In today’s digital marketing, social media is an integral part of both the (pull) inbound marketing and traditional push marketing fronts. They split like so:
- Inbound marketing: social media marketing
- Digital push marketing: social media advertising
We are not social media snobs or purists. Our only real preference between the two is client-based; we determine which social media approach to use based on the results they provide for a client over time.
BakedFinn’s Social Media Marketing & Advertising ServicesBelow is a list of our services. They are written in chronological order, based on how a client without any social media presence or a fledgling startup company would begin.
1 — Listening: Initial Consultation
The most important skill to have and to learn in social media is often overlooked. That skill isn’t tweeting, or cramming keywords into the profile’s About section.
The most important social media skill is listening.
Listening is the most important step in all of our client-based products and services. By taking the extra time to listen to our client, we make sure we have a strong understanding of our clients’ products, services, markets, goals, resources & restrictions. Understanding these aspects helps us provide for them the smartest, best and most affordable solutions. When the client is not heard, the services and strategies become shoehorned instead of properly allocated.
The extra time spent listening and learning from our clients is definitely worth the price of a couple cups of coffee and a few glasses of iced tea with lemon slices.
2 — Social Media Client & Competitor Survey
Once we have become better acquainted with our new clients (and, hopefully, friends), the next step is to see how we can partner best with them to bring them to the next level. We do this by conducting a Social Media Client & Competitor Survey.
This survey allows us to evaluate the quality of a client’s social media presence with respect to their customer niches. We don’t stop there. We also check to see what their (typically) three closest competitors are doing in these spaces. BakedFinn analyzes the audience reach of each social media presence as well as the level of engagement each actively conducts. We also use third party trending tools to gauge our client’s influence and effectiveness.
Once we have gathered the survey information, we shape it up into a proposal, complete with simple summaries to explain what the kind of efforts it will require to break into our clients’ respective social media marketplaces and achieve effectiveness. We also explain what needs to be done to consistently maintain social media effectiveness (ongoing efforts). After we have submitted the Social Media Client & Competitor Survey to the client, we schedule time to go over it with them, whether in person or on a Google+ hangout / Skype meeting, to make sure they understand what they are committing themselves to.
3 — Profile Creation
After the analysis is completed and discussed, BakedFinn will create and / or register accounts for our clients’ names / brands / products in relevant and popular social media platforms.
"And Popular?" What if our customers are not in those spaces?
We go ahead and register the names in these spaces to make sure clients’ competitors, or those with grudges and ill intentions, don’t attempt to do anything to smear those good names.
What is needed to begin profile creation?
In order to begin the profile creation process, BakedFinn requires an email address from the clients’ domain. The email address should be created specifically for social media and subsequent SEO profiles so as to account for employee turnover and profile security. Also, those social media platforms have been known to generate a lot of email (remember: Email is still the #1 online activity among internet users).
4 — Website Badges and Widgets
Anymore a website looks naked without Facebook’s F, Twitter’s bird, Google+’s "G+", Reddit’s alien logos, LinkedIn’s in square...the buttons share a purpose: to help increase visits to the website and increase follower lists on social media profiles. Also: search engines track how often a website’s content is shared on social media. Google & Bing uses the sharing activity as one of their indicators when determining a website’s rankings. BakedFinn makes sure social badges and widgets are included and prominently displayed on our client’s websites.
5 — Put "Ears" On: Listen to Online Conversations
As mentioned before, the most important skill to learn in social media is listening. More often than not, using a Twitter account like a bullhorn does more harm than good and hardly gets anyone to listen. Very few brands / companies have the brand equity to pull such a feat. Neglecting or, worse, deleting visitor comments on the company’s Facebook, Google+ & LinkedIn often creates ripples of discontent. The list goes on.
BakedFinn will uses a combination of Google Apps and our favorite tool—HootSuite—to track conversations regarding our clients, their competitors, their media cohorts and, most importantly, their potential customers. For a full explanation of how we put our ears on and listen to online conversations, please visit www.BakedFinn.com/ears.
Online Keyword Research
How do we track the conversations? We start by doing a content analysis in our Client and Competitor Survey, checking for both branded and general industry product themes and trends, utilize a variation of web tools and from there, come up with a primer list of keywords and themes that would be part of relevant conversations. These keywords will start the search for mutually beneficial relationships as well as potential opportunities.
For more information, please visit www.BakedFinn.com/keyword-research.
Online Reputation Management
Remember how in the Profile Creation section we said we reserved account profiles on popular social media platforms, even if clients' customers were not there? Welcome to the reason:
Social Media, like all other digital marketing strategic fronts, is a competitive space. Because of the competition, tracking online conversations is done for both offensive and defensive reasons.
Online reputation management helps provide the defense, tracking online conversations and search engines to make sure others are speaking positively about the company / brand. If the conversation turns negative, online reputation management allows for our clients to quickly reply to the conversation, providing an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.
What would we have to worry about?
