Social Media Marketing: A Complete Guide for Marketers

Taking the guess-work out of social media marketing.

If you’re wondering how social media marketing affects everyday life, read on.

In 2011, the Academy Awards counted four million fewer viewers than the previous year, especially among 18 to 49 year old, whose audience share dropped 12 percent.

And yet, hundreds of thousands of Twitter users broadcast their impressions of the ceremony live.

This is one of the major changes in consumption of media events since the launch of social media platforms.

But why one brand is so successful on social media, while others fail miserably?

Generally, Social Media Marketing has produced great results. But only for those who know how to work it.  So, who are these ‘social media marketing stars’?

These are the businesses which have faced difficulties, at first, but have learned the nuances and techniques of social media marketing and amended their approach and gone on to win the social media battle.

This prompted me to dive deeper into the secrets of social media marketing to try and uncover those specific techniques which make a brand successful. And what I explain below is the result of this exercise.

Did you know?: This article has 10,811 words. 78% readers of this article choose to download it to refer later. Click here to download the full PDF and checklist

As a result of my deep dive…

I discovered that social media marketing is best utilized for, not only generating first time customers (which it obviously is), but also for inducing loyalty among them and reaping advocacy from existing customers. My approach in this article will cover the full-spectrum of stages which start from announcing your presence in social media to inculcating the advocacy behavior.

You don’t realize it yet, but in the next few minutes you‘re going to learn the entire framework for implementing social media marketing strategy yourself.

As you start reading at the beginning of this article you’ll find yourself getting the hang of social media and start enjoying it.

Now, because this is a researched article, this article is pretty unique. But there’s one particular distinction that makes it especially different from most other articles on social media. Most articles simply list down a bunch of tactics that you can use at your disposal; however, the tactics in this article have been arranged into a sequential six-step process.

In this article, I use the terms, social media and social networks interchangeably. They both mean the same for the context of this article.

If you intend to explore social media marketing…

for popularizing you brand, you can follow the exact steps described in this article to achieve your goal.

Although you can pick and choose the tactics that you want to implement, this step-by-step guide will get you started in the right direction.

Conveniently, this step-by-step social media marketing process follows the acronym ROUTER. The overall steps include:

social media model

Social Media Marketing Step 1 : Reach out

Social Media Marketing Step 2 : Open-up communication

Social Media Marketing Step 3 : Use participation

Social Media Marketing Step 4 : Take steps to engage

Social Media Marketing Step 5 : Enhance brand commitment


Social Media Marketing Step 6 : Reap advocacy



This might seem like a simple list, but the amount of research literature that I have poured through to produce this article is mind boggling. I invite you to go through and enjoy this article.

There’s one-more thing before you start…

But before you begin…

Audit your brand

Before you rush out to conquer the social media marketing world, analyze your brand or product to see if it is capable of attracting the target audience and withstanding pressure. If, for some reason, you cannot act operate in the social networks transparently, if your product is not the kind that generates conversations or if there are reputational risks, such as a fair chance of generating hostile conversations, then perhaps you should hold back or keep a low profile.

Done? Sure your brand stands up to the pressure? Then off to the next point…

Have diversified strategy

Like all media, no single platform is the answer to your social media needs. Your social media marketing strategy, therefore, needs to use a diversified approach.

It is possible that your target audience spans a broad range of age-groups and other demographics. It might be difficult to find them all on the same networking platform, as one networking platform might suit one demographic profile but might be unsuitable for others. Possibly, the communication that you send out might lend itself beautifully to one platform but not the others. It is, therefore, advisable to have different targeted social media properties to target each different profile of customers. This is how the PRO’s do it…

social media


IBM owns more than 100 different blogs, a dozen islands in the virtual world, several official Twitter accounts, and an accepted forum called DeveloperWorks. It publishes a machine series on youTube, and several employees upload presentations to the media-sharing site SlideShare.

Each of these properties targets a different profile of users with different content, thereby covering the entire spectrum of users and content with the approach.

The next, and the final, point before you start is…

Commit reasonable resources

The fact that most social media platforms are free does not mean that your social media marketing strategy will be free. In fact, e-WOM requires a sustained commitment of time and staff.

Even though the investment to establish a presence in social networks is relatively small, the cost of generating content is high, as it demands creativity, time and qualified talent.

Most organizations commit the mistake of allocating insufficient resources for social media marketing due to underestimation of the real requirements. This causes them getting inadequate media presence and therefore social media failure.

That’s it. We have covered the 3 points …now you can get to actual steps

Additional Social Media Marketing Resources:

- Why small businesses owners should give a damn about social media- Corina Manea
- Reporting and Numbers- Rachel Hatfield
- State of Social Media - Pam Perry

The Social Media Marketing Engagement Model

Stage 1: Reach out

If you’re starting from scratch, the first step will be to let people know that you exist on social media. This step will describe how you can reach out to your prospects and fans so that they are aware of your social media presence.

Reach Out


The prerequisite for establishing relational exchange with emotional bonds is for sellers and customers to connect with each other. Social media greatly facilitates attracting a large number and wide variety of individuals and firms.

Let’s see why people (who are relevant for our purpose) access the internet. The trigger could be that potential customers have a need and they take to the internet in search of the right product. At this stage if you attract the potential customers, you can assist them in the process and help them choose the right solutions and products

You can also provide product information to the masses through social media to establish connections with potential customers before the need arises so that when the need actually arises you are in a position to suggest existing products as solutions or even develop new products to meet these needs.

This stage is about doing all this. Let’s see how to go about it.


When you are starting from scratch, you don’t have many fans to begin with. How do you build a fan-following from here on? Start where most people do – advertise.

Advertising still remains the first source of attracting friends and followers on social media. According to research, the main way fans come to join/ follow a brand page/ brand on social networking sites is through advertising followed by a friend’s invitation. (Bashar, A., Ahmad, I., & Wasiq, M. 2012)

If you want to increase you follower base, it might make sense to actively seek them and entice them to “like” you page. There are a few important points to remember while advertising in social media, but we will cover them in Step 4. Advertising might not be as cost-effective as soliciting referrals but it’s still very effective. Once you have a few followers, you can go to the next step…


Leverage network virality

The very nature of social networks makes them perfectly poised for leveraging the exponential reach of the internet using e-word-of-mouth (e-WOM). This is enabled by the peer-to-peer interactions. This helps connect with even more users on a global scale. Everybody talks about using viral marketing for growth and how they wish they knew how to use it. So, how does one go about using virality to trigger growth? While there are no, absolutely fool-proof, ways maybe this example will help.

viral marketing



Uniqlo, a Japanese fashion firm, selected 10 items of clothing that were due to go on sale in its stores in the United Kingdom. Whenever a user sent a tweet about one of them, the price of that item went down. The campaign was such a success that Uniqlo briefly found itself as one of the world’s top 10 most tweeted about companies and a worldwide trending topic – a rare feat for a retailer. When this happens, the impact of a social media campaign is unparalleled.

