I recently read some controversy about Twitter potentially censoring their trending topics a while ago. I have also heard of someone losing his facebook account (with over 3000 friends) because of excessive adding of friends. All this made me think of how little control we really do have over our social media initiatives in the business world.
Social media is not going anywhere. Some initially thought it was a fad that would blow over and never stick, especially when it came to business. This is definitely not the case, and if you are still one of those people who think this you might want to check out our internet marketing training programs for a good introduction on how you can benefit from these technologies online.
Although I completely agree with the hype surrounding social media as a great way to brand a business, person, idea, or whatever really. It is an extremely low-cost method to leverage in order to make a name for yourself online. That said, it is important to note that these are not marketing assets. You do not own your social media profiles, as much as you would like to think you do.
If you are someone who uses social media extensively for their business, just imagine what would happen to your business or brand if twitter and facebook were to delete your accounts tomorrow. I bet you would wish you did more asset marketing.
When it comes down to marketing your business, product, or idea online, be sure you stuck to the fundamentals. Build your marketing assets.
What are Marketing Assets?
This is a common question, and is extremely important to consider. Marketing assets are essentially things that you own that help with your marketing initiatives.
Consider the difference between an opt-in mailing list of 2000 people – all who have agreed whole-heartedly to receive news, information, and promotions on your products and services – versus 2000 people following you on Twitter, or 2000 fans your business has on Facebook.
The latter is something you do not own, and unfortunately, do not control. Your 2000 Twitter followers or 2000 Facebook fans could disappear tomorrow, or worse still your social media accounts could be shut down and there would be nothing you can do about it.
The opt-in list on the other hand, is a marketing asset. It is a valuable list of potential and current customers that adds value to your marketing. You are able to use this list for marketing purposes, and you own it. The data you have on these people are yours, and no other company can restrict you from it.
So what should I do?
If you ask any professional marketer, whether in the traditional sense or an online marketer, what the most valuable marketing assets they have are I suspect all their answers will be the exact same: data.
If you are not currently storing information and data on your customers, potential customers, competitors, website visitors, and their behavior, than you are missing out on a huge wealth of information. Storing data is hugely important. Other than a trusted brand, and customer loyalty, in my opinion, data is the most valuable marketing asset a business can have.
Make sure you have some sort of website analytics software installed, such as Google Analytics to understand how people are using your website, where they are coming from, and what they are doing. Another great idea is to build your customer relationship management database and make sure you know who your customers are and keep in contact with them.
Other marketing assets might include value-added products on your website, such as an informational eBook, and as mentioned, your opt-in email list.
Social media is great to leverage your content and drive traffic to your site. It is important to understand how to use social media for business and the overall best practices.