When preparing for our Social Media seminar with Scott Stratten March ’09 I had to come up with a way to connect the idea with what we do – traditional marketing and design. In the end the answer was easy – social media is another execution of your brand that needs the same consistency and consideration as anything else. I want to help my clients navigate this new tool and find small ways to begin incorporating the ideas into their marketing tools.
Use Social Media As Well, Not Instead
While some social media enthusiasts who are really keen on it suggest businesses don’t need traditional websites or other tools anymore, I totally disagree. I believe a business still needs to have “brick and mortar” so to speak, for credibility and a means to find information. You still meet people in person so need business cards, etc.
However, incorporating social media and/or the driver behind it into your websites and other marketing tools is a great idea! The core of social media is sharing information. Therefore, those who provide help are received better than those who simply promote themselves. Many clients automatically want to put on their websites how long they’ve been in business, why they are so great and list all the services they provide. We are working with Rapport clients to change that focus to what the client gets out of it. Not services from X business, but benefits to their clients. We’re also encouraging them to provide useful tips and information with no strings attached, that help to demonstrate they know what they are talking about.
How Can You Use Social Networking?
For example, recruiting firms used to focus on full-time permanent placement, but as a reflection of the economy, they are looking to promote their contract placement services. A lot of their existing clients don’t even know they do this. Instead of sending an email blast saying ‘Hey, did you know we did contract placement, buy from us’, they could send one along the lines of ‘How to reduce overhead by using contract staff instead of full-timers.’ It could be a short article explaining the benefits, what to look out for, etc. The call to action would be, ‘If you have any questions about using contract staff, please call XXX.’ See what I mean? To go a step further, if you also had this article as a blog post, you could invite people to comment on it, tell their stories of contract placement.