In just a couple of years, social media marketing has become a full-fledged part of many business’s marketing campaigns. Social media allows a more personal connection with website visitors, customers and potential customers than does traditional marketing. The success of social media campaigns emphasizes the importance of your company’s network.
While no company should toss out their old marketing strategy and put all their eggs into the social media basket, companies of every type can experience real success when they weave social media marketing in with the rest of their marketing strategy. Here are three case studies showing how ordinary businesses got extraordinary results with social media marketing.
While the world of metalworking may not excite you, rest assured that social media can make a tremendous difference to non-glamorous industries’ bottom lines. The PMPA sought to position itself as a thought leader in metalworking and their yearlong social media campaign put relevant content in front of a million and a half people with almost no out-of pocket cost.
The PMPA had a blog, and they used Twitter to help connect people to it. In fact, Twitter alone brought in hundreds of thousands of views. Once a week, the PMPA uploaded a selected blog topic to LinkedIn, which resulted in tens of thousands more shares. By using these techniques alongside a blog containing high quality content, they brought themselves to the front page of Google search results for several relevant keywords. Once the strategy and procedures were in place, tending the PMPA’s social media strategy only took a few hours per week.
This small manufacturer out of Costa Mesa, California had been around for 75 years, but was hit hard by the 2008 recession as were many manufacturers. To contain costs, they cut their advertising budget and embarked on a comprehensive social media strategy. Criterion hired a social media consultant to set up social media pages and train key personnel how to use them. With a time investment of about an hour a day once things were set up, Criterion blended company information with more personal posts in an effort to bring more value to social media interactions.
It paid off well. Criterion’s YouTube channel brought more viewings of products in two months than in over a decade of handing out DVDs to potential customers. At trade shows, dozens of people visited Criterion’s booth to meet the personalities behind the company’s social media pages. The blog generated international interest among people who would never have known about the company without social media. A home hobby blog put Criterion’s blog on its blogroll, helping establish them as industry experts. Overall, social media proved its worth and then some with this specialist manufacturer.
Liberty Bay Books of Poulsbo, Washington, specializes in Scandinavian and nautical books. The company embraced social media early on as convenient and entertaining way to exchange information and ideas. By creating a blog and joining Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Liberty Bay Books was able to keep a finger on the pulse of this niche and learn what was being said about the company online.
The key to Liberty Bay Books’ success in social media was that social media was used as an extension of a genuine interest in customers rather than simply an online megaphone to broadcast product announcements. By sharing views and conversations with social media fans, Liberty Bay Books was able to increase sales and strengthen bonds with customers.
Key Takeaway Points
From these three social media success stories we can take away several important points:
- Use multiple social media sites. You may find that some are more well-suited to your business and strategy than others, but it’s a good idea to use more than one social media site for best results.
- Share resources with fans and followers to position your organization as an expert or thought leader in your field.
- Make sure your social followers know there are actual people behind the social media postings. This may take the form of occasionally adding more personal posts, running contests, or responding to individual postings from followers.
- Take advantage of social media platforms’ tools for getting your presence noticed. For example, Facebook’s welcome tab helps you let potential fans where you are on Facebook and why they should like your page.
Social media engagement can’t take the place of traditional marketing, but for relatively small investment, you can use social media to make a real difference in your web traffic and your position as experts in your field. Ignore the social media train at your peril.