Think back to that long ago and far away time when social media marketing simply meant doing a couple of Facebook posts a week or tweeting every now and again. If that was a long time ago for you, then congratulations! Your social media marketing has evolved. If, however, “thinking back” to those prehistoric times means recalling your feeble marketing efforts from earlier today… well, you might have a problem. See, the one thing we’ve learned about social media is that it’s ever-changing, and in order for marketing to be effective, we have to keep up with the trends. The question is this: How do we keep social media marketing fresh in order to avoid getting stuck in the past?
Think of 2013 as a whole new chapter for social media marketing. How big brands like Banana Republic, Virgin Airways and Diesel do Facebook and Twitter today vs. how they did it back in 2010 is truly night and day. For one thing, the old “blasting of the trumpet” approach to social media is over. Brands are now using the platforms to get feedback on product images, to chat about current events and to inspire followers to be more creative. Facebook marketing, for example, has moved from sales to informational. Last-minute schedule changes for airlines, restaurants posting the evening’s delectable dinner specials and non-profits uploading photos to illustrate how donations can help are but a few ways the channel has shifted for small businesses. The numbers didn’t lie; Facebook doesn’t translate into direct sales. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a powerful place for your following to keep up on the latest news from your brand.
For a new chapter in Twitter marketing, turn up the social factor. As a platform, Twitter has made it easier than ever to talk to folks with your exact interests, so take advantage of it and schmooze your heart out. Even mega companies are slowing down and using Twitter to playfully banter back and forth with followers — and you should do the same. Mentioning new followers, re-tweeting articles from a friend’s feed and tweeting fun or provocative discussion questions are a good way to get the conversation going. Naturally, you and your brand are on Twitter to pimp your brand’s awesomeness, but don’t forget to have fun.
Should your social media marketing sequel want to move into the trendy visual arena, choose wisely. While Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr have each respectively been the “next big things” in social media, nothing lasts forever. Carefully shop and browse visual social media platforms before committing and come armed with a solid campaign plan before you start posting. It’s easy to get swept away with how great your images look on these channels, but if you’re not committed to posting regularly and with a purpose, they should be avoided.
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