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Memorable Marketing is a Full Meal, Make Sure You Clean Your Plate!

[caption id="attachment_1534" align="alignright" width="278"]Little Caesar's Hungry Vanity Number Hungry for memorable marketing? Remember to manage your portions![/caption] It's fast approaching summer time (although some parts of the U.S. could be forgiven for thinking otherwise) and grills will soon be dusted off around the country. We all know the feeling of seeing all that great BBQ and surrounding snacks laid out on the picnic tables, almost as well as we know. In short, in this situation our eyes are often bigger than our stomach. Marketers may feel similarly about the opportunities of social media.

Pick Your Platforms

There are more and more options every day, making social media the biggest marketing meal a business owner could imagine. The choices are seemingly infinite. There's too much to read up on on, let alone to write it all down and formulate a full strategy for every platform. This is especially true of small and medium sized businesses. With a carefully planned budget and limited available personnel, you'll struggle just to keep up with your daily responsibilities. And the next thing on that list is to embrace every platform to become a social media guru? Even with the appetizingly low price of entry of many platforms, how can any SMB manage that size of a meal? The answer, in marketing terms at least, is portion control. If you're unable to employ a person or agency to assist with marketing responsibilities, pick only the most promising platforms and commit to only what you can deliver. Take it on and keep things consistent. At the inevitable point where you wonder why you're putting in so much effort every week, think about it from your customer's perspective; it's pretty disappointing to load a company's blog only to find, as you head into June, that their last post was a Christmas greeting.  

Maintain a Balanced Marketing Meal

What it boils down to is this: if your appetite forces you to take on a particular marketing platform, make sure you finish your meal. Do it well or not at all, so that a great start doesn't give way to an empty presence that could hurt your business in the long term. Here are some tips to avoid getting too bloated at the social media buffet:
  1. Customize social to your strengths: If you're a good writer and have plenty to say, start a blog. Blogs can help you to get noticed and attract new customers and clients. But if you just know you won't publish a post at least two times a week, don't make the commitment. Consider less in-depth writing spaces like Google+ or Facebook, where you can add insight in more bite-sized chunks. Or alternatively use the likes of Facebook and Twitter to curate a stream of valuable content from other sites you recommend.
  2. Publish only relevant, valuable content: Companies can start Twitter and Facebook accounts just to link to spout specials and publish press releases. Your regular customers don't want to read PR copy or be blasted with ads, they want value. Few followers, fans or friends that tune in for self-promoting profiles are ever going to buy from your business. Would you?
  3. Answer customer questions: Take some time to think about what it is your business is hearing from both potential and current clients. Then answer those questions yourself. Remember that you're the expert and your experience is what customers need, so share it!
  4. Toss out the temptation to take short cuts: It's easier to acquire 10,000 followers by buying them, sure, but not one of these fake fans cares about what you have to say. Unless what you're doing is of interest to spammers worldwide, then it turns out you can't buy engagement. You have to earn it the old fashioned way - by really engaging.
By all means consider ramping up your efforts across social media, but remember: it all looks good, but don't bite off more than your business can chew!

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