These thoughts focus on events but are easily applicable to most Internet marketing & community building campaigns. Some of the things that we've learned so far:
Grow your community in Web 2.0 calendars like upcoming and eventful. Not only will people RSVP for your event through these free services but they'll begin to congregate here as well. And, that means that there's an opportunity to build relationships with new people interested in the topic. You can also solicit content ideas in these groups. Generally speaking, the people that we meet through these services are new to clients. This of course means that we're able to grow the pie. Think through resources necessary to facilitate these groups before you set them up. It doesn't make marketing sense to establish a community and then let it languish.
Integrate campaigns with more traditional methods like telemarketing. Doing so will increase response rates but make certain that your message is consistent throughout! We do well when telemarketer sends prospect an e-mail and directs them to the website for more info. and to register.
E-mail works. E-mail is still the common denominator and one of the best ways to build a relationship. A great way to get the word out and build excitement is through social media outreach to e-mail lists, forums and relevant individuals and groups.
Don't be a carpetbagger or astroturfer. To be successful, you have to get dirty by participating in the conversation. Adding value vs using social media to broadcast your message is also key (more below). There really is no shortcut to success. If you do find one, please leave it in the comments below!
Have a strategy that's actually thought through and ties efforts together. Setting up a twitterfeed might be a good tactic but it is not a strategy. Try to figure out how you can add value to the conversation, what the message and ask is, what the current landscape looks like. It also makes sense to have a plan after the event ends. Now that you've begun to create relevant relationships, what are you going to do with them? How will you feed and nurture them? You want to make sure that the next time they hear from you isn't when you're promoting an event!
Think through keywords and make sure to use them with a social bookmarking strategy.
Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn work. Like other communities, these sites have to be cultivated. Growing the community around a topic or sector and not the event makes marketing sense. Like with the 2.0 calendars though, getting people to register at your website after confirming participation on these sites can be tough. Those using online reg services like Eventbrite may have more luck.
Research is always key. Find the people and groups that make a difference for your event.
Make sure there is value for the reader. OK, this one is obviously the lynch pin of any successful marketing campaign. It's worth a reminder though. Whether it's the message, ask or call to action, website or event itself- make sure there's value beyond 'come to our event'.
Drive offline action through online interaction. I was reminded of this through a good article written by Mashables Leslie Poston. Meetup is certainly one way to drive foot traffic to your event. Downloadable forms is another.
What did I miss?
Technorati Tags:Posted by Mitch at 10:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Its all about you (iow: listen).
Don't use social media to broadcast.
There must be value- I call it the what's in it for me syndrome.
Use online interaction to drive offline activity.
Nothing beats face-to-face.
Research is still key- finding those that might be interested in building a relationship.
email is still one of the best way to build a relationship!
There are no shortcuts- you gotta get dirty. Participation is key.
There are rules of the road, this isn't all new.
Learn to faciliate, not moderate.
Start small, bottom up!
Start building relationships now, not when you need someone.
Give, then take.
When you put yourself out there, everyone can see you (customers, competitors, coopitors, friends, family).
Like with other types of marketing, .transparency is key.Posted by Mitch at 02:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)
Along the lines of last week's social media thread, I have another question. A PR person presented me with the following scenario and I thought I'd toss it out for your input.
A client org of theirs is taking a beating about some decisions that they've made. Some opponents have been vocal on industry e-mail lists. Unfortunately, the client hasn't been able to develop relationships with those that others listen to.
Do you think that the org should include social media outreach as part of an overall strategy? Should they actively try to engage their detractors now or sit on the sidelines until the brew-ha-ha simmers down? Again, there are several parts to a planned response but this question is specifically about social media's involvement.
What do you think?
Technorati Tags:Posted by Mitch at 03:00 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)