Here are some other ways to trigger viral growth when you have a limited number of fans…

Collect people with common interests or goals together, to form a group. Announce the joining of a member on the members’ publicly exposed wall. This has multiple benefits, it not only creates awareness about the group among the members’ network of friends, but it also entices them to join, creating social-proof. Display the page logo prominently with your messages to create brand affinity.

According to a study conducted by researchers to test the viral effects of a message on acquisition of fans, they found that, with viralilty, just two messages could enrol 80 new fans. (Gil-Or, O. (2010), pp 6) that averages at 40 new fans per message!

It’s even better if you can…


Remember the cellphone

Nowadays, social media marketing is not limited to websites and computers.

A lot of social interaction has moved from traditional desktop computers and laptops to smart-phones through applications like chat, instant messengers, etc. Looking at this trend Facebook acquired WhatsApp for a princely sum of USD 19 billion in 2014.

social media cellphone

Chat applications offer the feature to form groups and have social interaction among the members. This opens up the possibility for organizations to leverage these groups for sending out marketing communication and interaction. Other features which help leverage these social groups are QR code scanning applications, video sharing applications and also photo sharing applications.

Many companies are now putting QR codes along with products for the prospect to access the company’s website or online services with their smart-phones. This enriches the communication between the user and the brand utilizing richer media and message.

Now, the question arises, having gathered a fan following, how do you get them to refer more fans?


Connect using promotions

Give you fans a reason to remain with you. Your fans or followers should know that they are being offered special treatment. The key is to treat “fans” differently than other customers is by providing special access to offers and information.

social media promotions

For example, Lowes ran an exclusive  promotional campaign for the fans on Black Friday on Facebook. In this campaign they offered a select range of products at very deep discounts. These discounts were made available at to the first 100 purchasers only and were in the range of 90%. This promotion, not only helped them engage with existing customers, but it also triggered new customers to “like” Lowes’ Facebook page. Lowes then was able to post future deals on the newly acquired fans’ newsfeeds and trigger a viral spread of newer memberships.

Promotions are also a great way to connect with your community. By giving exclusive coupons to your social community, you’re rewarding and reminding them that you are not only a brand to engage with, but also to buy from.

But still, the best way is to …


Generate leads locally

For small businesses, local search can be the low-hanging fruit that one wishes for. Being visible and accessible to consumers looking for a business in their same locality is extremely important. Make sure your site is included in local business directories in order to help ensure that consumers find you when they need you.

local directory listing

First, if you need to find out which directories to get listed in.

Follow this sneaky trick. Check your competitors. Where are they listed? Check their inbound links to check for business directories that link back to your competitors’ websites. These are the directories you can add yourself to. Also, make sure your business has been added to Google Maps, using the Local Business Centre. Take the time to include all the information you can and update any old news.

Social evaluation boosts ecommerce (Hennig-Thurau, T., Hofacker, C. F., & Bloching, B. (2013), pp 4)

Social proof plays a big role in lending authenticity and driving up demand for your product.

Include the product evaluation by the potential buyer’s friends, like it is implemented by Amazon or the Google Play retail platform.

Information-focused social commerce would benefit from isolating the effects of social word-of-mouth from other kinds of word-of-mouth such as standard, anonymous Amazon reviews. Yadav et al. (2013) note that social evaluation from other word-of-mouth effects would be valuable, particularly if the mobile component of social information is considered.

Like this tip? Then you’ll definitely like the next tip…


Place brands in games

This is what I meant when I put forth the ‘have a diversified strategy’ point. Social media marketing, like any other form of marketing requires a certain amount of out-of-the-box thinking.

We created awareness through desktops and laptops with advertising in social media, we created awareness through cellphones by targeting chat, instant messenger application and now, it’s the turn of gaming consoles…

social media games

What started with television sit-coms and motions pictures had extended it to social media as well. Brand placements are a covert way of exposing your audience to your brand. Social media offers numerous avenues for such brand placements through their interactive games.

One summer 7-Eleven thought of trying out a path-breaking idea. They partnered with game-maker Zynga and got into a deal to place the Slurpees and Big Gulps into social games. These were placed in Farmville, Mafia Wars and YoVille that had redemption codes for in-game rewards.

While this is active brand placement, they could also be place passively and shown as a fixture in the background. This creates a sub-conscious level of brand awareness.

One more advantage is that, social media games already have viral spread built into them, because they seek referrals from players in return for rewards. That means as the game spreads so does your brand awareness.

Now that you have seen some sneaky tactics which can help you reach out and connect with your target audience, the next step will explain how to take the interaction forward.

Additional Social Media Marketing Resources:
- How to get New Followers Take Action With Your Direct Message on Twitter - Erik Christian Johnson
- How to build a Facebook-Ads Funnel - Ginni Dietrich
- Creating Winning Social Media Strategy - Rebekah Radice
- 27 ways to get more retweets - Marc Guberti
- 4 Whats working now Facebook post ideas - Kim Garst
- The importance of engaging with current customers - Mandy Edward
- Twitter lists decoded - Keith Keller
- 3 ways to target your facebook ads to get results - Andrea Vahl
- 5 ways to use influencer marketing- Eric T Tung

 Stage 2: Open up communication

Having completed the step 1, you will shortly feel a sense of clarity…like a fog lifting as you can now see how easy social media marketing actually is.

As you scan each word of this step, you’ll begin to discover areas where you can implement the tactics discussed here.

Texting, instant messaging, email, blogging, virtual worlds, and social networking are examples of tools that enable more frequent, quicker, and richer interactions among groups.

You can play an active role in the formation of these communities using social media supplemented by the tools traditionally used to serve customers. Interactions among sellers and their customers can improve understanding of customer needs, especially changes in these needs over time, and facilitate modifications to existing products or the development of new products to better satisfy these needs.

