According to our recent survey of 150 marketing professionals – 65% responded that they are using social media as a marketing tool. While social media is a broad area, the survey showed us that the three most popular social media sites used for marketing are tied at (surprise!) Facebook and Twitter with 54%, and LinkedIn followed at a close third with 49%. The survey also indicated that these sites are used mainly for purposes of branding, PR and in generating website traffic. Because of their straightforward nature, convenience, and accessibility these tools have become essential for social media marketing purposes. Unfortunately, with the ease of use comes a hidden potential for failure. The most challenging aspects of keeping up a social media campaign, according to those surveyed, are content creation (20%)and measurement of results and ROI (30%).
Success in social media does not lie in quantity of blog posts, tweets, and status updates, but rather in their quality. Overwhelming sites with an excess of information can even have a negative effect- turning off potential clients. Staying away from spam-type updates can be hard, especially when the most frequent complaints about social media relate to creating content. A challenge at best, keeping up a social media campaign requires frequently updating without becoming redundant.
Content is second to presence, and is irrelevant if the right audience is not being reached. Begin by working on establishing this presence, and content will follow. Comment on existing posts, recycle information, and make your opinions known. Once this audience is established, creating content may seem less daunting. Interact with your audience through interviews, lists, stories, and questions.
The best way to measure traffic, SEO, and sales is with tools available for this very purpose. Sites such as Google Analytics, AideRSS, Feedburner, and Xinu are all handy tools. Many social network managing and blogging platforms also offer their users access to statistics, such as Hootsuite and WordPress. Most marketers agree that by having specific goals and programs when creating the campaign, the results are more easily measured.
I would love to hear your comments about taking on the challenges of social media marketing and about any tools you use to measure results.