Social marketing is an all-encompassing term that covers very specific strategies and tactics designed to engage customers and prospects. When considering the addition of social marketing into the marketing mix, it’s best to review current marketing strategy and determine where social marketing will have the greatest impact.
Aviation marketers that step into social marketing are really making a decision to become their own content producers. Implementing a successful social marketing program requires time, money, and dedicated resources. Without these, the effort will be shortlived and short on results.
Where to start
Social marketing strategy development starts with the answers to the following questions:
- What are the goals for the social marketing program?
- How will social marketing integrate the existing marketing program?
- Who will lead the social marketing efforts?
- What resources are available to ensure success?
- How will social marketing ROI be measured?
The answers to the above questions will form the foundation of your social marketing strategy.
Below are a list of goals that can be used as thought starters when defining the goals for the program:
- Increase the number of prospects on the sales funnel
- Influence decision makers in an informational, non-selling manner
- Add an interactive component to the website
- Position executives and technical talent as experts in their field
- Create product evangelists that recommend product or service offerings
How will social marketing integrate into the existing marketing program?
To have a holistic marketing program, a balance of outbound and inbound strategies and tactics need to be orchestrated. Relying solely on a blog to generate leads is not a good idea. However, integrating a blog on the website may be a good idea to feature technical talent, thought leadership, or respond to customer questions and comments.
Who will lead the social marketing efforts?
Social marketing cannot be relegated to the summer intern or administrative assistant. Having a Facebook page and Twitter account does not make one a social marketing expert.
Having a champion in the executive suite provides the focus, incentive, and resources to assure that quality content is being produced and tactical execution followed through.
What resources are available to ensure success?
Depending on the social marketing tactic, one may need writers, video producers, coders, designers, and/or digital media planners. Few aviation manufacturers have this type of talent on staff. Selecting a firm that has access to this talent can provide the necessary resources to keep the program moving and cost in line.
How will social marketing ROI be measured?
Everything digital can be measured. It’s important to realize the role that social marketing plays in the overall marketing mix. Consider the customer touchpoints in the sales cycle and where social marketing can influence the sales process. A purchase inquiry may come through an email campaign, but where was the customer influenced that started the research process leading up to the purchasing inquiry?
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