With a little luck, clever social media marketing campaigns go viral and bring in sales. Gimmicks are entertaining, but truly successful social media marketing depends upon a campaign structured around a strong, central website hub.

Saving Gotham

Did you hear about how Batman saved San Fran-Gotham just a few years ago? A Twitter and Instagram campaign brought attention to one small cancer survivor’s story, and increased awareness of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The City of San Francisco came together and transformed itself into Gotham, in desperate need of saving by none other than Batboy, a.k.a. Miles Scott, a five-year-old Batman fan who had also survived cancer. The buzz achieved on the day of the Gotham transformation was quite remarkable:

  • Over 406,960 Tweets
  • Almost 22,000 photo postings on Instagram and Twitter

Unfortunately, most of us lack the heroic appeal of a superhero, not to mention the bravery of a five-year-old cancer survivor. However, we do have access to the same social marketing tools, you just need to find a compelling story to tell. Here’s how to utilize social media to sell more:

Find the Right Format for Your Business

Facebook excels at creating visibility for a business. Post feel-good non-office endeavors such as town festivities. Tie in a “like” of your site to a dollar pledge supporting a local charity for good will, good PR, and a tax write-off, all wrapped up in one package.

Real-time chatter requires the liveliness of Twitter. When businesses use images with Tweets, many report a 150 percent retweet and share percentage, all for the price of a single tweet. Develop engaging conversation topics, and have people familiar with the platform to handle the tweeting; it is a true skill.

Campaigns reaching out to other professionals who already understand business topics are well suited to LinkedIn. Creating a knowledge base about your business on Wikipedia makes researching your business easier. Every office has at least one wannabe spokesperson who would make a great YouTube performer, and who will lend a “face” to your business name

Own Your Hub

Perhaps overused, the concept of the marketing wheel nonetheless is a great visual concept for social media marketing. Don’t reinvent the wheel; just make it better with social media.

A strong hub is essential as it acts as the point where everything meets, on wheels, in businesses, and even in social settings. A poorly designed, content-poor website makes a lousy social media marketing hub that only loses clients. Strong websites need informative content that draws people in, whether in the form of videos, testimonials, or social media links.

A great hub supports the spokes that lead out to different social media platforms while bringing in business at the same time. It allows your business to reach out to consumers where they spend a lot of time on various social media sites.

Interweave Your Marketing Wheel Spokes with Paid Media

Paid media is just another term for advertising specific to social media sites. Every engaging advertisement on a social media site potentially leads interested consumers back to your hub website, even consumers unfamiliar with your business.

A few things regarding paid media require specific attention:

  • Be sure the website content satisfies expectations
  • Find the right placement for the ad
  • While everyone knows it is an ad, anything overly pushy is a no-no on a social media site

Perfect the Art of Earning Media

Remember the old Smith Barney commercials, with a craggy voiced John Houseman stating, “We make money the old fashioned way. We earn it.” Social media is not old-fashioned, but the best marketing often comes from earned media, where others do the work for you, sharing positive information about your product or company through posts, shares, reviews, and more.
When people come across something that resonates with them, social media apps make it super simple for them to share their thoughts on a post, and if that chatter is positive, it amounts to free, effective marketing for you. Just be sure to provide great services and an engaging place for people to make comments.

Create Rim Benefits

Picture a marketing wheel with a strong hub and ample spokes. The objectives resting around the wheel’s circumference include:

  • Creating trust
  • Expanding reach
  • Generating leads
  • Gaining a following

Attaining these ideals comes from ensuring top quality from the hub out to the spokes all the way to the rim, all the while paying attention to mobile social media and consumer trends.

The beauty of this model is that paid, owned, and earned media work together to carry your message, as long as you regularly add new content and respond to comments not only on the hub website but also on those all-important social media sites.