Putting the Cart Before the Horse
In industry, as most everyone knows, there is a huge push towards the creation of dedicated social media strategies….any social media strategies! Anything! Let’s just get out there!
The media has created a sense of urgency that can’t be ignored. Twitter, foursquare and Yelp are exciting, innovative and shaping brand preference and purchase decisions. Why wouldn’t you want to get involved and do everything you can to harness the power of social media? You should! What I’m suggesting though is to first look at the big picture and make sure that before you do ANYTHING online, you make the most of your search engine marketing efforts. With a dedicated search marketing campaign (paid or organic), the idea is to connect with people who are looking for what you have to offer. They have done the work for you and identified themselves as prospects. Essentially, you’re giving them what they want.
Now, look at social media. With social media, you identify segments of prospects that you think may be receptive to your message and may want to engage with you. You frame a message and create an offer you believe is compelling and then hope they respond. Search marketing strategies = driven by actual prospects/consumers that want to connect directly with a solution provider. Social media strategies = driven by solution providers that want to connect directly with potential prospects/consumers. Start with a dedicated search marketing strategy. Connect with prospects that are out there actively looking for what you have to offer (they’ve qualified themselves by how they search). Concentrate on capturing them first, then start prospecting and building a robust social media strategy.