Today I went to the dentist and the hygienist was talking about an idea she had to start a business. She said she was going to create a one-sheet marketing piece to slip under doors of potential clients. That was her major marketing push to launch the business. She asked my opinion.
Obviously, I said she needed a cost-effective, strategic PR campaign aimed at earning bright, big media coverage that will drive client acquisition, retention and loyalty. She honestly has a good business idea.
However, PR and the one-sheet are not enough. You have to marry that great idea and the marketing campaigns that are occurring offline (PR and the handout) with an online strategy. Now, she is a bit older than most of the savvy online marketing crowd, but I told her she needs a dynamic website and a strong, persistent social media campaign that engages her customer base and others who can spread the good word for her.
We spent a good amount of time talking about the complexities of social media (o.k. she talked and I kind of grunted as she hacked away at my teeth). The timing of this discussion couldn't have been more appropriate.
This week the global business community is engaged in Social Media Week. Sessions are being held around the world. Personally, I've been tuning in to the free online streaming video of the discussions at www.livestream.com/smw_chicago1.
Is there a silver bullet that works in social media? No. Does an effective strategy take some trial and error? Yes. However, ultimately it needs to be married with what you've developed as offline marketing tactics. Just as TV ads are consistent with newspaper ads for most campaigns, your Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn messaging should be equally integrated across the board.
The talented professionals at All Points PR have successfully developed and implemented several social media plans for our clients. We encourage you to ask us about the ways we've driven the bottom line and spread awareness for our clients. Look us up on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook to engage.