Social Media Strategies 101

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Mad River Valley Vermont April 2012. Waiting for the snow to melt so I can have this view again!

There was this recent article where Coke claimed no sales bump from social media. And recently I have been calculating Facebook Fan Page Participation or lack there of. Like yesterday I tweeted that the Chicago Bulls might have 8 mill fans but the average fan participates on the page less than once per year. But the Bulls are a very successful brand. They have very passionate fans. Just not on Facebook.

Every type of business will have very unique social media assets. What I mean by assets is if I look at the networks and technologies how they can be used by each Brand will differ greatly.

For example McDonald’s sells 186 million meals a week. But only 210,000 people of their almost 28 million fans participated on Facebook. McDonald’s probably has 1-2 billion or more potential customers. I would guess they hope to reach 100-200 million of them every week. So they need paid advertising. Social Media will not do it for them.

A small restaurant with very dedicated repeat customers can easily have a much higher participation rate on their Facebook or Twitter presences. The Owner(s) could be very likable and their food delicious and unique. As they meet customers in person this can easily move into social media and help build relationships. They can call out their fans and say hello or vice versa.

McDonald’s can not do this. Even if I love the Fry Guy or the person who takes my order they are not the ones handling their social media. In fact most major brands do not do this in house. There is zero connection between in life relationships and online.

So I might advise the Restauranteurs to post photos of the specials, customers visiting, and talking with their fans. I might tell them to respond to questions directly and help get customers excited with unique promotions. And I would have them give that personal touch by responding to every tweet and Facebook post personally.

I might advise McDonald’s to focus more on customer service, national promotional support, and a serious online chatter/data mining effort to learn how to improve their products or keep an eye on their competitors. They might have so many people call them out on Twitter that they would need an army of people to respond making this impractical.

One size does not fit all for social media. It is important to look at your business, your customers, and choose tactics that can be feasibly implemented. You might use similar platforms but in different ways. If you are curious how you stack up in your industry or wondering if you have the right strategy in place, I would be glad to offer a complimentary audit for you.

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About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
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