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(RECAP) Fan Marketing at the Inbound Marketing Summit

(RECAP) Fan Marketing at the Inbound Marketing Summit

Thursday, March 1st, 2012 at 10:43 am

Cody Barbierri

Cody is the Social Media Manager at Piehead

I had the opportunity to sit on a fantastic panel yesterday at the Inbound Marketing Summit in NYC. Our main objective for the panel was to talk about how brands can focus on social channels, like Facebook and Twitter, to drive customer engagement and loyalty.

The panel was moderated by Trip Kucera, Senior Research Analyst at Aberdeen, and my fellow strategists included Kevin Palmer, Co-founder and VP of Emerging Media at Convertiv, and Mark Cooper, Co-founder of Offerpop. The event was hosted by the fantastic crew at The Pulse Network.

While it was a great conversation and we touched on a lot of interesting points, I wanted to pull out one distinct item that I think brands really need to understand about social media and fan engagement – it’s not magic. What I mean by that is that a good strategy will encompass the following three items and ultimately set you up for success based on your business goals and objectives:

1) Editorial – You have to plan ahead on what you’re going to be distributing to your community. You can’t just wake up every morning, fire up the computer and say “what to post today?”. You need to plan.  A social media editorial calendar can be a great way to map out topics, the types of content you’ll create and when you’ll distribute. Knowing your audience and what they like, combined with a strong social media editorial calendar, will go a long way in getting current and potential customers engaging with you and even more important – coming back often.

2) Advertising – Social channels like Facebook and Twitter (even LinkedIn now) have advertising opportunities and at a decent price (because they are just getting started). While you are distributing your content and trying to break through the secret algorithms of these channels to get more engagement, advertising is an easy way to get in front of your target audience where they are hanging out. Facebook for example offers very in-depth options for targeting users by demographics. These ads also allow you to either drive people to your Facebook page or your main website. We’d recommend your Facebook page. It’s much easier to capture an audience there.

3) Respond – The last thing you want to do is work hard and spend money to get people to your social profiles and then not respond to them when needed. Having a monitoring program or team in place to make sure the right people are alerted when someone has a question, concern or just wants to say “This product rocks!” helps in giving users the impression that you’re there and you care. We always say, if you can’t listen, you can’t learn. So make sure you’re not just distributing content and paying for ads. Be present, be responsive.

These three items were a compilation of the panels thoughts yesterday and I again am appreciative that I was a part of such a smart group. I hope everyone at the IMS enjoyed the discussion.

See you all at SXSW!