Last week I talked with another smart company that got sucked into what I call “stupid social media tricks,” those one-off tactics that have a “cool and wow” feel, but don’t actually provide any business value. Sort of like stupid pet tricks on Letterman, fun but not really valuable entertainment in the way say U2 is.
Here are 13 pragmatic social media marketing ideas, and the associated cost and business value of each. I welcome any additional ideas you may have!
1. Social tagging: add social media bookmarks/functionality on every page of your site. This will increase your keyword relevancy and organic search rankings, reducing paid search costs. Value: High/Cost: Low
2. Social mediafy your campaigns: create content people want to share; tap into right social media rigger points, places and people. This will increase viral effect, getting greater reach for less than paid media, traditional PR. Value: High/Cost: Moderate
3. Badges, widgets, ringtones: make it easy for people to promote your company “wearing” badges, sharing branded music. Value: Low/Cost: Low
4. Embed customer reviews/recommendations in your site. Online reviews are second only to personal advice from a friend as the driver of purchase decisions. So why not make it easy for people to decide when they come by your site? Value: High/Cost: Moderate
5. Create a YouTube channel, strategy: We live in a video world. Marketing needs to, too. Value: Moderate/Cost: Moderate to High
6. Take blogging to the next level: move from corporate mouthpiece to more of an online media property with high value to customers and prospects. Value: Moderate/Cost: Moderate
7. Use social sharing sites: Got great content? Share it and tag it where people can find it. Like on Slideshare.net. Value: Low/Cost: Low
8. Create a Twitter channel, strategy: There’s a reason why Twitter, which has grown from 4 million 54 million users ini the past year, is disrupting Facebook, email and blogging. Head on over to Pistachio to get all the stats and good business cases on this trend. And then just get on so you experience what it’s all about. Value: Moderate/Cost: Low to Moderate
9. Create ambassador programs: So many of your employees and customers want to help your company by commenting on blogs, Twittering, facilitating communities. Figure out a way to make it easy for people who love you to share the love. That’s word of mouth at its best and social media makes it easy to activate. Value: High/Cost: Moderate to High
10. Create a system to monitor social media conversations: Track issues and trends good and bad to be able to react; “see” how campaigns working or not and adjust; get competitive insights, nip problems before they’re big problems; inject Web 2.0 into customer service function. Value: Moderate to High/Cost: Low to Moderate
11. Tap into the wisdom of your crowds: hold webstorm brainstorming sessions and online raves to get ideas from employees, customers, partners on how to solve problems small and big, how to do things better, how to stop doing things that aren’t so valuable. You’ll be able to cut costs, prioritize more easily, find new ideas. Plus when people participate and feel heard they’re more likely to share positive word of mouth about your company. Value: Moderate to High/Cost: Moderate to High
12. Map your social media ecosystem: use social analytics to understand what’s being talked about in your industry about your company; your social media hot spots; who your advocates and detractors are, and what content your audience likes. Value: Low to Moderate/Cost: Low to Moderate
13. Bring people together: develop specialized communities for like-minded people to share advice, get help, offer help, learn, solve problems, be entertained, create new business models, or change the world. One of the secrets to community success: tapping into deeply-felt and/or widely-felt issues. Check out The Tribalization of Business site, with results from last year’s study and the 2009 survey to learn more about communities. Value: High/Cost: Moderate to High
One last note, if you can’t see the value in a new social media idea, talk to a few more people for their take. If it still sounds irrelevant to your business, rely on your good common sense.