"Social media marketing must be integrated into your company to be an effective tool..."

Social marketing can create rabid fans and "instant success" product or service launches if handled correctly. It can be a disaster if mismanaged...

Social media marketing should never be confused with advertising or typical "marketing." It has one function: To create and nurture a relationship between your firm and a particular product or a particular service you have and the people most interested in it.

This is a typical example of a new product launch:

You're firm has decided to create a new product. You've done some market research and you think there's definitely a market and you're going to go for it. You bring in the development people, your people decide what it will be, how it will work, how it will look, and then you create the product, tool up to produce it...and then you tell your marketing and they create some brochures and sell sheets and you tell your sales people, "here it is, here's some brochures and sell sheets. Go sell it."

Now imagine a different way to do a new product launch:

You're firm has worked to develop an email list of past, current and potential customers with a newsletter and blog. You contact this list and engage them to find out what new product would be most helpful to them, keeping in mind what your firm currently does. The person with the best suggestion wins a three day vacation to a resort.

You get swamped with great ideas. You pick the one that seems a good combination of popularity and integration with your current product line. As your team starts developing the product, you have the most gregarious people maintain a blog of their progress, issues, ideas, failures and victories.

Each of these blog posts is fed to a Twitter account so all the people in your list can keep track of what's going on, offering feedback, suggestions, ideas and generating excitement. As word gets out through your blogs and Twitter, more people follow your process.

in the ongoing back-and-forth between the public and your team, you create a product that most of the people are excited about and they feel they've been an intimate part of the development process.

When you launch the product, sales are immediate and go through the roof as rabid fans snap it up. The successful launch feeds a PR campaign that informs more potential customers. You've got a snowball that just keeps growing...

If you want to know if social media marketing is right for your firm, give us a call or shoot us an email at info@wordsmithbob.com. It's that simple.

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Read the following articles on various forms of social media marketing and online marketing for more ideas:

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