Navigating Digital & Social Media Marketing

By Ashley Oddo and Katie Poppiti

As we continue through the digital age, the internet is no longer just an information hub, but a place where we conduct everyday business transactions from paying bills to purchasing everyday items, to cataloguing our opinions, moods, and life adventures via social media.  The 2015 customer is always connected. Older consumers are becoming more internet savvy and the youngest consumers have not lived in a world without some form of social media.

So how do businesses actively and positively participate in media marketing?

First is to remember that traditional marketing knowledge still applies. The number one rule of marketing, no matter what form it takes, is to know your audience. Without a clearly defined audience, there is little direction for your business. According to Randi Penfil, local Constant Contact expert, 90% of business comes from current and returning customers while 10% of business is the result of new customers. Businesses should strive to reach out with a specific message and be able to elicit a physical or measureable response.

The four pillars of marketing success listed below can help form the foundation of a business marketing plan and offer the same structure for social media marketing strategies.

  1. Getting found and discoverability
  2. Engage and nurture relationships
  3. Campaigns that drive action
  4. Analytics and making decisions

Social media should be thought of simply as the “new word of mouth” and is comprised in many forms.  Email, for example, should be considered one part of social media, not its own entity. Today, 65% of emails are read on a mobile device. Therefore, emails need to be increasingly shorter and to the point; less than one or one and a half pages is recommended. Other forms of social media such as Twitter and Instagram allow you to personally engage and nurture relationships with customers and keep the conversation going.  While this is advantageous, remember that social media is instant and requires frequent monitoring to maintain engagement as well respond to positive or negative reviews. Ultimately, social media is not the end all. The destination is to bring the customer “home” to the business website, which serves as the 21st century’s digital storefront.

In the words of Randi Penfil, social media is like a cocktail party; it’s the place to both network and share, yet it all doesn’t have to just be about making a sale. It serves as a way to hook people in, provide a WOW factor or experience and engage and entice people to keep in touch. With success, a business’s social media efforts will hopefully lead to a transaction, perhaps even dinner!

* Source: SCORE Women in Business Marketing Workshop

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