Social Media: It’s Just Part of the Marketing Mix

“In this digital age are we being social in the right way?” was an over-subscribed panel topic at this year’s M.I.A. (Meeting Industry Association) ‘Don’t Stop, Rethink’ Conference. The 45-minute panel was so popular that it ended up being moved to a much larger space to facilitate twice the number of delegates.

Speaking on the panel, I’d like to say I know all that there is to know about social media, but I believe I (and everyone else) will always have more to learn. Here are some tips:

  • Choose wisely

You don’t have to use every single social platform there is. Just choose the right channels appropriate to your brand and your audience / clients, be consistent, and invest in it. Mark McCulloch, Founder and Group CEO of WE ARE Spectacular, also on the panel, commented that setting up social media and then not maximising upon it is like buying a Ferrari and sitting it on the drive. Put petrol in it, drive it forward, and MOT it.

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  • Be consistent

Use the platforms consistently (posting regularly, and being brand consistent) and effectively. There’s no point in tweeting every day for a week, and then not tweeting for two weeks. If you are using social you must be consistent and engage your followers… Otherwise you might lose them.

  • Plan ahead, AND jump on trends (if they’re appropriate)

Social media has to be scheduled, and should coincide with a campaign or events happening in your company. Try to be reactive too, and jump on trends or hashtags, providing that they relate to you. This all takes time, so don’t treat social media as an add-on, and the more you put in, the more you will get out of it.

  • Know who you’re targeting, and where to target them

Target the right people, in the right places, at the right time and on the right platforms. Be conscious of what platform you are using too. Hashtagging bedlam might be acceptable on Instagram, but it doesn’t work on Facebook. Listen to what people are saying to your business and about your business online.

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My argument is, make sure your brand and business is as strong online as it is offline. Social media is just another tool that’s part of the marketing mix of instruments we already have in our box, just like websites, digital content, and TV adverts too… So use it!

(Originally posted on my blog: www.narniaofemily.wordpress.com)

Emily Johnson – PR & Social Media Executive

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