As you are working on taking your new product to market, you are looking around and quickly realizing that social media is the most effective way to get the word out. You understand that in order to build a rich network of potential brand ambassadors and customers, you have to start by helping them. So you have been scouring the internet high and low and finding relevant content to share with your network on social media. Your plan is to avoid old school marketing techniques and instead you are going to focus on building relationships with actual people.
So now what?
As you begin sharing great content with others on social media, be sure that it is related to the brand image you are trying to create for your product. By aligning yourself with the very best in your community, you are communicating what your brand is.
If you are creating a brand for your product, then it is critical that you communicate a consistent and clear message across all social media platforms. There should not really be a reason to change your message for any specific platform. That being said, you may want to choose different social media outlets to convey different aspects of your brand.
At my work we are building specific strategies around particular social media outlets. For instance, the intended use of Instagram is to showcase products during manufacturing and after field installation. This gives our customers a window into our operations and how we make our products. Twitter is used to speak to a much broader audience which is the construction engineering and planning community. We tweet about issues that are loosely related to our products but are appreciated by our target audience.
— Jensen Pump Stations (@JensenPumps) May 6, 2015
What platforms to use
There are so many social media outlets these days and it seems like a new one is popping up each day. I would suggest starting out with the big four (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, & Google+). Once you begin to master these, go ahead and venture out from there. Just be aware the more social platforms you use, the thinner you might be spread. Below are a few more applications that are definitely worth checking out. Just click on a logo to go to a particular platform.
Start a Blog
This is where you can share your helpful insights and abilities with the world 1000 words at a time. Unlike many of the other platforms where you can only showcase snippets of your brand, consumers expect blogs to be lengthy and informative.
Before you can start blogging you need a product website. If you are like me (i.e. not a web developer) then use WordPress.com to build that website. The application is easy to use and it’s free. If you upgrade to a premium account ($300 / year), you get unlimited storage space and access to any of the premium themes. I am currently going through this process right now for my product. We chose the Fortune theme (click here for a live demo). It is very user friendly and has a content rich front page. The theme developer even created nine short (5 min) YouTube instructional videos where you can learn how to build a site with the Fortune theme (click here).
While you are building the site be sure to create a blog page. Use that blog to educate your customers by sharing with them everything you know about your industry, product, or service. Avoid the temptation to revert back to classical marketing tactics.
Below are a few blogging tips and tricks I have learned:
- Provide lots of content to drive traffic to your site. Blog two to three times per week for maximum effect.
- Write 400 words minimum. If you really want to peak Google’s interest then write 1500 to 2000 words of highly detailed content per blog.
- Don’t worry if you are not a great writer, you will be.
- People want to be able to consume blog content at a fast rate. So write at a seventh grade reading level. Use tools like hemingwayapp.com to find hard to read sections in your posts.
- Include images to really engage your reader’s interest. Be sure to cite where you got the photo, or just use one of the many free image providers out there.
- Better yet, create your own images and info graphs. Check out Hubspot.com for a massive amount of free templates you can use to make great images.
- Create great video blogs by using PowerPoint presentations and free services like screenr.com to capture your computer screen while you talk. Keep the videos under five minutes.
- You can also now create blog posts on your LinkedIn account.
The first place I would point you towards is the guy that taught me all of this, Dr. Bret Simmons. You can find Dr. Simmons all over the web. His blog has over 700 posts that primarily focus on organizational behavior and leadership, but he has a good chunk dedicated to social media. You can find his blog here, his Google+ page here, and his Twitter page here.
I would also recommend the following three books to you:
- “The Zen of Social Media.” Shama’s book is the quintessential manual on social media marketing.
- “Youtility” – In his book, Jay Baer provides a ton of great real world success stories about businesses who serve their customers on social media by providing them what he calls, “Youtility.”
- “A world gone social.” If I have not convinced you that social media is the future and you need to get on board, then these guys will. They helped make a Blue Unicorn out of me, and they can help you too.
That wraps up my series on social media marketing. If you missed either of the first two posts, then follow the links below:
- Part 1 – Why you need a social media marketing strategy for your product
- Part 2 – How can social media help you sell your product?
If this blog was at all helpful to you, I would greatly appreciate your help in spreading the message. Please share this article with your Twitter or LinkedIn community.
Thank you for reading!