What your social media marketing strategy lacks

A social media presence should be a cornerstone in your plans for marketing your business. Even if you don’t want to create a profile on every major network, you should at least be active on one or two key sites or social platforms to ensure that customers can interact with your brand and easily find new promotional content.

Creating and setting up your social profiles is the first step towards implementing an effective social media marketing strategy, but it’s far from the last. You’ll need to have a plan for posting content, engaging with your audience and refining your strategy as you grow.

Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind as you begin.

Get your staff involved
In many businesses, employees work in silos. The marketing department focuses on brand awareness, sales representatives finalize new deals and human resources officials handle internal practices. While this approach can be effective for boosting efficiency, it can also prevent workers from contributing to other efforts.

Specifically, this regimented approach can keep staff members from promoting their companies because the responsibility isn’t in their job descriptions. Tyler Arnold of SimplySocial told Mashable that companies should ask workers to contribute to social media marketing efforts even if they don’t work in the marketing department.

“Bring your brand to even more customers through your biggest advocates – your employees. Striking the perfect balance between strategic direction and organic thought from employees is crucial. Including your employees in the company’s social media brand-building efforts not only builds the brand among employees, but it fosters greater employee advocates, as well,” Arnold said.

A basic way to involve your employees is to ask them to share updates with their own contacts so that your content will be shown to more consumers. If you want staff members to participate further, grant them administrative access to the company’s social media accounts. For this approach, you have to watch your profiles like a hawk to ensure that employees are only posting appropriate updates that won’t harm your business’ image.

Foster synergy across channels
Marketing strategies should never be limited to individual channels. Synergy is a core element that allows a company to grow its brand’s presence by targeting a massive audience. All advertisements should be shareable and feature ties to promotional content that’s being disseminated through other platforms.

Fortunately, this is relatively easy with social media marketing in that company leaders can easily connect profiles to other online resources. For instance, Forbes points out that social links can be included in emails. Additionally, the news source notes that buttons can be added to a business’ blog so readers can navigate to profiles after reading articles.

Synergy can also be generated by combining social media and analog resources. Hashtags can be printed on promotional giveaway coupons and direct mail advertisements. URLs and Quick Response codes can be emblazoned on flyers and posters so smartphone users can find a company’s page right on their mobile devices.

What elements do you think need to be included in social media marketing strategies?

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Adam Naide

Adam Naide is Executive Director of Marketing for Social Media at Cox Communications, where he leads overall strategy and execution for all of the company’s social media activities including audience engagement, campaigns, demand creation and retention. Every week, over six million consumers and small businesses engage with Cox Communications on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Pinterest, Google Plus, and Linked In. Cox Business connects online with small & mid-size businesses from its small business blog, Cox Blue.

In 2012, Adam was named a “Top Ten Social Media Maven” by Multichannel News and to Cable Fax’s Digital Hot List.

You can follow Adam on Twitter at @adamnaide where he tweets about social media, and his other passion, cereal.

Adam holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University and an MBA from the University of Georgia.Naide lives in Alpharetta, Ga., with his wife, Karen, and two teenage children.