“Social interaction in virtual worlds, for example, where users communicate and interact in real time can be used to connect with customers, provide information and experiences, and obtain customer input.” (Tikkanen et al., 2009)

Go beyond a profile

Creating a profile on a networking site and then not monitoring it or not using it to engage the public is nothing more than creating an obsolete electronic billboard. (Blackman, A. S, 2009, pp 10)

Social media is just what the name suggests, media to have social interactions. These interactions need to be frequent, up-to-date and relevant. Creating a profile is just the first step in implementing a social media strategy.

We will see where to go from here in these next steps.


Allow users to generate content

User-generated content can greatly enhances customer satisfaction, loyalty, and/or delight, especially as customer needs change over time. This represents a democratic culture where everybody works together for the general good of the group or community.

Only if sellers or current customers connect and interact with potential customers and succeed in turning them into transactional customers does the possibility arise of their transition through subsequent stages of the customer engagement cycle with some eventually becoming fans.(Sashi, C. M. (2012), pp 17)

Informal user networks supported by interactive applications allow consumers to play a central role in producing, designing, publishing, or editing content and together create a dynamic and interactive environment (Krishnamurthy & Dou, 2008).

This point is pretty simple, I am sure you’d have understood this. Let’s go on to the next point.

Generate New Ideas

The universal nature of the medium lends very well to take interactions to the next level i.e. from mere interaction to collaboration. Be it for new ideas, customer feedback, concept testing, etc. This can be leveraged to reduce the guess-work and potential redundancy of your ideas.  Here’s how Dell has implemented it.

Dell has tapped the power of social media with its hugely popular IdeaStorm website, where users add thoughts for new creation lines and enhancement, choose them up or down, and comment on submission. Because of the site, Dell has ongoing stewardship of computers with Linux installed OS.

Burger King has also boarded on the social media bandwagon and taken their interactions to the next level. Burger King has made headline time and time again with its innovative and viral social marketing campaigns. The burger chain offered Facebook users a free Whopper coupon if they would “unfriend” 10 of their social network connections- talk about innovation!

Starbucks has started to use this representation to some success with its MyStarbucks Idea Site.

Track changing behavior

Social media also allows brand owners to study online consumer behaviour. Since almost everything is on display on the internet, it’s relatively easy to watch consumers in their tracks.

social media behavior

A manufacturer of TV brand was experiencing a drop in visits to their websites and consequently their sales. They wanted to understand how the customers went about deciding which brand they finally purchased. They wanted to understand how they went from one stage to the next till they finally purchased.

They commissioned  a market research. And  rightly so, because what they discovered was beyond their comprehension at that point.

Till then they were focusing on online media to create awareness. They were investing in banner advertisements and their own websites to attract prospects. They concentrated on updating their own website with the latest information. This, they assumed, would drive more prospects to the websites and create awareness about their brands.

But what they discovered

…was totally, the opposite. They found that only 10% of the prospects actually visited their website when they were considering purchasing a TV, and banners got clicked only when they had a discount coupon in them.

What the prospects did instead was, the prospects started with a handful of brands, those  they had previous experience with. From here, the process got interesting. the TV manufacturer assumed the prospects would go to the search engines and research these brands. But in reality, with these handful of brands, the prospects went to online retail websites like Amazon or Best Buy .

Here, the prospects found that they could compare different brands of TV and the different models within each brand. They prospects would also go through the customer reviews and the expert reviews for these before deciding to purchase. The TV manufacturer found that the customer reviews and expert reviews had become more important to influence the purchase decision than features and benefits of the brands.

The research also uncovered that the interaction did not end with the purchase. The customers were active even after the purchase with their own reviews and serving to ‘convert’ other prospects. This way they acted like advocates for the brand.

The customers would often talked about their purchases in social networks and posted reviews online, particularly when they were stimulated by retailers’ post-purchase e-mails. Many customers would also turn to review sites for troubleshooting advice.

Once the manufacturer learned this , they decided to “follow” consumers who tweeted about them to better understand consumer needs by tracking comments or customer reviews.


Promote inter-messaging

Two-way, or even multi-way, communications are used to provide opportunities for customers to interact and express their needs to the organization.

Duncan and Moriarty (1997) suggested that additional sources of communication should be considered in relationship building: for example, service messages (e.g., contact with sales staff) and unplanned messages (e.g., team-related chat rooms).

social media messaging

Consumers interact with different types of messages continually throughout a relationship, and messaging can originate with either party.

The process begins with small interactions (or acts) such as invitations to subscribe to a newsletter or enroll as member of a community by the organization. These interactions combine to make episodes and episodes collect to create sequences. Its sequences which when combined lead to relationships.

Create social buzz

With the ease of interaction afforded by social media, it’s relatively easy to create viral buzz of socially popular memes. Internet savvy brands have used this to their advantage by driving up a buzz before the actual launch of their new products so that an eager audience awaits their products by the time they are ready to launch.

social media buzz

How do brands use it to their advantage

Eighteen months before Ford re-entered the US subcompact-car market with its Fiesta model, it began a broad promotion movement called the Fiesta Movement. A major part involved giving 100 social-media influencers a European model of the car, and ask them to report their experience on a selection of social channels. Videos related to the Fiesta campaign generated 6.5 million views on YouTube, and Ford received 50,000 requests for information about the vehicle, mostly from non-Ford drivers. When it finally became available to the public, in late 2010, some 10,000 cars sold in the first six days! How’s that?


Use social media to run contests


One way to excite the community is to collectively do something to create a contest or offer an exclusive discount (i.e., the contest can create competition between users). Not only does a contest build buzz organically but if contestants need to, for example, write an article, create something and publish that gets the most comments in order to win, the contest itself becomes viral.

A good social media marketing contest should include some sort of sharing or virality as a requirement for winning.

This helps in three ways. First, it gets the interaction rolling. Second, it spreads the word (word-of-mouth), and third, it creates a viral effect by spreading the word exponentially.


Conduct Brand Intelligence using social media marketing

Businesses can collect consumer feedback, establish brand presence, or, just observe the way their brands are discussed and perceived. Moreover, it gives a business the capability to develop a trusting relationship with a customer by direct interaction via Web 2.0 features, address their needs and concerns, or even conduct market research.


Gap once ran a campaign to test the acceptability of their new logo. They unveiled the new proposed log to the fans on their fan-page and asked them to comment. What they got was totally unexpected. They received a barrage of negative feedback. Gap had opened a Pandora’s box. To pacify the fans, then, Gap invited them to submit their own designs. But this failed to pacify the fans and the out-cry so much that, the retailer ultimately restored its original logo.

Likewise, it helps to test out new brand initiatives with this closed group before going all-out in the public. This allows you to make corrections along the way; conduct damage-control exercises on potentially threatening outcomes before it escalates into a crisis.

