Effectiveness and Open-Rates:
While email marketing is considered one of the most effective ways to communicate with leads and customers, social media can sometimes be just as if not more effective. I’ve heard different stories from small-sized websites how their open rates with messages via sites like MySpace or Facebook were higher than email open rates of the same size databases. Moreover, their social network responders are more active than email ones, which can lead to better ROI and more sales. Social websites are perfect for viral marketing, which can yield quicker results than an email campaign. They are also, relatively, a new phenomenon so marketing on them can give you an advantage against your competitors, assuming you start today.
Downsides and Dangers:
Social networks are as effective as they are dangerous for your online activities. The nature of these sites is that they are people-driven, opinionated. This is especially true of the most active members, who will constantly leave comments and feedback, for better or worse. This can lead to trouble if you do something ”wrong” by the subjective opinion of these social leaders, who collectively can damage your reputation within the community. This is particularly true if you are a corporation like Ford or Red Bull, which have established major presences on these sites.
Social network users are very savvy and do not react well to any sort of blatant advertising, in both content and comments. What you can do to protect yourself is to be:
- Honest in what you do
- Polite and nice – never argue but simply express your own opinion (which you are also entitled to have, by the way)
- Willing to get help from your own network if things get cruel.
Remember: social network marketing isn’t for everyone!
Keys to Success and Opportunities:
So how can you be successful with social network marketing? Here are some simple tips:
- Be very original and creative with your page(s)
- Reach to willing consumers via friend invitations and other viral collection processes
- Know your niche and exploit it.
- Be as open as possible.
Of course, while those suggestions seem simple on the surface, executing them can be very tricky. Therefore, it’s a good idea to hire a social network marketing expert. There are now services and companies who know how to deal with social networks, bookmarking sites, blog promotions, etc. They can help you come up with typical and unexpected ideas, which will drive huge traffic from social sites to yours and protect you if things get nasty.
The major idea of social network marketing is to build a network of trusted contacts or ”friends” to use the common term within such communities. If you succeed at doing this, it will open up a whole new marketing channel for your products and give you incredibly valuable insight into your customers.
Director, Online Marketing
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