The best way of marketing your product is to get people to talk about it, and the more influential they are, the better. Once upon a time, the influential people were the talkback radio hosts, the newspaper columnists and the rock stars. Those people haven't lost their voice, but they are being drowned out by 200,000,000 bloggers, 100,000,000 YouTube videos, 4,000,000 Wikipedia articles and the 57% of Internet users who have joined some sort of social network (like Facebook or MySpace).
The Internet allows people to voice their opinions, share ideas and make recommendations like never before. They don't care about your ad, but they do care what their friends and heroes think and they're not shy in expressing themselves. Social media marketing is about getting out there and starting a dialogue with your customers. You can't make anyone do anything, but if you're prepared to engage the people who love your products and respond to the people who don't, people will love you. If they love you, they will tell their friends about you.
There is no such thing as a 'typical' social media marketing campaign, but there are a few rules of engagement: you must be transparent and willing to listen. You can't trick people, you can't co-erce, you can't pay cash for comment. You can't be fake and you can't make stuff up. You have to be genuine. You have to care.
These are the sorts of things we do:
Do you want to have 5,000 Facebook friends? Or would you prefer that the number of people who said they heard about you via word of mouth increased by 500%? Will you guage success on the bottom line in a meeting with the accounts department, or by a 200% decrease in complaints to your call centre?
Tracking the success of a social media marketing campaign is not just measuring column inches or page impressions, it's about how your customers talk about you.
Depending on what sort of return you're looking for, these are some of the ways we can track a campaign:
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