Maintain brand control (Bolotaeva, V., & Cata, T. (2010), pp4)

Social networks are places where users congregate and have free interaction. These interactions are mostly unmediated. These produce user-generated content where end-users write about their experiences with products, services, customer service, etc. The content in such networks may be critical to the product and companies have very little control in what end users share in their social network (Slavin, 2009).

social media brand control

Specialized dedicated social networks, such as those dealing with the medicine, health and wellness, tend to have a massive amount of discussions between patients, caregivers, and physicians (Ellerin, 2009). By monitoring generally unfiltered discussions, the group owners, get to understand varied perceptions of your brand. The group owners then interact with the members and in the process get exposed to issues discussed in these social networks online that had not been previously considered.

These conversations can throw up previously unconsidered points of view, which, nevertheless, are important for the organization and the business. These critical messages come to the fore in an unhindered environment where the users feel safe voicing their views without fear.


Use social networks for crowdsourcing

Many organizations use social networks to help in product development. They use the network to unveil new ideas and test the acceptability by the target groups. They could even go as far as offering the product for pre-order and put it through production only if a certain number of pre-orders are received.

social media crowdsourcing


Some time ago Wal-Mart used crowdsourcing tactics on Facebook to decide whether to run a promotion or not. The promotion was called The Wal-Mart Crowd Savers program. They invited large groups to participate by offering special potential deals to Facebook fans. These deals were to be activated only if enough fans “liked” the deal – in effect, joining together to reach a goal – much like Groupon’s model.

Jump in to moderate

Moderation is also critical when negative comments escalate into a crisis that threatens the brand, the biggest threat associated with social media by managers (IBM 2011). With millions of consumers able to articulate negative experiences with and attitudes about goods and services, such social media crises occur all the time, but their extent and impact differ dramatically.

social media moderation

Few crises become as widely known as Singer Dave Carroll’s painful service experience with United Airlines, which he summarized in the song “United Breaks Guitars” that snowballed all the way to viral status.  (Hennig-Thurau, T., Hofacker, C. F., & Bloching, B. (2013), pp 4)

A word of caution, though, sometimes over-moderation can escalate an issue rather than deflating it.

An example is the time when Nestlé was criticized by users for its use of palm oil. There was a barrage of negative comments on their website which lead to negative publicity. Nestlé reacted by deleting these critical posts. Their argument was, ‘It’s our site, we can do what we want.” Such an authoritarian attitude totally ignored the co-creative, interactive nature of the democratic environment and thus led to an snow-balling of the crisis rather than solving it.

Run petitions online

Social media marketing can have a large impact on the outcome of events. So much so that in certain cases social media response has affected the outcomes of important events.

In 2010, a Facebook campaign surfaced in the form of a petition. Users virtually signed a petition asking NBC Universal to have actress Betty White host Saturday Night Live. Once signed, users forwarded the petition to all of their followers. The petition went viral, and on May 8, 2010, Betty White hosted SNL.


Use Social Networking to build lists privately.

For those who are just starting out, social media marketing can get you started on the marketing prospects’ list. It’s said that Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was able to generate a list of potential supporters through social networking sites by going through their profiles after they reacted to the campaign posts. This enabled the Democratic Party to go after them with the help of e-mail campaigns asking for votes and campaign donations.

social media lists

In this step you see how to increase interaction among your group members and followers. But while Interactions are a prerequisite for increasing the satisfaction levels of customers, but they are not enough for satisfaction. In the next step we will see what drives satisfaction and how to increase the levels of satisfaction among customers.

As this step ends allow your thoughts to focus on how you can increase the interaction among your fans in social networks. The more you keep reading this article the more you’ll feel like keeping on reading. When I started writing this article my aim was to make this article the most referred article by my readers.

Now without more ado…

Additional Social Media Marketing Resources:

- 9 Easy Places to find new ideas for  great content - Melonie Dodaro 
- How to find Facebook post ideas for higher organic reach - Ian Cleary
- 6 Social media lessons from tourism that will boost your brand - Donna Moritz
- Contagious- Why Things Catch On - Jonah Berger
- How to make your social media posts more exciting - Lucy Hall

Stage 3: Use participation

Okay, you’re probably thinking how this step is different from the previous one?

I agree, on the face of it, this step appears to be very similar to the previous one. But there’s a big difference, the previous step was about increasing interactions. When you think about it, mere interactions are superficial in nature and don’t require a lot of involvement from the fans. This steps talks about using participation, which calls for far more involvement and more committed fans. Therefore, this step is further than mere interaction in the journey towards loyalty.

When you continue to read, you’ll know what I mean and ignore any preconceived notions about this step, it’ll cause you to come to the conclusion that you must give it a try. Just imagine, what‘ll happen when you use these newfound tactics tomorrow?

Interactions between the customers and organization, and peer-to-peer interactions between customers are the starting point to create a feeling of satisfaction among the customers.

Importance of Satisfaction

Only if interactions between a seller and a customer or among the members of a community result in satisfaction will they stay connected and continue to interact with one another and progress towards engagement.

As we have seen in the previous step, interaction between seller and customer can be used for to create value and also extract it (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004). This, in turn, leads to satisfied customers. Satisfaction is a necessary condition for customer engagement.

Satisfaction is a dynamic feeling and can change at any stage. E.g. satisfaction with interactions during a purchase process may precede or follow the purchase and dissatisfaction at any stage can disrupt the process and result in customer exit.

One more thing to note is that, satisfaction, however, may not result in repurchases and a long-term relationship may, also, not ensue.

But, why does this happen?

This happens because there’s a distinction between transaction-specific satisfaction and cumulative customer satisfaction (Oliver, 1993), with cumulative or overall satisfaction defined as “an overall evaluation based on the total purchase and consumption experience with goods or service over time” (Anderson et al., 1994).

A high level of satisfaction achieved when customer expectations are exceeded and emotions become highly positive has been described as not just satisfaction but delight (Oliver et al., 1997).

How, then, does one go about increasing the satisfaction levels among customers? The following section takes you through the various ways.

Use Social Media Marketing to Learn From Customers

The starting point of value creation is, knowing what “value” is for the customers. As we have touched on this topic in step 1, we will skim through this topic here. But suffice it to know that social media plays a very useful role when it comes to understanding customer views. This can be used to conduct formal and/or informal market research.

E.g. PepsiCo has used social networks to collect customer insight via its DEW McCray promotions, which have led to the making of new variety of its Mountain Dew brand. Since 2008, the company has sold more than 36 million cases of them.


