8 simple rules for Social Media Marketers

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Conversations about yor Brand are already happening on lineI’m going to keep it short and simple because that was how I liked it when I was scouting for information on SMM not very long ago. Here’s 8 simple rules every Social Media Marketer must keep in mind while considering to launch a Social Media campaign.

  1. Your Brand must be Social:There’s no if, there’s only a when. Conversations about your Brand are happening even as you read this and you need to join in. There will always be rough patches and the companies that go Social sooner have a better chance of weathering them.
  2. Marketing campaign Vs. SMM campaign:The two have objectives that are quite different. While the point of a Marketing campaign would be to simply generate or increase demand, a Social Media campaign would aim to engage with the Brand’s consumers; to generate WoM ,consumer goodwill and hopefully a loyal consumer base. A Marketing campaign would have a certain ‘life’, after which it would be killed or replaced,while a Social Media campaign is an ongoing process.However, it is possible to combine the two. The catch is to determine the ‘life’ of the campaign and bring it to a close such that the consumers you’ve engaged with have a sense of closure.
  3. One size does NOT fit all: What works for one Brand might not work for another Brand, even within the same category. A campaign built for a Cola might not work for a milk-based beverage.
  4. A Social Media Campaign doesn’t need a huge budget:If the idea is only Social Engagement, the only capital one needs is human. The people involved will have to spend several man-hours merely listening to conversations about their Brands on various Social Networks, before participating. The expenses in this case would be remuneration for the time spent. However, if the campaign includes both the Social and the Marketing aspects, remuneration for man-hours as well as money spent on developing web applications, content, et al comes into the picture and the budget shoots up. It will still be cheaper than a traditional Marketing campaign for the same reach.
  5. Pick your Social Media Agency/Strategist wisely: This is a very new and a very vast field and the best of consultants have been working in the field for 3-4 years, tops. Anyone who claims to be a ‘Social Media Expert’ is being deliberately vague. Considering that it is humanly impossible to be completely conversant with using ALL social media platforms present out there, it makes more sense to pick someone who claims ‘expertise’ in say 2 platforms and a working knowledge of a couple more.
  6. The consumer wants to connect with YOU:Your agency cannot be the only one interacting with your consumers because that would defeat the whole purpose of ‘engagement’. The consumer wants to develop a personal relationship with you not the agency. Leave the strategising to the agency, keep the bulk of the conversing to yourself and your people.
  7. People hate being taken for a ride : While conducting a Social Media Campaign,make sure you come across as honest and transparent. People hate being taken for a ride and they’re smart enough to figure out when it’s happening to them.
  8. Be aware of all legal perils: There  are plenty; it’s best to keep a lawyer involved.
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