The strategy of a Social Media campaign is different for a company with several thousand employees and a national audience than it is for a small local business. While the local business works to attract people from a limited area, large companies must think on a more global scale.
The local business may rely on personal networking via referral groups, Chambers of Commerce and community organizations. Participation in social sites is often confined to a smaller audience of followers, who tend to live and work in the same geographic area. (However, as businesses grow, they may consider expanding their service area or even looking for online sales opportunities. Their participation in online social sites can act as a springboard to find a larger customer pool.)
While national and international companies may use Social Media Marketing for the same purpose as smaller companies – to build relationships and obtain referrals – their overall strategy will not be the same. The business owner or operating officers may have no personal involvement in the Social Media Campaign or be involved in local face-to-face referral networks.
Social Media Marketing goes much deeper than just carrying over in-person relationships and networking. There are many facets to running a successful campaign and while a healthy bottom line may be the ultimate goal, the success of any strategy may be defined quite differently for different businesses:
A few of the goals of a good campaign for any size company include:
- Improve visibility on search engines (SEO)
- Forge a stronger relationship with current customers
- Improve the “reach” to more potential customers with the “Comment, Like and Share” features of Facebook
- Generate interest in the company
- Lead people to Website
- Fortify branding efforts and generate customer loyalty
- Make a company more approachable, giving it a “human” voice.
The bottom line is that participation in online social networks is the way marketing and advertising are done today for any size business. Companies like Wal-Mart to the small “mom and pop” store on the corner will see positive benefits when they understand and participate in social media, whether or not they also participate in face-to-face networking.