When Social Media and Marketing Meet

By Jason Douglas  |  July 29, 2013

Different colored flowers with social media icons in the center

Marketers have long wondered if and how they should incorporate social media into their long-term strategy for clients. Below, Jason Douglas of BlueSpire Strategic Marketing outlines best practices for marketing companies looking to break into the social media unknown.

It may seem like the only notable moments of social involve celebrity meltdowns or big brands being hacked, but there’s more to social media than clutter and negativity. More and more marketers are realizing the power of social media in their own marketing mix.

Allied Marketing, a full-service integrated marketing agency serving the entertainment industry, uses social media, according to publicist Katie Wilharm. “We have Twitter and Facebook accounts for each market we work in.” A key to a successful social media program – use only the social media channels that help meet your business objectives. Stick with those that make sense for you and your community.

Once you select your channels, decide which key performance indicators (KPIs) can help measure and quantify your efforts. “We track likes and followers and establish goals for how many we want to earn each week. For our clients’ social media campaigns, we measure the media value of our content with a formula that includes impressions, number of posts and several other variables to determine a dollar value.

KPIs can help determine a campaign’s success or areas for improvement. Other KPIs include comments, likes, retweets, replies and shares. These KPIs can help determine your content strategy, including tone, frequency, and offers included in the content. Wilharm says, “We provide each (market) audience with theater showtimes and locations, invitations to advance screenings, access to local and national sweepstakes, other promotions and breaking entertainment news. Our content is light in tone and entertainment focused. Our followers are a robust database of entertainment-loving customers.

Social media may be a new marketing channel for Allied, they are clearly on the right path. They know where their community is, how to measure success, and how to communicate to their loyal fan base.

If you’re considering adding social media to your marketing mix – or looking to revamp your existing social media presence – consider the following:

  • Create objectives for your program
  • Create a strategy around how to achieve those objectives
  • Create KPIs and methods of measuring success
  • Be ready to engage with your followers
  • Create customized content in tune with what your community wants
  • Be patient; a community takes time to grow and relationships take time to establish

Starting with these six steps will help lead your business toward social media success.

Read next: Content Marketing vs. Advertising: What’s the Difference, Again?

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