Monday, April 1, 2013

Social Media Marketing - Emphasis on Quality

Social Media Marketing (SMM) is beginning to get more attention these days than say, seven years ago when we were first getting into it for business.  Now more and more companies are starting to see all the benefits social media marketing can give them, and what kind of exposure they can get in our now plugged-in world.  The problem that arises with this, is that there is no degree in social media marketing, there is no certificate, there is no training program one can go through to verify they have the knowledge, the skills and the understanding of how to do it properly.  So – how do you make an informed decision if there is no verification certificate?  The purpose of this article is to help guide you through the process on how to select the social media marketer that is right for you and your company, and how to spot red flags.

How To Choose A Social Media Marketer Tips
How To Choose A Professional Social Media Marketer

Social media marketing is a delicate balance of compelling graphics, valuable information/content, and modern trends you offer your friends, fans, followers and partners.  Does this mean you have to sacrifice quality?  (And we do emphasize QUALITY social media marketing!) Absolutely not.

It seems that every teenager or person living in their parents’ basement can claim to a “Social Media Expert” … but what does that mean, exactly?  You spend 30+ hours a week on Facebook?  You tweet 20 times a day?  What makes a social media marketer rather than a social media addict?  Quality content.  Anyone can make Facebook posts (heck even Grandma is doing it), anyone can use their smart phone to send out a tweet.  But what is the purpose behind it?  What does it mean?  What is it offering?  If you’re not giving your listeners something important – you’re just making digital sound waves.  And not the good kind. 

Sometimes social media marketing doesn’t get taken very seriously – if you are a social media marketer (ahem, check out Targeting Pro's SMM information here), you often get the “Oh so you just play around on the internet all day?”  After the dedicated professional side of us has to seriously refrain from doing bodily harm to that individual, we realize that this is simply due to a lack of understanding of the power social media marketing holds within a business plan.  There are many individuals out there who claim to be SMM’s but honestly, they do not take their marketing seriously nor do they perform it in a professional manner.

Question on social media posting quality: “ZOMG, Wud u want thsi 2 represint ur companee?” 

Not very impressive, is it?  In fact, poor social media marketing can be damaging to a company.  How would you feel if your name was misspelled in a post?  How would a partner feel if their name were misspelled in a promotional offer?  What about offering incorrect information on a sale item or give-away and having to honor it?  What about misrepresenting a product?  You lose credibility.  You lose customer trust – and that is a hard thing to build.  The world wide web, and especially social media, has made it easy for a dissatisfied customer to share their experience with the world, so great care should be taken into who you want being your “voice to the world” in social media.

Some things a company should consider when selecting a social media marketer to add to their team (either in house or contracted):
  • Brand Awareness
  • Event Promotions
  • Sale Promotions
  • Business purpose behind each action
  • ROI (tracking) & Analytics
Some companies feel the cheapest form of social media marketing is the right price for them, and they may lack the time or ability to research their business options adequately for their needs.  Often times when the cheaper option is taken without investigation, there can be a a lot of negative impact that occurs when a poor SMM gets a company labeled in a poor public light.

Now try to put yourself in a customer’s shoes – how would you feel about a company that offered marketing material that had:
  • Punctuation errors
  • Spelling errors
  • Grammatical errors
  • Poor sentence structure
  • Misspelled graphics
  • Inconsistency, either with branding or sale promotion that offered something different after the link was clicked
  • Using “I” when speaking as the company’s voice
  • Linking to articles that display competitor advertising/links
  • Lost sight of the purpose of being in touch with customers on a social media outlet
  • Delayed responding to a question or comment posted on a social media outlet
  • Did not respond at all to a question or comment posted on the company's social media outlet
  • Flat out erased complaints on the company's social media outlet instead of dealing with them
Would you trust your hard earned money with a company that partook in the above marketing activities?  Would you not think they perhaps “didn’t have their stuff together” and would not be a good candidate for handling your purchases, processing your credit card, or may be unable to offer you the deal they promised?
We pride ourselves in being a social media marketing company.  It is a specialty niche in the marketing world that is constantly evolving and are addicted to it.  A social media marketer is always on, always learning and always a professional voice for their client.  There is no “We don’t know” in our vocabulary.  Targeting Pro Marketing is completely upfront with clients about our abilities and skill levels when it comes to meeting your needs, and if we are unable to assist your company directly we can certainly give a reference for a partner who can.

Want some tips on picking a great social media marketer?  Be sure to at least ask for the following items from your next candidates:
  • Ask for references (happy customers should always be willing to refer a good marketer, talk to them, not just reference a review page that can be falsified)
  • Ask for examples (request links to previous examples of work to show professionalism and tone in writing or graphic design)
  • Ask for a proposal or business model (what are they going to do for you, exactly?)
These are what we would call a bare minimum requirement for any social media marketer you are looking to hire.  After all, a company should not think twice to request these three items from a web designer, graphic designer  or SEO expert, you should expect no less from a professional in the social media marketing field. (PS: We do all that, too!)

Contact Targeting Pro Marketing for your next marketing project.
Phone: 352-553-8739