Have meaningful conversations, not just posts

Most organizations use social media only for updating their followers on the current developments and stop there. That’s a mistake because by consistently updating with new posts you keep your followers updated, but you never have engaging conversations with them. A social  media marketing professional must develop a social aspect in which fans comment on the status updates or tweets (posting on Twitter) of other members and introduce posts which invite the comments of others. (Blackman, A. S, 2009,  pp 10)

social media conversation

An executive director who as part of his first order of business created a Twitter feed and a FaceBook profile. The marketing team then began posting tweets on Twitter and so called updates on FaceBook. All of the information was business related from the marketing team to the public, incoming information was ignored.

Big mistake.

Once the public figured out the tactic, they began to receive massive amounts of the electronic equivalent of hate mail. Some of it because the company created a social network profile under the guise of being “social”, but it was only a means of free advertising not intending to actually interact with the public. The majority of it being irritation over the companies long standing policies; which was further fueled by the audacity of the company to use social networking as a way to disseminate information and refusing to actually be social.

They didn’t value the public enough to listen to feedback. They were likened to everything from Balloon Boy to the KKK. They soon realized the severity of their mistake and began to work hard to reverse the negative images they perpetuated; and tried to learn how to interact in a more positive and productive way.

Hence, when you plan your social media strategy avoid committing this mistake and alienating your member base.

Stay on top of competition

While social networks has made it easy for brands to collaborate with their customers, they have also made it easy for the competition to keep track of what you are doing in the market. Companies use Twitter to announce offers or events, promote new blog posts, or keep the readers in-the-know with links to important news stories. These tweets and posts by brands are visible even to the competition.  It becomes very easy to follow your competitors’ activities online, and to plan counter-moves in real-time, if needed.

This helps in countering any move which may potentially result in decreasing the satisfaction levels among your fans.

If you liked this point, you’ll really love the next one.


Co-create products

Sounds risky, doesn’t it? It’s not that risky, trust me.

In the previous point you had interactions with your fans to understand their needs better, in this stage you take the relationship further by involving them in co-creating new products. This has a two-fold effect on the relationship. First, it shows that you trust your fans enough to include them in the product development process. Second, since they are involved in the product development process it increases their satisfaction levels overall.


Gummesson (1999) also highlighted the importance of opportunities for joint value creation that could be used to create a long-term “win–win” for both parties.

Engaged and empowered consumers with direct access to business organizations expect to be involved in the creation of the next generation of products and services (Tapscott, 2009).

The more you understand the power of this one tactic, the more you’ll need to remember and give this a try so that you can judge for yourself.

Reassure unsure buyers

It’s natural for first-time buyers to feel apprehensive about their purchase immediately after acquiring the product.  This feeling has been termed as “Buyers’ Remorse”. To counter Buyers’ Remorse, it is necessary to build reassurance in the sales and, more importantly, the after-sales process.

buyers remorse

Social Network interactions help in reassuring first-time buyers about their purchase so that they don’t feel buyers’ remorse and continue to feel satisfied about their purchase.

Some time ago McKinsey conducted a survey among customers of facial skin care products. To their surprise they found that more than 60% customers conduct online research about their purchases after the purchase. If the customers are pleased with a purchase, they advocated it using Word-Of-Mouth. This acted like fodder for the evaluation of other potential customers.

In many categories of products the single most influence to buy is someone else’s advocacy. (Edelman, D. C., 2010, pp 4).


Display negative comments

Anderson (2008) provides a compelling example of a consumer contest to create YouTube ads for the Chevy Tahoe. Among the submissions, many were negative—for example, relating the purchase of an SUV to global warming or social irresponsibility.

However, the negative ads had more views than did the positive ads; in some cases, they “drove” viewers to the Chevrolet Web site and even resulted in conversions. This same example underscores the fact that organizations no longer are “in charge” of the interaction and do not always control content of the advertising message.


Avoid Aggressive Marketing

While there are people who are too subtle about closing a deal, there are also people who come across too strongly to close the sale. It can be similar in marketing.

Aggressive Marketing

Businesses should establish their networking presence on content produced by members, and then develop strong applications in order to encourage users to engage members in supplying the feedback. (Bolotaeva, V., & Cata, T., 2010, pp 3)

Social commerce should be a secondary objective for any organization because social networks are a medium for interacting and communicating more than for transacting business deals.

“The users will not return or stay with the network if there is too much pressure to buy or if the network is viewed as too commercialized.” (Bolotaeva, V., & Cata, T., 2010, pp 3). What this means is that you need to…


Adapt your messages

What might be acceptable on Twitter might be considered spam on Facebook. A specific style of messaging might spread on chats but fail on blog comments. Understanding that each site is different and then customizing your message ensures they do well on each respective site.

Not only does customizing messages across sites help the message to spread but it keeps users from receiving multiple identical communications.

What’s even more important…what to take participation up a notch? Try this next point…


Collaborate with talent

At times, you might have to seek outside help for activities which aren’t core to your business, but are still necessary. Your social network becomes a great place to find the right resource for such activities. This helps in two ways. First, you demonstrate that you trust your members. Second, because you include their help in co-creating value it helps increase their satisfaction levels. With sites like LinkedIn, you can identify the right talent for your business. This makes identifying the right skill, examining previous experience and educational qualifications very easy.

Additional Social Media Marketing Resources:
- How to increase engagement to better serve your audience - John Lee Dumas
- Map you content to your buyers- Steve Farnsworth
- How Harvard Medical School Does Visual Social - Neal Schaffer
- Incorporate Participation Marketing for More Scalable Content Marketing – Lee Odden
- Why Your Business Should use Twitter - Helen Colquhoun
- 8 ways local businesses can use online help - Julie Herndon

Stage 4: Take steps to engage

Wow, you’re half-way through article…now, I wish point out that what is necessary about actually finishing this article is that you at least agree to give these tactics a try before you decide to continue using them or not. Now back to Step 4…

Customer engagement can result from either overall satisfaction over time or highly positive emotions. Overall satisfaction over time emerges as a result of repurchases and implies a long-term relationship between seller and customer but not necessarily highly positive emotions for each other. On the other hand, a customer’s highly positive emotions for a seller do not imply that the customer has a long-term relationship with the seller. Thus engagement may be the result of enduring relations.

Engagement can be carried out in various different ways. Let’s explore some of them here.


Develop relationships not transactions

This is something we hammer into our clients’ marketing team. At the end of the day, your relationships will decide the success or failure of your business. Those who do get it have flourished.

