The #1 Practice that Will Make or Break Your Social Media Campaign

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My dad, who owns, among other businesses, a moving company in the Boston area, recently asked me what it is exactly that I do: social media marketing and search engine optimization. He asked me to make him a proposal, and he told me about another social media company that recently approached him. “What can you offer me that they can’t?”

I looked into what this other company does, and I found that what they offer lacks one key point that will make or break a campaign: finding an audience.

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it even make a sound? If you’re pumping out content – on your blog, on Twitter, on Facebook, on Youtube, – will anyone see it if they don’t know you’re there?

Margelit Hoffman: The #1 Practice that Will Make or Break Your Social Media Campaign

Enter Margelit, with a background in cold calling sales. I know that people need to be messaged, emailed, SMSed, personally called, if you want them to join your cause. I’ve had clients come to me, frustrated that social media has done nothing for them, incensed at their current or past social media managers for building and hoping they will come, whoever “they” are.

It just doesn’t work that way.

If you’re putting in the time, effort, and funds to create an online presence, you’d better be putting just as much into reaching your audience.

That means:
1. Running in-depth searches for your target audience
I just started an ongoing Facebook campaign for a girls seminary in Israel. A big chunk of my time – besides finding, creating and posting valuable content – goes into finding religious, English-speaking high school girls on Facebook. I put them all into a spreadsheet to keep track of my progress in reaching them.

2. Sending them individual, personalized messages
Yes, you can use a template. But you must use their names. And you must make it relevant to them.
This means that if someone’s registered for Yom Kippur, don’t use the Rosh Hashana template. It means that if they bought the diamond ring, don’t thank them for their recent purchase of sapphire studs.

3. Offering incentives for joining/buying/liking/visiting
This can be as simple as letting them know what they’ll get out of liking your fanpage. In the girls seminary’s case, that’s weekly Torah portion updates, and pics and videos of the girls at the school. If you sell a product, it’s sneak previews of the latest products, it’s discounts, giveaways, etc.

4. Continuing with personalized interaction.
If someone has a birthday, write a birthday message on their wall. Offer them a discount, or even a virtual cupcake. Something to warm their hearts to your brand. If they post something relevant to what you do, comment, share, like. Interact!

Social media is not about blasting whatever you have to everyone. It’s about strengthening relationships, building trust and brand recognition, and drawing people to your website or blog, where you make the sale. Above all, people want to feel like they’re interacting with a human being, not a sales campaign.

This all takes time. One of the biggest misconceptions about social media is that a volunteer can do it in her spare time (for nonprofits) or the receptionist can add it to his already sky-high pile of things to do. That’s true, if you don’t care about the results. But I personally believe that if you’re going to do something, do it right.

That’s my humble opinion.

How much time do you spend on social media per week? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks!




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12 Responses to "The #1 Practice that Will Make or Break Your Social Media Campaign"

  1. Wow. Very informative blogpost. So true about the volunteer doing social media in their spare time. I think if orgs and companies are making the wrong decision NOW, in five years they will only be trying to catch up with their competition instead of leading the market.
    Well done, Margelit.

  2. Shawn Hakimian says:

    Hi Margelit, thanks for the excellent post. I found this website that helps with social media marketing called http://www.flowtown.com. I haven’t fully used it yet but so far it seems really good. When you have a chance check it out and please let me know what you think. Keep up the good work.

    • Hi Shawn,

      Thanks for the link! Flowtown looks great for email list segmentation. I would only sign up once you have yourself set up on all the networks and have something going on there.
      The one problem I see with this is that you already have to have someone’s email address in order to get the goods on them. This means that it won’t necessarily increase your contact list, but it will help you connect with EXISTING fans on other networks, where they can continue to spread the word about you.
      That said, the demographic info it claims to provide is very valuable. If you do sign up, once you’re set up on the social sites, I would do pay as you go to start and see how it goes…
      Let me know what you decide to do!
      Margelit

  3. Chris Jaeger says:

    So… did your Dad hire you? The same problem is applicable to websites, blogs, and email marketing. Plumbing for that matter. If you don’t do things right, and think everything is “free” – you get what you pay for. I think I’ll follow you on Twitter. 🙂 Great post!

    • Thanks Chris!
      Indeed, and every business is different. My dad is still reviewing my proposal. For a moving company in Boston, which is mostly college students, it’s the busiest time of the year, but I expect to hear back from him next week…

  4. Loved this post. OrganicSizeMe.com will be using this info to help reach our audience. Thanks!

  5. Carla says:

    Excellent tips! We’ve started social media contacts this year for our Florida-based wedding photojournalists group, and I’ve enjoyed meeting folks from around the world. I particularly enjoy Facebook (www.facebook.com/silverimageweddings) but admit to not quite knowing what to do with Twitter!

  6. Marina Shemesh says:

    This was a well written post Margelit. People sometimes forget that it is SOCIAL media! I would enjoy reading about working with your Dad – I hope he gave you the job. 🙂 I will also follow you on Twitter.

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