Raven HQ is located in Nashville, Tennessee, right on what residents refer to as “Music Row.” On my drive into the office each morning, I pass a banner hanging outside a music company touting how many views one of their music videos has on YouTube. The banner also includes icons for Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. But what’s missing? The actual URLs for any of these social networks. You’re on Facebook? Great! Too bad I have absolutely no idea how to find you.
Yes, social media — and the Web itself, which is still a fairly young medium in the world of advertising — offers a brand-new way to market your product. It’s tempting to dive in first and learn about it later. But have you thought about what you hope to achieve by branching into social media marketing — and how best to do it?
We are at an amazing crossroads in the marketing world as traditional and online media merge, and it is great to see companies embracing that and pushing their social channels in those more traditional spaces. But there has to be objective, and “I want people to see that we’re hip by including a Twitter icon in print!” isn’t it. The key is to not adopt an “everyone is doing it, so should I!” mentality about the social space.
One tip: If your brand is just at the decision-making phase, think about using a service like KnowEm to secure the same username across all social spaces. Then, when you’ve decided what social platforms you’d like to use in your campaigns, you can just include one username in non-dynamic media (even PowerPoint presentations) and people will always know how to find you.
Above all, focus on the goals you hope to reach with your social media marketing campaigns, and thoroughly research the best channels to achieve them. And whatever you do, don’t just ask people to “Find us on Facebook!”—chances are they never will.