In the sports industry, fans who perceived higher levels of relationship quality intended to consume more sport through media, buy more licensed products, and attend more games.

social media relationships

Consumers share their likes and love with others through networks and might expect something in return from their befriended, if not beloved, brands. Celebrities like Ashton Kutcher are successful because they share private perspectives with their social media friends.

As you read this you will want to know how to take the relationships to the next level.

Induce loyalty through relationships

As exchange relationships evolve from pure sales related interaction to organization-mediated information exchange, more intimate and enduring relational exchanges take place. Customers appear to be engaging like parts of the same firm that transact with one another.

In market transactions, engaging customers by establishing intimate bonds between seller and customer appears to enable customers to continue to buy rather than co-create value.

The roles of the seller and the customer converge, with seller and customer collaborating in creating value (Prahalad and Ramaswamy, 2004).

Web 2.0 technologies and tools

appear to facilitate the co-creation of value by seller and customer ( (Harrison & Barthel, 2009).

Customers often add value by generating content and even become ardent advocates for the seller’s products and can influence purchase decisions of others in peer-to-peer interactions.

But what exactly is customer engagement seems to be in doubt with considerable variation in interpretations of the concept and several different definitions of customer engagement proposed by practitioners. As a consequence, customer engagement often gets equated with the measures that managers and consultants choose to use.

On the basis of a survey of 200 decision makers in companies across the world, Forrester Consulting (2008) defines customer engagement as “creating deep connections with customers that drive purchase decisions, interaction, and participation over time.” Their survey indicates that companies are investing more in online programs and believe the internet is essential for building customer engagement.

According to Gallup, fully engaged customers pay  23% premium on an average, while disengaged customers seek discounts to the tune of approximately 13% when compared to average customers based on share of wallet, profitability, revenue, and relationship growth.


Provide exclusive privileges

Make your fans feel special. They should feel privileged for being your fan.

social media privileges

Here’s an example.

The Phoenix Suns’ Emmy-award winning social media network, Planet Orange members receive exclusive benefits such as invitations to behind-the-scenes events and opportunities to meet other Planet Orange members in person at selected home games. Fan interactions through opportunities to contribute content also lead to increased loyalty to the team.

These loyal fans, in turn, consumed more products (tickets, memorabilia, etc.) and services (matches, premium paid content, etc.).

Mine the data

Social networking is an opportunity to collect consumer data.

For example, When Disney’s Hollywood Records label wanted to advertise Jonas Brothers latest album to reach out the Latin American community, they used Colligent’s data.

Mined data can be used to target better and offer relevant offers and products. We will see this in the next tactic.

Note of caution: Aggressive harvesting of personal user data can backfire on the business.


Target right customer

In the previous tactic, you mined the data to learn the customer dynamics, to understand how they behave. Having mined this data and converted it into knowledge, now you can use the knowledge to target the right customer.

social media targeting

Forming focus-groups helps brands to have a targeted group of prospective customers who share similar tastes and world-views. Such targeted groups could be harnessed to communicate and promote targeted messages.


E.g. Levi Strauss has used social media to offer location-specific deals. In one instance, direct interactions with just 400 consumers led 1,600 people to turn up at the company’s stores, an example of social media’s targeted messaging and word-of-mouth effect.


Use customer check-ins

Technology is a boon for the one who knows how to utilize it. If you know how to leverage the technology available to you to the maximum, you are indeed enlightened.

customer check-ins

Mobile-device check-ins is a popular way to electronically announce the arrival at a location. This has enormous potential value for retailers since, they typically identify customers only when they’re trying to check-out, if at all. And, at that point it’s too late to influence them.

Facebook Deals enables retailers to provide electronic coupons and loyalty points when customers check in at arrival, increasing store traffic and sales, and giving retailers a clearer picture of their customers’ behavior.

Last year REI tried an innovative approach. They offered $1 donations (with a ceiling of $100,000) for charity for every web check-in to the stores. This drove traffic to its stores.

American Eagle has offered 20% discounts to customers who check into its stores.

This helps target potential customers better while increasing the conversion on the discount coupons distributed this way.

Additional Social Media Marketing Resources:
- Redefining engagement to understand the future of marketing - Michelle Killebrew
- 5 Annoying Facebook marketing tactics you need to stop doing right now- Rich Brooks
- Why data-driven marketing is the next big thing - Michael Brenner
- How Berneslai Homes use Social Media to Engage Younger Tenants- Ross Mc Culloch
- Twitter now lets you retweet yourself - Herman Couwenbergh

Stage 5: Enhance brand commitment

As you come closer and closer to the end of this article you’ll notice an irrepressible urge use the tactics covered here. Don’t worry, it’s natural. It happens because you’ll notice how easy they are to implement.

Commitment in a relationship has two major dimensions: affective commitment and calculative commitment (see Gustafsson et al., 2005). Calculative commitment is more rational and results from a lack of choice or switching costs. For example, a customer who enjoys a particular cuisine like Lebanese or Moroccan food may patronize a restaurant nearby because of a lack of alternatives and regularly dine at the restaurant.

Calculative commitment…

leads to higher levels of customer loyalty and enduring relationships with sellers.

Affective commitment is more emotional and results from the trust and reciprocity in a relationship. In the example of the customer who regularly dines at a particular restaurant, the diner could become friends with the wait staff who remember the diner’s preferences and provide exceptional service on most visits.

Affective commitment leads to higher levels of trust and emotional bonds in relationships with sellers. Customer loyalty may be considered the result of calculative commitment to a product, brand, or company while customer delight is the result of affective commitment to a product, brand, or company.

If customers are loyal as well as delighted, that is, customer commitment to a seller encompasses both calculative and affective commitment, and then the customer and seller are in an enduring relational exchange with strong emotional bonds.

The following tactics will help build such relationships with your members.


Build Credibility

According to InSites Consulting, 38 percent of social network users pointed to other consumers as the most reliable source of information about a brand or product. Surprisingly, the next most popular option, chosen by 32 percent of respondents, was the brand itself. At the bottom of the list were journalists (7 percent), marketers (3 percent) and other brands (1 percent).

This tells us that potential customers value the feedback of other customers, followed by the communication sent by the brand itself, more than advertisements or press releases.

This means the best way to build genuine credibility is to have ongoing conversations between the customers and the brands, where they get to open up about their feelings and give genuine feedback. This feedback should get acknowledged and the customer should be reassured that action is going to be taken on it.

