Social media marketing” has become a “buzz term” in the advertising industry over the last few years. However, as soon as you ask anyone to provide a coherent definition and/or plan they run for cover. This is why I felt the book “No Bullshit Social Media” was valuable and a great read. This book published in late 2012 explains how companies can benefit from social media channels and blogging as well as provides helpful guidelines with best practices of DO’s and DON’Ts in the social media marketing world. Through a great combination of real life case studies and handy tips, the book demonstrates that social media marketing shouldn’t be treated as a traditional marketing tool, but rather should be used to build communities of loyal brand advocates and create strong customer-company relationships. The following are important points covered in the book:

Social Media Policy

Social media policy helps to establish clear guidelines for employees on how to use social media. It makes the employees feel responsible for what they post and share on social media sites, speak for the company in an appropriate way as well as represent the company ethically and with integrity even outside the workplace. It helps to protect the company’s confidential information and its reputation.

Educate and Empower

By creating a solid social media policy and trusting the employees and marketing staff to be the face of the company, a company will take the most advantage of a social media campaign. It is important to let the employees be the face of the company in the social media world. Through educated and empowered employees, a company can create a social media team of brand ambassadors who will be responsible for addressing customer service issues; promote your brand on Facebook and Twitter, and communicating with customers. As any other marketing tools, your social media marketing team should be able to set clear goals and measurable objectives.

SEO and Social Media

Google organic search results are affected not only by how well your website is optimized or how often your blog is being updated, but also how many “likes”, shares, mentions, reviews, and links a company collects on its Facebook or Google+ pages. Therefore, your company should consistently monitor social media channels and blogs for mentions in order to be able to address customers’ complaints in timely fashion.

Customer Service & Crisis Mitigation

Social media has become a powerful tool for people to grow a brand. Whether they want to complain, write a review on a new product, or ask a question, your company has to be able to address the issues and commit to responding to all complaints that people have. So, instead of removing a negative review or a complaint, your company should improve its communication with an unsatisfied customer and show the online community that your company really cares about its customers’ experience.

Planning and Measuring

Social media marketing is a process of building online relationships with people and communities. It takes at least 6 months before you will see any measurable results. Therefore, social media marketing as any other type of marketing requires strategic planning, creating milestones and commitment. You will be able to measure your social media marketing activities if you can set clear goals, e.g. “Increase sales by 25% through visitors from social media channels by March 31”.

We strongly recommend picking this book up if you are interested in creating and implementing a social media campaign for your company or organization. It contains up to date, practical information without getting overly technical.

iRISEmedia is a Digital Media agency specialized in social media marketing and online branding. Our team helps clients increase their reach and profitability by developing a customized and targeted social media marketing strategy. We service clients in Toronto, Ontario and throughout Canada as well as globally.

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