A potential client recently asked me to help him understand how social media could help him accomplish his organization’s PR and advertising efforts. His global organization is extremely “industrial” in nature and not the typical, local, small-to-mid-sized business that I am used to assisting…and frankly responding to his request forced me to think differently about social media outlets, but in a very positive way. Here is a portion of my response to him:
There are three major social media sites, and dozens of minor social media sites, in use today. The three major sites are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- Facebook is a social networking website. It is primarily social (as opposed to professional) in nature although they do offer “pages” for professional organizations and “pay per click” style advertising that is highly targeted and relatively inexpensive. >500 million active users worldwide.
- Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service used to send and receive text-based posts of up to 140 characters. >175 million registered users worldwide
- LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site mainly used for professional networking. >80 million users worldwide
Collectively this represents over 700 million “eyeballs” or opportunities to connect with potential and current suppliers, customers, government agents, and the public at large. Did I mention membership for these three sites is FREE?
In terms of public relations, maintaining a presence on social media sites is an extremely effective and cost-efficient form of PR and advertising. In order for social media marketing to be beneficial organizations need clearly defined messages and goals. These messages and goals, in turn, define an organization’s social media strategy.
As an Internet Marketing Consultant I help clients with the following:
- Define internet marketing goals
- Develop a series of monthly (12) marketing messages to be disseminated on-line
- Choose an appropriate combination of online media outlets, like the three referenced above but also blogging and email marketing, that reach the organization’s target audience
- Assist with the dissemination of the monthly marketing messages, OR
- Train organizational representatives how to disseminate the monthly marketing messages…and in some cases do it for them
- But, most importantly, I help my clients interact with their customers in a meaningful and authentic way.
Setting up a social media program usually takes between 5 and 10 hours, depending on the scope of the organization’s goals. On-going monthly maintenance takes between 1 and 5 hours, again dependent on the scope of the projects. If you are interested in learning more about social media marketing and how it can help your organization, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 817-922-9077.