As a digital marketing agency, we speak to a lot of companies that want to extend their brand into the social space. It’s what’s hot, after
all. But before diving in, here are some tips to get you started.

1. Admit You’re Not an Expert.
Sure, anyone can set up a Facebook page or Twitter profile but that does not make them an expert in social media marketing. The ability to simply create a blog or Facebook page does not mean you know how to use these networks successfully to market your company. The key word here is “market”. You must view social media as one part of your company’s overall marketing mix. Don’t be afraid to look and ask for help. Frequent blogs and websites of social media marketers to get their insight and research their services.

2. One Size Does Not Fit All.
Social Media strategy is not one-size-fits-all for networks. Each network requires a different strategy because each network has a unique purpose and audience. Facebook posts have a longer shelf life than a real-time tweet. A blog necessitates an outreach plan and content calendar. Understanding how each individual social network works and how end-users use them will allow you to be more successful. Strategies can, and should, fall in lockstep with your overall marketing initiatives.

3. Don’t Compare Apples to Oranges.
Mashable.com recently posted a blog declaring Facebook “Likes” more valuable than Twitter tweets. While we typically don’t disagree with the experts at Mashable, we do in this case. Comparing the overall value of Facebook post to a tweet without taking the strategy into context completely undermines each networks purpose. You simply cannot measure each social networks successes – or failure – in the same manner.

4. Integrate for Impact.
Social Media is not a silo. It touches each and every department with an organization. Take a moment to audit your social media integration efforts. Double-check that the Facebook and/or Twitter badges are on all collateral including direct mail and traditional advertising. If you have one, make sure your customer service team knows the marketing plan for the social space. Ensure that all employees are aware of all social media activities.

5. Measure, Measure, Measure. Then measure again.
Social Media gives us access to better metrics than more traditional marketing avenues. With basic tools like Facebook analytics, we can measure if our calls to action work, if we’re targeting the correct demographic and even if we’re posting too often. The beauty of using social media to market is that have the ability to react quickly to what our constituents want. We can learn how they think and then we can more aptly market to them. And with social media, we can do that twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. That’s the beauty of it; when it’s done correctly, that is.

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