Though social media can be used to market your products and services, it’s most effective when used to market your brand–even before the products and services are ready. Adam Salomone, who has worked with social media at a small Boston-based publishing company for the past two years, is helping to develop an online travel venture that will offer reviews, tips, and information to travelers. While traditional media outreach will be a small part of the mix, Adam believes that the biggest opportunity is online, especially since travel offers many of its own robust online communities. Though the company has not yet launched, Adam has already begun marketing the brand with social media outreach.
Q: What have you done so far to prepare for the company’s launch?
A: Listening and monitoring have been a key piece to reaching consumers. Using services such as Social Oomph and Google Alerts to find out what the stories are, and what consumers are asking about related to travel, and from there building a base of content has proven very effective. I encourage any company that is not already doing so to identify the social platforms relevant to their industry and use tools to find out what the conversation is.
Why listen? A lot of companies think it’s to see what consumers are saying about their brand. That’s part of it, but there’s far more marketers can do to build goodwill through listening and monitoring. Identify people who have questions / problems / concerns and use your company’s knowledge and awareness in that space to offer advice or a useful answer–in no way should you pitch or even mention the product. By helping people find a solution, they begin associating your company with that solution and in doing so may become customers without ever being pitched–it also makes for some longer lasting relationships.
Photo: Moyan Brenn