Monday, September 06, 2010

Media Training Techniques for Social Media Success

by Amy Fond / Cameron Communications

Be honest - how often are you on the web surfing social media sites? A quick tweet here, an hour on Facebook, a new friend on Linked-In, that viral video everyone's watching on YouTube. No surprise that according to socialtimes.com - consumers are spending an average of over 5 hours PER DAY on social media sites.

But can these sites be more than just ... social? Can you use social media sites to market your message to clients? Here are a few simple techniques from our Media Training workshops that can translate to a successful social media campaign.

1) Match the Message to the Medium: One of the first things we teach in Media Training is to know your audience. The same principle applies when interacting via social media sites. Know where your clients can most likely be found. What sites serve them best? Twitter, Facebook, Live Journal? A common mistake is thinking the broader the better - but why waste manpower and money marketing your message on Facebook when your clients are tweeting?

Last year the world’s largest computer manufacturer, Dell, Inc., sunk all its energy and time into marketing via Twitter. After extensive research Dell realized 30% of Twitter users are under the age of 25 – just the demographic it wanted to hit. So Dell started Tweeting its latest news, coupons, give-aways and more. And it paid off. Dell can now attribute more than 6.5 million dollars in revenue directly to Twitter.

2) Make them Care: The more personalized the message, the greater the impact. And what do people care about the most? Themselves! So offer them value in your message. Cut through the clutter with coupons, promotions, even tips and advice. Something your audience wouldn’t normally have access to that directly affects them.

The Home Depot has it nailed when it comes to social media marketing. The mega store devotes its YouTube site to publishing free educational content on Do-It-Yourself projects around the house. From “How to tile your bathroom” – to – “When to transfer potted plants.” The videos aren’t flashy, fast paced or viral, but they offer practical knowledge and money saving tips. By giving value to its YouTube viewers with content consumers want to see, The Home Depot also establishes itself as a trusted expert.

3) Keep it Current: In our Media Training workshops we teach you to find the news-hook, the angle that’s going to keep your message fresh and topical for TV or print. But Social media is even more fast-paced and timely. Facebook boasts some 700 new status updates every second! And during the World Cup, Twitter shattered a record with more than 3,280 tweets per second! Successful social media marketing campaigns are updated every week, every day, even every few hours.

You don’t have to have a huge budget, or unlimited time to create a fan base and keep them hooked. The start-up clothing company AKA NewYork just created a Facebook page, quickly landing hundreds of fans. Aside from showcasing its latest line, it added a new twist - a Summer Friday Freebie Contest where it gives away one of its latest trends to a lucky fan each Friday. AKA NewYork also offers a top trend tip of the week. The contest and tips not only keep fans coming back weekly, but also help ensure the site has fresh content for consumers.

So whether you want to cut through the clutter via traditional press or social media sites, connect with your audience. Know who they are, where they can be found and know what they want. Then keep them coming back with new content. But, remember, unlike with TV and print, you can get immediate feedback from social media sites. So don’t forget to stop and listen!

Take it from Nick Ayres, New Media & Content Manager at The Home Depot: “The most important lesson to remember about social media marketing is that it’s about creating relationships. And, like any relationship, that means give and take. Listen to what people are saying, and you might be pleasantly surprised at what you hear.”


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