/ business

social media is a channel, not a strategy

Whenever I’m interviewing a potential marketing intern, I’m always interested to see what my fellow gen y’ers think about social media. So, one of the questions we ask puts them in a situation where they are opening a small business with no marketing budget. How would you market the business?

**The first response is always, **

Well, I would create a facebook page and twitter account.

Okay so you create a twitter account and facebook page, but then what?

Well, I would invite all of my friends and give away something for free.

Everyone loves free stuff. Nobody wants to comment on our Facebook page update about what discount gift cards, but when a prize is involved… they go bananas. Side note – I’m convinced that there is a guild, fraternity, or social club of people that sit at home all day and try to win sweepstakes. Just something that I’ve noticed from the different tags that I follow on twitter.

Conspiracy theories aside, people want to establish a social media presence and leave it at that. When really an effective social media campaign has a target market, relevant message, and metrics set up to measure success. What do you want your social media accounts to serve as in the daily lives of your consumers and fans?

Currently I manage the GiftCardRescue Facebook Page & Twitter Account and this is how we connect with our consumers.

I like to focus on three things with our social media accounts:

  • being the #1 provider of all gift card related news that might impact our consumers
  • creating a community by making our brand personal and connecting with users
  • always remaining relevant, neutral, and not just another diluted message

Connecting with our consumers and being more then just a business to them has been the most effective form of marketing through social media. It’s allowed users to become attached to the brand and promote it on their own. One of the most recent examples being this video produced by one of our customers.

[![](http://benhebert.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/giftcardrescue-facebook.png "giftcardrescue-facebook")](http://benhebert.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/giftcardrescue-facebook.png)You can interact with your customers using other forms of media. Just always be relevant!
Selling gift cards isn’t pretty. We mail the cards in a discreet envelope (so they don’t get stolen) and the process could use some beautification. But, through a personal approach via social media, we have been able to connect with our consumers and make them want to share. When your consumers defend and promote the brand for you, marketing and selling becomes a lot easier.

Related – SEO Moz how they gained 17k twitter fans

benhebert

I make money online through websites and business consulting. Everyday I'm challenging myself to learn and do more.

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