How do you encourage desired behavior in social media marketing, but, at the same time, not do it in a way that is overly aggressive?
One of the constant truths in marketing that is often forgotten is that marketing is about encouraging desired behavior. It's about getting people to actually do something that eventually leads to a sale. But so often the "marketing" part is left out of "social media marketing." We are so scared of offending our community with overly commercialized messaging that we forget that we are actually trying to sell something.
Ok, so let's be honest. Unlike real friends who genuinely like you as a person, we social media marketers have an ulterior motive. We are trying to get you to do something. We want you to feel or think in a certain way so eventually you take some kind of action that leads to revenue. (Even if your goal is building a brand.) So obviously the key is to encourage desired behavior but to also not do it in a way that is overly aggressive. We need to do it in a way that, in the end, gets people to both like you (and I mean like in the emotional sense) and as a result do some kind of business with you. Think of it as a business dinner. You're getting to know each other on a personal level but there is the knowledge that it's a professional relationship, too. So have a good time, but know the deal. Let's not act like it's something different -- just be honest.
So without telling you all to transform your social media marketing into a bullhorn that says, "BUY, BUY, BUY," all the time, I wanted to start you off with this one simple question:
"What do you want people to do?"
In the midst of all this posting and moderation have you stepped back and said, "Wait a second. What is the real behavior I am trying to encourage?" You would never go in to any other form of marketing (search, online media, direct mail, TV) without knowing that. Why is it that many organizations don't apply that same marketing standard and constant truth to social media marketing?
So it is important to step back and make a list of the things that you actually want people to do and then focus your content development and moderation efforts on making those things happen. Now does every post you create have to map to one of these goals? Of course not. However, a large portion should and the first step is to simply write down what those goals are and then to start creating content that maps to them. Kind of like a to-do list! Things are much more likely to happen if you write them down -- right?
Social Actions List
Ok, to start you off here are the 7 core behaviors (not the result or action, the actual behavior) I identified for social media marketing:
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Harry is a frequent lecturer on SEM and online media for The New England Direct Marketing Association; Ad Club; the University of Massachusetts, Boston; Harvard University; and Boston University.
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