E-Marketing Strategy: 3 Ways to Engage Your Audiences Through Social Media
Previous installments of this column have addressed the first few steps necessary to build a strong Web marketing foundation: optimizing/rebuilding your website, locating your audiences online and distributing your content out to the blogosphere. Often, these first foundational steps are passed over in favor of the sexier task of social media marketing. And, sexy though it may be, social media marketing isn't easy, and it isn't free.
Jumping into social media spaces with the strong foundation you have learned to build in the past three articles will make your work more effective. This column will address the goals, the voice and some fun strategies to help you leverage social media tools to boost your sales and community.
The goals of social media marketing are the same as any traditional marketing campaign: sell books, increase awareness and build community. Though, unlike traditional marketing, you will be more effective at reaching these goals through social media if you reverse their priority: build community, increase awareness and sell books.
People join social media sites to meet people, play games and have fun. They do not join these communities to make themselves more accessible to marketers. Companies that use their social media accounts solely to pump out marketing messages are seen as corporate intruders in an organic conversation—and therefore their accounts are blocked, reported as spam, and "de-friended."
Your most basic goal on any social media site is simply to meet people. Introduce yourself, your company and your books. Seek out, join, and contribute to existing conversations just as you would in the real world—as a friendly person who is free of an agenda. As you interact in the community, people interested in your books will naturally gravitate toward you to pick your brain about your expertise, your authors, your books and (sometimes) your willingness to read their latest manuscripts.