Power up your marketing with social media

Marketing on Kaua‘i has changed in the past two years. Do you feel it? Have you noticed that marketing tactics you depended on working before are not as effective now?

It’s time to consider adding social media to your marketing mix.

This does not mean just putting up a Facebook page for your business, artwork, music, book, personal services or nonprofit organization. Plunging into social media should be strategic. It might have been a while since you have thought through your marketing strategy.

People

Start with the customers, donors or members who like you best. Where do they live? What else do you know about them? Do you want to attract new people? What are their characteristics?

Objectives

Next, what are your marketing objectives? List them in order of priority. Is it to increase awareness of your brand? Bring customers to your shop for daily specials? Build relationships with current customers? Fill your vacation rental during slow tourism periods? Attract new donors or volunteers to your cause? Improve customer service? Yes, I include customer service in marketing.

Resource allocation

Consider how much time you can devote to learning and producing social media content. Is there someone on your Kaua‘i team appropriate to assign this to?

Technology and tactics

Now you can move forward to deciding which social media marketing tactics are right for you. In  future columns, I will go into detail on each platform. Today, I give you thumbnails on six important social networks.

First, you should have a website. I recommend a website built on WordPress.org because it is easy for you to update on your own and interfaces easily with social media and search engine optimization.

It is easy to blog on a WordPress website, and blogging is an important way to make your business or organization “findable” on the Internet.

Facebook

Are your customers, clients or potential donors on Facebook? Although Facebook has a huge user base and is popular on Kaua‘i, it doesn’t fit everyone’s marketing needs. For instance, if you are seeking high-end investors, you are better off on LinkedIn.

Twitter

Are the customers, readers, donors or group members you want on Twitter? Most people on Twitter have a blog or something to market. Twitter generally does not attract people under 20 years old.

Twitter users like news, fresh information and interaction. They really don’t want to know what you had for lunch — except when you are sending them a photo of a pretty plate of food — especially when it is a local dish.

Use Twitter to build awareness of your brand, provide customer service or build a network of people in your own industry to share information. In the past, I said ‘use Twitter to get indexed by Google,’ but Google has pretty much stopped indexing Twitter. I have collected a list of more than 150 Twitter accounts that tweet about Kaua‘i at https://twitter.com/Kaua‘iTalk/kauai/members.

YouTube

YouTube is owned by Google and is in itself a search engine. Smart phones can produce video — but be sure to take your video horizontally. Videos can easily be posted on your WordPress website, as well as your other social media platforms. If your brand lends itself to video, this is a good investment of effort for you. A local Realtor regularly posts sunrise videos from Kealia Beach.

Google Plus

Use Google Plus in order to get your content indexed by Google. You can also build networks of prospective customers here. But at the moment, the people who are active on Google Plus are primarily marketers, photographers and techies.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is valuable for reaching professionals. It is an excellent resource for recruiting professional employees. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to gain credibility for your personal brand through testimonials. If you are an artist, interior decorator, accountant or other professional, LinkedIn should be in your portfolio of social media tools. You can utilize your LinkedIn-generated testimonials on your website, as well.

Pinterest

The hottest social network of 2012, Pinterest is a pictorial community bookmarking site. Here you can use electronic pin boards to promote and complement your products, book or organization. One of the key values is that your pins include links bringing us full circle to your need for a website and  blogging activity.

• Linda Sherman, former CEO of Club Med Japan, builds search optimized WordPress websites while enjoying social media training, public speaking and outrigger canoe paddling on Kaua‘i. For more information, visit KauaiMarketing.com

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