tweets to Facebook statuses, blog posts to Facebook pages, and Facebook polls to your unified social media website, you increase the opportunity for users to engage with your content.
- 4. It’s more official than social media subpages. Maintaining a Page on Facebook requires that users interact with your content in a flurry of Facebook-specific iconry and systems, and through the Facebook portal. In other words, there’s a middle man – and this middle man serves to distance you from your customers. If you’re trying to win the hearts and minds of your customers, you need to let them see that your social media presence is not simply an extension of your marketing campaigns. Take the Lenovo social website, for example. Twitter updates, retweets and Facebook comments are sucked directly to the Lenovo-themed website via public APIs the social media platforms make readily available. Consumer interactions aren’t dressed up in Facebook gear: they’re in Lenovo’s font and dancing to Lenovo’s theming. This makes customers feel like they’re interacting with a real, independent organisation rather than a group of advertising executives.