Such conversations would also increase emotional bonds, by being approachable to the customers and open to their points of view.


Provide content communities

Engaging consumers in such potentially valuable interactions is not easy, as there are large number of brands and companies striving for consumers’ limited time, attention, and emotional resources.

Research suggests that interesting and arousing content helps (Berger 2011; Berger and Milkman 2012).

Content communities such as YouTube and Flikr provide a variety of interaction options for fans that add value by allowing them to personalize and control their relationship with the brand or organization.

Access to content communities can be increased by embedding these tools in traditional Web sites or social networks. For example, the Boston Celtics sponsors a YouTube channel (, which allows fans access to unique video content and provides new opportunities to enhance loyalty and brand building.

Fans are invited to subscribe to the YouTube channel and participate in discussions related to the video content. The fans are thrilled to be involved in the creation of content. This involvement is particularly relevant to relationship marketing because it provides a natural forum for increasing interaction and peer-to-peer participation.


Use Content Aggregators

RSS (real simple syndication), which is used to create news feeds. An example from Major League Baseball is a Web page that provides links to RSS feeds for news from each team ( Providing consumers with the ability to generate their own feeds and get instant notification when content has changed, or update. can meet organizational goals of increasing customer satisfaction and enhancing loyalty by providing a way to personalize content.

content aggregators


Create stronger social identity

The stronger the social identity possessed by online community members, the more likely they are to develop group intentions to accept advertising in online communities.

If you are initiating an advertising campaign in social media it makes sense to select those sites with strong group identities, because these communities offer the greatest potential of being receptive to advertising.

social identity

A strong group identity helps in creating a homogenized group, where members have a common interests and world-views. This helps in targeting them with relevant communication and advertising messages, thereby increasing the conversion rates.


Communicate group benefits early

A stronger group (benefit) norm has a positive effect on such group intentions.

social media benefits

First build a strong sense of group identity and a robust group benefit norm through various means. For instance, online communities could employ educational campaigns to instill a sense of belonging among users (i.e., to enhance social identity perceptions).

They also could propagate the benefits of accepting advertising for the long-term survival of community Web sites to enhance the group benefit norm. These actions, when implemented properly, can improve the likelihood that community users become more receptive to accepting advertising on such Web sites.

Select those sites with strong group benefit norms, because these communities offer the greatest potential of being receptive to advertising.


Focus on the perceive relevance and perceived value

If online marketers want to achieve positive member responses to advertising, they should consider the perceptual factors that have pivotal effects on behavioral responses: perceived relevance. Specifically, when users perceive community advertising as more relevant to the theme of community and thus more congruent to the extension of their social identities, they regard that advertising as more valuable and exhibit more positive behavioral responses to it.

social media relevance

Strong group identity enables members to spot the relevancy of community advertising, community sites could attempt to facilitate and develop strong group identities through incentive designs, community recognition systems, and so forth. Strong group identity and group (benefit) norms also may lead to more concrete group intentions to accept community advertising, which could result in higher relevancy and value perceptions about community advertising.

For instance, a social network of Chinese students studying in New Zealand, given its focus on fostering social relationships, may exhibit a higher level of opposition to advertising than a product-oriented user community, such as a community of iPhone users.

Create specific apps

These apps make it easy to keep your social networking profile updated. These apps are programmed to pull relevant data from the brand owners’ sites and display in social networking websites.

social media apps

Leverage Social Media Marketing to Sell

JCPenny recently opened a storefront on Facebook containing its entire catalog of products. This was quickly followed by the UK retailer, ASOS. Facebook cannot be far behind. They are testing a Buy-with-Friends program’, that publishes users’ purchases on friends’ news feeds and, entices those friends to make the same purchase by offering discounts.

social media sales

Additional Social Media Marketing Resource:

- Why 75%  of US franchising systems are using facebook as part of their branding and sales strategy- Robin La Pere
- The importance of engaging with current customers - Bonnie Sainsbury
- Using Social Media and Content Marketing for Product Launches - Jennifer Davis
- Driving sales on the road: How linkedin's upgraded mobile app will help you stay connected and engaged in your busy- Viveka von Rosen


Stage 6: Reap advocacy

If you have read this far, you’re obviously interested in using social media for marketing. Guess what, so are we.

This is the last step of the process. Let’s take this last step together and work towards creating a truly loyal and engaged fan-base.

By diligently following all the steps so far, you have managed to delight your customers. But now they have a choice to, they can keep their delight to themselves, or in a connected world, they can interact with others through the social networks to spread the word about their positive experiences with a product, brand, or company.

But they might, just as easily, decide not to spread the word. What is the magic ingredient that decides whether loyal customers become advocates or not?

That magic ingredient is – emotional bonds. Loyal customers who lack an emotional bond with the seller may decide not to offer unsolicited praise, or reviews about you to others despite their enduring relationships with you or, if the just have to, they may offer recommendations on a purely rational basis free of emotional attachment.

Why is it important

In a study of customer commitment and word-of-mouth communication regarding services, emotional bonds are positively related but logical reasoning (termed high sacrifice commitment in the study) is not related to word-of-mouth communication (Harrison-Walker, 2001). This suggests that delighted customers communicate their delight to others in their social networks but loyal customers are less prone to do so. Only if loyal customers in long-term relationships develop emotional bonds will they likely become advocates for a product, brand, or company.

But how does one go about developing emotional bonds with the customers? Perhaps, the following tactics might show the way.

Drive more conversations

Research shows that the volume of conversations about a product is directly and immediately correlated with sales. Also, the “pull-effect” created through social media conversations is more long-lasting. (Armelini, G., & Villanueva, J. (2011), pp 5)

drive social media conversations

Get Word-Of-Mouth going

Yes, I know I have covered this in step 1.  But some tactics work for more than one step which is why they get mentioned here as well.

Advocacy is the eventual result we are aiming for, and it doesn’t hurt to seed it in the initial stages. We have seen how Ford cleverly planned its re-entry into compact SUV market in the US in step 1. The same logic applies here. Let’s take another example.


Based on movie releases, researchers carried out a study to measure the impact – and interrelationships – of three key variables on movie success: advertising investment, publicity (i.e., media presence without prior payment) and the conversations generated among potential and actual spectators. One of our conclusions was that WOM about a movie in social networks always has a positive impact on box-office revenue. Even more surprisingly, the impact turns out to be independent of advertising investment. (Armelini, G., & Villanueva, J. (2011), pp 2)

Advertising in conventional media

has high and potentially massive reach, while traditional WOM based on one-to-one communication is limited by nature. However, the rise of social networks is radically transforming the pattern of social interactions, including personal recommendations.

