Best Social Media Tactics

Pete Cashmore, Founder of Mashable, once blogged that, “We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency…our attention is more fragmented than ever before.” He believes that social media is an essential way to target your audience and retain their attention. Doing so means the difference between profiting and struggling to exist.

Most marketers understand Pete’s statement and the importance of social media. Nearly 90% of companies believe that social media will be an important part of their marketing mix with most using these sites to increase brand awareness. And those that are increasing brand awareness via social networks seem to benefit. Knowledge Networks recently completed a study that found that 23.1 million people discover new brands through social media, 22.5 million learn of new products through social media, and 15.1 million make purchasing decisions only after referring to social media.

The challenge comes in moving from a generic understanding that “social marketing is good” to the specific, “so here’s what I’m going to do about it.”

That’s why we scoured the virtual highways and networking byways to identify our top picks for really effective social marketing tactics that have produced positive, tangible results. We put our top ten tactics together in our latest Strategy Brief white paper, The Best Social Media Tactics Ever. These tactics are not just examples of good marketing; they’re realistic and can be adapted by virtually any organization, regardless of resource level or size.

Below is an excerpt from EMG’s August-September Strategy Brief, detailing Tactic #5 on our top ten countdown.

Customized YouTube Channel
As we count down the Top Tactics, we’re getting to some really high-impact initiatives. Yet some of these are deceptively easy and inexpensive, such as tactic #5, which goes to Old Dominion University for creating a customized YouTube channel. This application proves that you don’t have to get complicated to get effective.

ODU has given their channel a look and feel that is consistent with their brand. They placed their logo dominantly, and they linked to their other social media platforms as a way to generate their audiences’ interest.

But that’s not the end of the story. They’ve also populated the channel with lots of timely, relevant content that generates audience interest, and they’ve linked the channel to a myriad of other social networks and their website mashup, using YouTube as a central resource that feeds video content across the ODU network.

The design is clean and simple, but grabs attention and reinforces the ODU brand through color palette and design. YouTube’s interface makes it easy to accomplish.

Old Dominion University YouTube page

Similar to your Facebook landing page, a channel acts as a landing that visitors see when they find you on YouTube. Whether you want it to look like every other YouTube Channel or unique to your college or university is up to you. However, the more that you express your brand and differentiate yourself from others the better.

Outside of higher education, Intel does an amazing job of showing what can be done with a YouTube channel when resources are not an issue, and garners an Honorable Mention in this category.

Intel has developed a miniature application built around a “visual life contest” that resides in YouTube’s header area. Because this header application is robust and fascinating, many users do not even scroll down to what is considered YouTube’s main content area. If you are an institution with a respected video presence or designs on creating your own video contest, this might be the perfect area to make a social media splash that can be promoted on Twitter, Facebook, and others.

Intel's YouTube page

The U.S. Navy’s channel was too good to ignore, and wins a second Honorable Mention in this category. It’s a great example of a YouTube Channel that takes a simpler and more traditional approach than Intel but is still very attractive and very effective. Content, as always, is one of the keys. Note they have also used their social media callouts in the header similar to Old Dominion University.

Navy YouTube Page

This is an excerpt from the 28-page July-August 2011 Marketing Strategy Brief #204: The Best Social Media Tactics Ever.

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