Social Networking – Top PR Tool of 2011

There was a time when “word of Mouth” was the only real credible means of marketing your product. If the general public picked up what you had on offer, life would be easy breezy henceforward.

The world today has come a long way after those days.

Often people ask the question, “what exactly is social networking”. Is it merely having a web presence complimented by a Facebook page?

Here’s a video that explains “in plain english” what social networking is:

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To tell you the truth, it’s actually much more than that mentioned above and in the video. A Facebook page and a website are only the starting points for a successful social media marketing strategy.

Nowadays people have a lot of choice for absorbing information. The different media available for dissemination of information have made advertising, as a component of spreading awareness, lowest in credibility.

So how do you build credibility, while remaining true to your brand ?

The new way to achieve this is social networking.

Social networking encompasses all the people who used and loved your product, read about your product, thought about your product or asked about your product. These are the millions that you need to cash in on. Use them to market your product.

So where are you going to meet all these people?

Step 1 – Locate your audience and settle in

In the physical world you would find out where your potentials like to hang out. Book a premium suite for yourself at the same place.

In simpler terms, if you are a B2C a proven touch point is Facebook. For the B2B, Linked In has been quite successful. Building a viable, engaging and accessible presence in these channels is as strategic as scoring low cost overheads for your business model.

Step 2 – Relate to your audience and interact

Find out what your audience, community and customers want to talk about. Unfortunately it can’t all be about your product, but the conversation would revolve around the category in which you operate. In most cases people would be seeking solutions for the same product category. Your role would be to engage in those conversations.

Step 3 – Measure, analyze and measure again

And last but not the least, to realize the full potential of your social media marketing strategy you must be brave enough to measure the success of these tools.

Even though you may be performing all the tasks, and ticking all the boxes, that alone is not a guarantee to your success.  Measure the results of the conversation and see which topics catch fire and which ones don’t.

So learn, rectify and move on. A good way to measure the success of this strategy is to see how many “likes”, “fans” “retweets” and “comments” your conversations generated. Pick the topics which worked, give them a new tune and keep your audiences engaged.

This will ultimately transform into clients, sales and improve your overall conversion rates.

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