Recommendations are no longer limited to one-to-one interactions between personal acquaintances. Now, hundreds of thousands of people can conspire to put a company’s reputation, brand or product on a pedestal or drag it through the dirt. (Armelini, G., & Villanueva, J. (2011), pp 4)

Leverage Media Sharing

Like Youtube, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. these are great for sharing informational content like corporate videos, presentations, infographics, etc. This lends very well to highly visual messages like explainer video, presentations, etc. And, if they are share-worthy there’s a great chance they would get shared around, thus snowballing into virality.

social media sharing

Use of Forums

Forum marketing is great way to make your online business stand out from the crowd by leveraging social media marketing; forum users are generally net savvy and open to making online purchases. Many forum users are also respected experts and bloggers in the specific topics covered by the forum. Forum marketing is a high ROI strategy because making a good impression in front of this savvy and influential audience can help your marketing message spread far and wide.

forum marketing

There are specific forums for specific industries and it’ll help to be featured in some of them belonging to your industry. Research has shown that potential customers trust views of other customers more than press reviews, advertising and company websites.

Forum posts can also be used to change the general perception in the market about the product or brand. Your brand can be made to appear more caring and customer-friendly by explaining the philosophy behind the brand and the importance given to customers by your organization. This will help develop emotional ties with your potential customers.

Blogs shape opinions

Blogs influence roughly one in five readers at important purchase decision stages, according to Buzz Logic and Jupiter Research’s “Harnessing the Power of Blogs” report.

Blog marketing

From a direct marketing perspective, these findings make sense because blogs aggregate customers who have similar demographic, psychographic, and behavioral traits. According to the research, readers trust blog content more than social media sites for shopping. (Saravanakumar, M., & SuganthaLakshmi, T., 2012)

By their nature, blogs also aid search optimization and reduce the burden of post-purchase support and customer service. This helps in establishing emotional bonds with the customers who, in turn, start trusting your brand. (Saravanakumar, M., & SuganthaLakshmi, T., 2012)

Social Bookmarking & Voting

Social bookmarking sites are a popular way to store, classify, share and search links through the practice of folksonomy (an Internet-based information retrieval methodology consisting of collaboratively generated, open-ended labels that categorize content such as Web pages, online photographs, and Web links) techniques on the Internet.

Social Bookmarking is a technique of organizing and maintaining resourceful bookmarks online.

The method began in April 1996 when the website itList was launched giving users the capability of having public or private bookmarks. Over the next few years online bookmarking services began to go head to head with each other and the industry became very competitive with venture-backed institutions such as Hotlinks, ClickMarks, lip2, Blink and Backflip, among others, entering the marketplace.

Tagging is Introduced

In 2003, Delicious was formed and pioneered a term called ‘tagging’ which allowed users to search for bookmarked items by a keyword, Delicious also coined the phrase ‘Social Bookmarking’.

Social bookmarking is a very useful way to access a compiled list of bookmarks from a variety of computers, manage a large amount of bookmarks and share the bookmarks with contacts. Many bookmarking sites have implemented a voting system. Here users are encouraged to indicate bookmarks that they found to be interesting or of use. As a bookmark receives more votes its visibility increases on the website which in turn generates more and more votes.

One more point to note is that consumers frequently seek to reach a broad audience, so channels with social-bookmarking capabilities or blog-rolls may provide an increased probability of being found and heard. Their influence and, hence, their value may become directly proportional to the degree of interaction they have both with organizations and with each other.

How this helps

In this way they make their worldview public. There’s very significant psychological principle involved here which states that once a person makes his/her worldview public, it’s very difficult for them to change it. In our case, once someone likes your bookmark it’s the same as announcing that preference to the world and from here on they go on to justify their behavior by convincing themselves they truly like your brand. This cause emotional involvement to develop and thus advocacy.


Leverage Review sites

Social networks provide the ultimate technology to marketers to seed positive word-of-mouth with ease.

Some business review sites also allow businesses to pay for enhanced listings, which do not affect the reviews and ratings. Product review sites may be supported by providing affiliate links to the websites that sell the reviewed items. With the growing popularity of affiliate programs on the Internet, a new sort of review site has emerged – the affiliate product review site.

One of the heuristics that people use are the number of user reviews received by a particular product. It serves as a good indicator of the intensity of underlying word-of-mouth effect and increase awareness.


2007 saw a unique trend among big companies like Best Buy and even Walmart. These companies had started mentioning the online review numbers in their television advertisements and on the receipts.

The use of reviews provides value to consumers in the form of increased empowerment of users, and leveraging of collective intelligence. It allows the consumers to develop their own voices in the form of customer reviews, innovative ideas, and opinions. They also are exposed to other voices within the social network that may provide them with additional information.

Display charity affiliations

If your brand is associated with any charity it is marketing wisdom to make that known through social media. This can earn you some brownie points. As you can see social media marketing has a CSR angle as well.


Additional Social Media Marketing Resources:

- How to build trust in 14 steps - Paul Brunson
- The Real Reason you Are Not Any Making Money From Your Blog - Alexander James
- 10 powerful tips to increase fan engagement on facebook - Jeff Bullas
- How to blog differently in three easy steps - Peg Fitzpatrick
- Make Money Blogging: How This Blog Makes $100K per month - Jon Morrow
- 9 ways to utilize social media for story telling - Brian Fanzo
- Top 6 ways video sharing is transforming the IT industry - Lisa Samples



If you’ve read my other article, you’ll know that I enjoy making them as comprehensive as possible. And, this article was no different.

However, it was necessary. Social Media Marketing is a fascinating field- yet it’s not an exact science. What works for one organization might not work for someone else’s organizations. But I’m hoping to set you off in the right direction.

Now and again I envision all my readers successfully reading this complete article because I think they feel the need to master the subject.

Imagine, what would it be like if you were to implement what you read in this article?  You don’t have to use the entire list of tactics you find in this article. You can pick and choose which ones you are comfortable with.

…It’ll always be an art.

Although I present you with a comprehensive strategic approach, you could argue that it’s useless.

With social interactions and peoples’ motivation to spread the good word, no strict rules will ever exist. So, you’ll need a dynamic approach. You’ll always need creativity. Social Media Marketing will always be an art form.

But I hope that you learned some useful insights, nonetheless. If you want to stay up-to-date on my new articles, you could subscribe to my blog. I’ll try to make each article worth your time.

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