Just read a useful blog post from Vinci Designs which reminds small business, among others, about some good fundamentals on social marketing. Fundamentals – something that from time to time is forgotten the more we fall in love within the vagaries of the ‘social media tools’ at our disposal. At the end of the day, any visitor to a mobile platform, a Facebook page or Twitter post needs a ‘call to action.’ Yes, many understand the need to interweave these, but the number of ‘likes’ or retweets does not a business presence make. The fundamentals remain that a web site should be the destination where visitors learn who you are, what you sell and and the core reasons why you exist. It is your office. This is particularly important for small businesses. Your social media ring, I submit, still needs to serve your prime business objective: to engage customers. “If you build it, they will come.” But, they will only come if there is somewhere to go – a place that wholly represents how you are a responsible steward of your product or service. After your chat at the proverbial “cocktail party” on the social platforms, your prospective clients will always want to drop by your home ‘office’ the next morning.
(Original text published on the AENC blog)
A word on Associations – Nurses, Accountants, Bankers, Florists…Whoever. You may think your Association needs a stronger online presence, but are confused as to what that exactly means. And you see its potential.
The number of ways you can communicate with your audience can be overwhelming. And there are a few fundamentals to understand before moving forward.
“Liking” you is not enough
“If you build it, they will come” only worked in the movie. Just setting up a Twitter account or Facebook group page as standalone presences is a regressive strategy. If your association isn’t communicating its key messages, you won’t generate a following. Worse, owning these profiles with no activity or followers just looks bad and delivers the wrong message as well.
Actively communicate your messages
The first mistake in messaging is trying to tell everything, to everyone, all the time. As an association, you know who your members are, and you know how your work benefits people on a broad scale. But like any marketing strategy, it’s critical to identify specific audiences, but also deliver specific messages on how your work is directly relevant to their needs.
Identify your target goals and encourage participation
Establish a timeline around key dates and planned announcements. This may also include locally planned events. By using your online platforms to deliver your messages, you can encourage participation through “retweets” and other forms of sharing. By inviting members to be part of the process, your are both now the stewards of your organization’s brand and mission.
Any successful online strategy is about building a presence that doesn’t just give you your “15 minutes.” Crafted carefully, it will help you earn a deep, living leadership role in today’s marketplace.