Monday, 6 June 2011

Ways to establish a following for your company using all Marketing and PR tools at your disposal

The Marketing Think Tank call is hosted each month by BrightBlue Marketing and Big Noise Communications. The call was facilitated this month by Andrea Lamarsaude of BrightBlue.

The following are the topics we discussed:

1. Should you focus on one social media tool or should you try and do it all?

· You should really stay somewhere in the middle.

· Have a balance (especially if you are just starting)

· Found out which tools your audience is listening to more than others.

· Don’t try to do everything because you don’t want to dilute your message too much over too many places

2. How do you narrow down where you want your following to come from?

· Track your followers with reporting tools and you can see who has signed up for what format

· Service for good reports, but pricey: radient6

· Service for free: Google Analytics has some effective tools

· Hootsuite Pro is good for a nominal fee

· Search for key words in your industry and see who is talking and active in your industry

· Search to find news that is relevant to your industry and see who is already out there writing and producing content that is getting the followers to engage in your industry

3. Once you have your following, how do you maintain it?

· You have to engage your followers

· Content has to be thought provoking and relevant to get them to engage with it

· Interact with your followers and start a dialogue

· Maintain that dialogue

· Have fun contests or polls to keep their interest

· Ask questions of your followers

· Be generous with them (in content/offers/tips) and your followers will be generous to you

4. What are the best ways to grow your Social Media audience?

· Find a way to let people know you have these avenues of communication

· Tweet about events you are attending that your followers are also attending

· Add your social media links in your signature block on all email correspondence

· Have a call to action saying “have you connected with me on LinkedIn, etc.”

· Quality is as important as quantity in followers – keep your target audience in mind

5. Can you obtain a following without a lot of budget?

· Social Media is free, but it does take time

· Focus your time by making your content very relevant to your audience

· You can set up a group of messages on something like HootSuite and schedule them to go out at regular intervals

· Focus on higher traffic times and/or days on the various social media outlets – Wednesdays are very high traffic times for Facebook and Twitter

· Comment on the social media outlets of others (clients, potential clients, others in your industry) so they see and hear you and have a reason to follow you as well

6. What are some ways to use PR to establish a following?

· Use social media to let people know about an interview you are involved in or a presentation you will be giving

· Let them know when and where they can see and hear you

· Get involved in a community effort (Race for the Cure, Red Cross, planting trees) and encourage your followers to be involved with you

7. What about more traditional marketing tools?

You will never eliminate the need for traditional marketing, but you need to blend traditional marketing channels with social media channels.

8. Are there ways to fuse traditional and social media marketing to establish your following?

· Educate your followers and point them to follow you in other media areas

· Give surveys, polls, point them to a web landing page for special online events, etc.

· Make them feel like you are talking to just them which you can do more with traditional marketing

· Educate your audience on how to use social media so they first have the ability to follow you

· Many of those in your audience may not know how to get involved with social media; however, they are afraid to admit it

Further Reading:

Which Social Media Channels Should Your Business use?

B2B Tech Marketing and Social Media - Which Social Media Channels Reach Tech Buyers

Do You Still Need Traditional Media for PR?

Incorporating Social Media Into Traditional Marketing Campaigns

Does Social Media Mean that Traditional Marketing is Obsolete?

How Social Media and Email Marketing Can Work Together?

The Facebook Marketing Toolbox: 100 Tools and Tips to Tap the Facebook Customer Base
By Inside CRM Editors

What Does PR Look Like in 2011?

Real-Time Marketing and PR: How to Instantly Engage Your Market, Connect with Customers, and Create Products that Grow Your Business Now?

How to Make Your PR & Marketing Believable

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