Sunday, 14 July 2013

Essential elements of Social Media Marketing

Last time I introduced you to Social Media Marketing (SMM) for theatre. Today I want to talk a bit more in depth about it by introducing the two elements of Social Media Marketing. Without these two elements, your marketing effort is not likely to succeed.

The term Social Media has two parts. The first word of the term is "social". Social means people. To make your campaign work, you need people. More specific, you need to attract lots of people to your campaign. In geek speak, this is called "traffic".

This is one place where the old saying of "you build it and they will come" does not work. If you do not make a effort to bring people to your site, they will not come. Simply opening a Youtube channel or a Facebook account will not do the job for you. You need to tell people about your Youtube and Facebook accounts. In a previous post I told you the best ways to find those people. To get value out of your Social Media campaign, you must bring the fans to your pages. We are talking about the fans of the company, the crew, the cast, the writers, etc. Once you got their attention, you must continuously remind them to return to your site. This can be done by linking your Twitter, Facebook and Youtube accounts, i.e. each time you post a new video, a tweet is send out and a post is created on your Facebook wall. To get more traffic, ask all your fans to spread the word by liking, sharing and re-tweeting. In all your newsletter, have a link to your web site, your Facebook, Youtube and Twitter accounts and make sure that those links are easy to find on your web site.

The second element of Social Media Marketing is the "Media" part of the term. Just getting people to visit your Facebook or Youtube accounts just to find nothing there, is one sure way of scaring them away forever. When they come to your pages, they want to do something here. They want to see something and get some information. This is what the marketing people call "content".

Creating content is important. It is even more important to continue to create fresh content. People want to see something new each time they visit. This means that you must post a new video on Youtube every once in a while, make regular tweets and post new posts on your Facebook wall.

I mentioned the most important Social Media tools above. Each tool has its specific purpose. This is not an exact rule, but you may get best value put of your SMM campaign if you use each tool in different ways.

Youtube is a video site. Use it to post videos. Keep your videos entertaining, educational and informing. A new video once a month might be enough, but more often would not hurt. Do not spam your fans. Daily videos about nothing of interest are likely to scare them away.

Twitter works best for short news messages. Use twitter to tell your fans about a new video or tell them if something interesting happened. Tweets on twitter has a very short shelf life and it is therefore advisable to support your tweets with more permanent pages on your web site or a blog.

Facebook posts also has a short shelf life. Many people have more than 50 friends, each posting something once a day. Most people do not bother to scroll down very far. You therefore have to post regularly and entice them to go to your page where they can find more information. Do not spam your fans. When you post a new video on Youtube, post a link on your wall and ask your friends to like the post. Do not post daily links to old videos. That is just a sure way to scare them away again.

So much for Social Media theory for the day. This week coming, Protea Stage will launch their Social Media campaign. Please follow them on Twitter at @ProteaStage and on Facebook at Protea Stage Production to follow our campaign.

You can also follow me on twitter at @Sepheritoh and on Facebook at Eric Swardt


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