Well, here’s a short list of things that can happen:
- Competitors can play dirty, smearing others’ names by anonymously ranting on relatively unmonitored websites like RipoffReport.com & PissedConsumer.com.
- A disgruntled employee could use clients' names in hate-fueled blog posts.
- An unhappy customer could tweet their dissatisfaction while they’re being attended to.
- A keyword or hashtag you are using could have crosstalk that might not be to your liking.
An example: A few years ago, Twitter users in Northwest Indiana disagreed about whether or not to use #NWI instead of #NWIndiana in Tweets. Finn warned that #NWI had crosstalk—folks who used the hashtag for other purposes. On the other hand, people who used #NWIndiana only talked about Northwest Indiana. A few didn’t want to listen, including the local paper. In 2012, a group of British Nationalists started to use the #NWI hashtag to promote their cause. The hashtag blew up in popularity on the other side of the pond, overwhelming the Northwest Indiana users to the point where now even the local newspaper uses #NWIndiana when tweeting about stories specific to the area.
And that’s not considering those with grudges who are web savvy and could turn their hatred into websites devoted to smear our clients.
This is why we stress the importance of online reputation management: tracking.
6 — Targeted Community DevelopmentAt this point we know the competitors & conversations. Now it’s time to get out and meet those engaged in these conversations.
Building lists - segmenting the conversations and profiles followed
Going out and following 2,000 targeted individuals in one shot isn’t a bad idea. The problem comes when one tries to follow all 2,000 conversations. That many conversations at once begins to feel like white noise.
Most social media platforms have developed segmentation features to make it easier to track the conversation. Twitter and Facebook offer list capabilities. This allows users to track clients in one niche on one list, track customers in another niche in another list, track the media in a third list...Google+ calls their segmentation tools "Circles." Pinterest...they allow boards to track all the pins. Reddit users have subreddits to follow their favorite weird, wild stories.
BakedFinn uses these segmentation tools to track client segmentation tools and make clients’ content consumption more digestible. Our favorite tool—Hootsuite—accounts for Twitter list management, making conversation tracking even easier. The ultimate goal is to get one conversation per list, making the tracking, reading & comprehension infinitely easier.
It feels a bit heretical to include local search engine optimization in the social media section, but the truth is most companies either get most of their business from local and regional markets or have offices and / or stores that do. Local SEO is the most customer-active discipline in search engine optimization. For this reason, BakedFinn checks and optimizes client local SEO Profiles—Google+Local, FourSquare, Yelp...to help encourage activity. When it comes to Local SEO, it is all about the reviews. To learn more about BakedFinn’s Local SEO strategy, please visit www.BakedFinn.com/local-seo
7 — Yes, NOW the Tweeting can begin
Now that the products, niches, markets, competitors, customers, themes, news and trends can be tracked and kept up with, now the clients can begin to participate in the social media space. BakedFinn works with clients to begin to use and message on accounts.
Implementation of Syndication & Monitoring Tools
Not everyone has time throughout the day to update their profiles. With syndication and scheduling tools like our favorite—Hootsuite—messages, links, videos, and pictures can be scheduled for publishing hours, days, weeks and even months in advance.
But, what to tweet about...
8 — Social Media Marketing
BakedFinn takes all the gathered market research together to craft messages that help promote content, but most important, helps your brand gain respectability. We will share content from strategic players in the market, building clients’ legitimacy, respectability & relationships in the social media space so when we share clients’ content, it is better respected.
We work with our clients to decide how often to post on their accounts, what kind of posts to make, and how to balance business content with personality. Hint: a video of a squirrel falling through the ceiling can be appropriate, especially if you’re one of the top home inspectors in Northwest Indiana.
Training and Consulting
We encourage clients to become better acquainted with the social media space so, in time, they can do the lion’s share of the communication. Once clients feel comfortable with taking over, we schedule training time so they can incorporate social media into their blogging and email and digital marketing processes.
9 — Social Media Advertising (Purists be damned)
If the recent changes in Google’s SEO policies and Facebook Pages are any indication, digital platforms will continue to change the way they work once they achieve peak value and popularity.
For businesses, in order to receive the same traffic in Facebook & Google they received before the recent changes, businesses have to "pay to play." This means using each social media space’s advertising platforms.
BakedFinn will help plan budgets and monitor advertising campaigns in relevant spaces such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter & more platforms as they emerge.
10 — Analysis & Analytics
The more we know about the fruits of the labor, the easier it will be for us to know where to focus our work in the future.
BakedFinn uses Google Analytics and internal tracking tools to track reach, frequency and effectiveness of social media efforts with respect to eCommerce / lead generation and website traffic enhancement.
Bonus: Content Writing & Social Media Specialist Hiring Assistance
When the time comes and our clients look to have someone on the payroll who is in charge of the brand / company’s social media, we will schedule time to help our clients find themselves the best candidate for the job. We will help develop questionnaires, interview questions and will even participate in the interview process—if the clients so choose.
Are you ready to get socially acquainted with new clients?
If you’re reading to make your business go social, please contact us today for a free initial consultation to help you on your way.