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Four Questions to Ask Yourself When Adapting Traditional Marketing Techniques for Social Media

by Megan Brown  |  
April 11, 2013

Why have only 34% of marketers generated leads using Twitter? Why is this number so low if new users keep signing up for social networks and companies keep publishing posts about taking advantage of those networks for marketing?
Though marketers know they need to include social media in their marketing plans, they often aren’t sure how it fits in---and they don’t want to scrap their entire strategy. That leads to social strategy being fit in at the last minute (if it is even included at all), rendering any social efforts ineffective.

But the good news is, marketers, that you don’t have to return to the drawing board to have a sound social strategy.

Traditional marketing techniques can be easily adapted for social media to meet campaign goals. However, just as in planning any other marketing campaign, audience behavior must be taken into account.

Here are four questions to consider before incorporating social into your marketing strategy to ensure its success.

1. Is my social audience the same as my traditional marketing audience?

Though that question may seem simple, many brands overlook segmenting their audience according to the type of marketing they are doing.

You may be selling the same product or service across many different channels, but this doesn’t mean you should market the product or service the same way. In fact, using social as a marketing channel can open brands up to ways to capture new audiences.

Brands, such as Old Spice and Coca Cola, have adapted specific messaging for social to not only create effective and engaging social content but also refresh their classic brand image to create renewed interest in their brands---without changing their products or alienating already loyal consumers.

2. What am I already doing that can be easily adapted for social media?

Chances are, even if you haven't been taking social media into account for marketing campaigns, you can still start adding a social aspect that will boost your marketing power.

That doesn’t mean throwing a hashtag into your commercial just for the sake of being able to claim your brand is social! Adding a social aspect to your marketing means including calls to action to continue or cultivate conversations regarding your brand on social; adding a social element to event marketing efforts, such as live tweeting or live blogging; sharing brand milestones on social; and more.

Even beyond this, social listening can help you adapt both traditional marketing and social strategies to improve campaigns on the fly.

Social media and traditional marketing campaigns both operate in real time. Ensure your marketing team is also assessing, adding to and improving in real time as well.

3. How and where is my audience consuming this message?

It might seem like a good idea to put a QR code on a billboard because a lot of people will see it. But how often when driving do you pull over, take your cell phone out, and scan something? Even more so, how many people will scan a QR code while driving by at 50 mph?

While QR codes may have their place in marketing and social strategy, they have no place on a billboard.

Keep in mind how consumers will access your social media messaging---whether at home or at work, on their phones or laptops or tablets, through an app or on a site---and tailor both the location as well as the message itself to this behavior.

You can change messaging for the different ways your various audiences seek your brand, relevant services, or related content. Not only will this make your social messaging accessible, it will also encourage engagement with your content and give it a more personal feel to those seeing it and generate loyalty.

4. How do my goals for social media differ from my traditional marketing goals? How are they similar?

Social media is a tool, not a strategy. Therefore, you have to use it as such to achieve goals. Generally, these goals fall into four categories: awareness, engagement, sentiment, and acquisition.

Each category is defined by specific social metrics. Knowing how to craft these goals will help you integrate it with other marketing strategies, so you can parallel your efforts on all channels.

ROI may be more difficult to measure on social as well. That is why you need to define specific goals while seeing how they impact the goals of other marketing efforts.

Once you’ve segmented your goals for all types of marketing, you can match them to your target audience(s) as well. That will help you further tailor all your campaigns for success.

While traditional marketing techniques are valuable, they will not be as effective on social media without strategic planning and ensuring alignment of audiences, messaging, processes and goals.

However, with a little forethought, a lot of research, and a dash of creativity, traditional techniques can be reinvigorated for social strategy.

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Megan Brown is the social media strategist at iAcquire. You can find her on Twitter @thatgirlmegan as well as tweeting on behalf of @iacquire.

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  • by Heather Thu Apr 11, 2013 via blog

    Great points here! Segmenting your potential audience is a good way to gain better understanding as to how to target any of your social media advertising. Networks such as Facebook make it easy by allowing you to create segments for any paid advertising. From my experience, if done well, social media marketing is a very valuable source of leads for business and should be prioritized in the same way that traditional marketing methods have been.

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