The use of flash in website to create a better user experience is well known. Until a couple of years ago there was no alternative to flash. The JQuery project was developed in 2009 and provided an excellent alternative to flash and we could achieve the most common functionalities that was associated with flash. The use of JQuery has increased tenfold in the last couple of years and has become the choice over flash. Many new mobile devices such as the Apple IPad do not support flash and hence JQuery in combination with html5 is an excellent choice for developers creating cross platform and multi device friendly websites.
JQuery is an open source library and is the foundation that many plugins have been built on. Here at Mintium we use JQuery in most of our interactive websites. Clients have expressed their delight at having an interactive website with minimal load times compared to their competitors who use flash based websites.
Social Media Marketing (SMM) signals a new era of marketing. SMM is all about marketing your product through your customers. Businesses are taking the social media approach to market their brand / products. A lot of businesses are adopting social media as a marketing tool just because everyone else are doing it. But how many of them are going about it the right way?
I recently met someone who had a dealership that sold tires and rims for cars. I asked him what he was doing in terms of advertising online for his business. He replied that he had a website and also a facebook page and a twitter account. We will come back to the website on another day. “So what social media strategy have you adopted?” I asked, to which he replied “what do you mean?, I have a facebook page and a twitter account where I post the products that I sell, people will see them and if they are interested they will visit my dealership”.
A lot of business owners assume that social media marketing involves just the setup of a facebook page and a twitter account with posts of their products on it. I think this is the wrong way to go about social media marketing and is doomed for failure. You need to have a well formed social media strategy. Facebook, twitter, etc are tools that help you execute your social media strategy.
Determine if your company is up for social media marketing
The first thing you need to determine is if management in your company is open to the idea of social media. When you start a facebook campaign, etc; you will get a lot of positive interaction from the consumers but you will also have a few negative comments, replies, etc. Are you ready to handle them? A lot of business owners / Management may not like the fact that they will have negative feedback or interaction, in that case your social media campaign will fail and it is wise not to proceed.
Determine how you will handle negative feedback or comments. I have seen one retailer on facebook who took the strategy of acknowledging the consumer’s grievance, gave the consumer the opportunity to explain their situation and took appropriate steps to correct the situation. This is what consumers are looking for, someone in the company to hear them out and correct the mistakes / bad experiences they had or at the minimum acknowledge the fact that the consumer has a complaint.
You can adopt different strategies to respond to positive and negative comments
Adopt a Strategy
You must have a strategy for your social media campaign. Determine your goals and objectives. Is your objective to increase awareness about your brand, or a new product that you are launching, or to offer the best customer service? Without a definite direction for your social media campaign, it will undoubtedly fail.
Interact and build relationships
Research and find conversations about topics related to your campaign on blogs, forums, etc and participate in these conversations. Provide solutions to queries about the use of your product. Get the consumer involved, this will give the consumer confidence that your company is willing to listen to their clients and are easily accessible.
Measure and track results
There have been numerous debates on how to measure social media. I would recommend to start with the basic measurements such as:
- increase in number of followers on twitter or number of fans on facebook
- increase in the number of times your brand or product is mentioned on blogs, forums, etc
- number of positive mentions in the comments of consumers
- acknowledge the negative ones and respond to them
- track the visits to your website from social media sites (google analytics is free and easy to use)
Social media strategies will vary form business to business. It is important to constantly monitor and improve your campaign. Always have a clear and well planned strategy to implement your social media campaign with. If you don’t have a strategy, you will get frustrated and your campaign will fail. Feel free to comment on this post with what you think are good strategies and measurements of social media campaigns.