Social Media Best Practices, Do They Exist?


Best PracticesSince becoming the Director of Training for Social Fresh on January 1, 2011, I’ve greatly enjoyed the challenges it presents.

I’ve worked closely with Jason Keath in creating the new Social Fresh Academy (to be released very soon) and had the pleasure of working with several very smart experts to create the one-day Facebook training that was held on the first day of Social Fresh Tampa.

In all of this, it’s becoming more and more apparent that the fundamentals and best practices of social media are starting to emerge.  It’s early still, but they are coming.

An Evolving Industry

This has always been true of new opportunities online.  When they first arrive, everyone struggles to learn the best ways to use them, especially for marketing.  Some theorize.  But smarter marketers immediately start testing and report back to each other on what works best.  Over time, the best practices emerge as standards.

Given this, Jason and I have been working hard to gather real-world testing and experiences to determine exactly what’s working best in Facebook marketing.  We’ll be releasing this info soon.

In the meantime, I could use some help from all of you loyal Social Fresh readers.  It’s a question that I’ve been asking all of the Social Fresh speakers, sponsors, and vendors I can find.  It’s resulted in hours of discussion at lunches, dinners, online, and at events.

Now I’d like your opinion.

Help Us Answer This Question

The question is simple.  Yet, the answer is challenging (and debatable).  Here it is…

When does social media work better
than other forms of Internet marketing?

To put it another way, when would it be wiser to put more effort or money toward social media instead of search engine marketing, email marketing, website improvement, or online advertising?

The Ground Rules

Before you make a quick, snappy answer, here are some ground rules…

1. Your answer cannot be “when they are used together” or “the right mix is needed”.  We all know that these forms of Internet marketing work best together.

NOTE: The question is not IF you should not use one form or another.  I want to know when one is better than the other.

2. Your answer cannot be “always”.  Let’s face it.  Social media can be made to work for almost anyone.  We all know that.

NOTE:  The question is not if social media CAN work.  We know it does.  I want to know in what circumstances it works better.

Some Examples To Challenge You

I’ve been teaching Internet marketing for several years now.  For other forms of marketing, the answer to this question is fairly obvious.  Here are some examples.

1.  Search marketing works best when potential customers know your product or service exists and therefore are looking for it.  (They may not know of your specific product, but they know the solution it offers exists.)

2.  Email marketing (and other forms of permission marketing) works best when visitors need several points of contact before buying.  It also works best for repeat purchase opportunities.

3.  Website improvement works best when your site sucks.  (It’s true!)

But what about social media marketing?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  I look forward to the discussion.

I’ll post the best answers (and my answer) in a future post.



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