Social media marketing: behind the numbers

Excira Media drew my attention to this infographic from MDG Advertising: The ROI of Social Media. I’m more of a qualitative analyst, but I appreciate that businesses are starting to think analytically and seriously about social media’s impact on marketing strategy (and beyond just clicks, as Excira points out).

My biggest concern is that businesses in large part still have yet to take social media seriously. So many set up a Facebook page, and it appears they think that’s all it takes to leverage social media to their advantage. The result is a parking space that gets a handful of Likes. I wonder how many of MDG’s survey respondents fit in this category.

So much social media success is commonsense, and so many people use it more effectively for their personal lives than for their businesses. Ways to make social media work as a marketing tool:

* Be consistent and useful. Have a short- and long-term strategy for messaging. What kinds of deals, features or services will you highlight? How can you stoke enthusiasm for your brand? Map out daily, weekly and monthly goals.

* Be organized. Social media shouldn’t be an afterthought. If you don’t have a dedicated social media coordinator, devote time every day to both small tasks and big-picture planning. Keep tabs on your passwords; nothing’s more aggravating to a fan than being asked to Like a new page because the old one fell through the cracks.

* Be professional. Your business’s Facebook page isn’t the place to post political blog entries (unless you’re a campaign manager) or write a too-informal or confessional entries. Save those thoughts for your personal page. Spell-check and avoid textspeak. Stay crisp and focused.

* Be engaged! Don’t just slap an update on your wall and unplug for the rest of the day. Share news from other local businesses, and analysis from your industry’s experts. Invite feedback from your fans. Engage in lively conversations about what you have to offer. Ask friends and family members to spread the word.

With a well-honed strategy, businesses can expect greater returns and a greater appreciation for what social media can contribute holistically.

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