12.22.2009

Social Media Marketing


A year ago, my friend Joseph told me that we should create a blog for our Digital Artists Collective: UNDOdigital. At the time I was somewhat unaware of the potential that Social Media had. I was in Facebook but that was about it. I did not realize that Social Media Marketing would appeal to me as one of my services. It does now.

A year later (today) I can honestly say that social media works. After we created the blog, and posted a few articles, I was afraid that no one was reading. Our message was getting nowhere. The few that knew us were the only ones reading. I wanted to make sure more people knew what we were up to, so after much inner-battles, I opened up a Twitter account. The rest came easy. As I write this, our Twitter has 112 followers, which tops even our Facebook page which has only 88 fans (as of today) and was there before the blog. I know that some of our Twitter followers also follow us on Facebook, but not all. Actually the majority of our Facebook fans are NOT on Twitter and the followers through Myspace (257) are not in either one of the social sites mentioned before. Also, the blog has 20 followers through Feedburner so there are people who either receive our updates through email or via their favorite RSS reader such as Google Reader So one could say that 477 people know about us through these media. This is without counting our YouTube followers or the people who have listened to our podcasts on Audiofarm .

All this can be really overwhelming, I'm the first one to say it. It can become a full time job to keep up with all the social media. I mean, not only do we add content to the blog, but we follow up through our many "digital arms" like Digg to re-publish and make sure that as many people as we possibly can get to know us, or through our email update which we sometimes send to various contacts.

By now, the usual person asks me: Is it worth it? What's in it for you? Well, UNDOdigital is on its way to becoming Puerto Rico's only/leading Digital Artists Community. The more people we reach through our efforts, the closer that goal gets. Let's say we wanted to invite people to our fourth Art Show (coming soon!). Normally, or rather, traditionally we would invest in some flyers and/or invitations. A catalog would also be on the works as well as many other print media to let people know of the event. We now, don't have to kill a forest to let people know of us. Through our social sites, at the very least, 477 people (and counting) will know of it. Social media works by word of mouth, so you can be sure, many will re-tweet, re-send, forward, etc, etc...

How does this translate to regular business? Simple. Your Twitter / Blog / Fan Site / etc... serves as a place were you reach to possible costumers as well as your "fan base". This shows that the company has real people behind it. Regular posts and quality content will ensure a long lasting relationship with your followers. Every now and again, you may create a contest or give some service / product for free, ensuring that more people visit you. Those products that you give out could later generate part of the testimonials for your website. Say you give something out, to get a review on it. People love freebies. This will give the word of mouth your business needs.

Results. That is what you must be thinking now. Well internet is a very analytical medium. We, at UNDOdigital, know how many people have visited us, from where, which browser they use, which connection speed they use, how many links they clicked, which posts are they're favorites, how many time our tweets have been clicked, the emails of the people who subscribe to us, etc. We have and know it all. This gives us complete control over what we achieve with these sites. Of course this all of this is long term. After all, Social sites are like dating. And dating is a process.

Now, the real question is: why isn't EVERYONE doing this? Easy to say, but what if the company is nowhere near the digital era? This is a good guide post from Seth Godin that takes care of that.

To experience this case study, visit http://www.undodigital.com and start clicking on our social media buttons (on the top right) to see what I've just told you about.

By the way, if you're on Twitter, you can give me a follow @ricklipsett .

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