The Missed Link of Social Media Marketing

Learn a critical step in Social Media Marketing that many businesses miss.

“I’ve been doing Social Media Marketing for a few months, and I don’t see the results. It’s a complete waste of my time.”

How many times have you heard this complaint from small business owners and marketers? Seems like there is a lot of complaining going on. If you analyze their campaigns, though, you can typically see that they skipped a very important step in the Social Media Marketing process. We call it The Missed Link.    

Case Study: Rugby Jerseys Shop

One of our clients is a rugby jerseys online shop. Let’s refer to them as RJS. I believe that the best way to explain The Missed Link is by using a real life example, so we are going to analyze how RJS used to do Social Media Marketing and how we transformed their approach to achieve better results.

How RJS Used to Do It

The first step of Social Media Marketing is to set up goals. RJS did this.

The second step is to identify your target market. This was easy for RJS: their market is rugby players around the world.

The third step is a little bit more complicated. You need to find out where on the Internet you can find these people. The rugby jerseys shop did this very well too. They found groups of rugby players on Facebook, they found MySpace and Facebook users interested in rugby, they looked for rugby forums, blogs and other rugby websites.

They came up with specific goals, figured out who their market was and found these people online. But when it was time to approach these people, they didn’t do it the right way. They started to invite people to their website. They invited thousands of people. Yes, a few of them visited the website, but they left without buying anything. And the company ended up being banned from every forum and group for spamming. They even got their Facebook account cancelled.

The Missed Link

You are now probably wondering what The Missed Link is. The Missed Link is GREAT CONTENT. I’m sure that you’ve heard it before, but if you are like many people involved in Social Media Marketing, you are not putting what you know into practice to capitalize on the opportunity.

So here is what RJS did to right the ship and take their Social Media Marketing to the next level.

The New Social Media Marketing Plan

Put yourself in the shoes of a rugby fan. You visit rugby forums, blogs and websites often. You belong to several rugby online communities and groups. You do all this to connect with other rugby fans, watch rugby videos and find out about results and standings. You don’t want to hear from a dozen spammers trying to get you to buy their stuff. You are there for the content, not for the specials.

So what do you do?

Easy! You create GREAT content and you leverage all these networks to deliver it!

This is what RJS did:

  • Created a page on their website with 10 videos of the best rugby plays in history.

  • Created a page with results, fixtures and standings for all the major rugby leagues in the world. Information about the TV stations that were going to broadcast each game in each country was added as well.

  • Created a contest. It was a rugby quiz where contestants answer a few questions and could win an amazing rugby outfit that was part of a special edition and couldn’t be found anywhere else.

  • Created a very simple Flash-based rugby game that is really addictive.

After the content was online, all they needed to do was to “seed” it. And so the following tactics were implemented:

  • Joined several rugby groups on Facebook. We used their walls to invite people to check out the content on the site. Since it was great content, thousands of people from these groups visited the site.

  • Created a rugby group on Facebook and invited people from other rugby groups to join. We got over 1,000 members in a week, and we invited them to participate in the contest. They were all very excited and this gave Rugby Jerseys Shop a lot of exposure.

  • Created a Twitter account and followed a few thousand rugby fans. Most of them followed RJS back. We started tweeting rugby results, rugby news and other rugby updates. Twitter sent hundreds of people to the RJS site.

  • Contacted the administrators of several Facebook groups and owners of rugby newsletters. We told them about the online game and six of them passed the word to their subscribers. One of these people had over 15,000 subscribers. They are all rugby fans, of course.

  • Used MySpace and about a dozen rugby discussion boards and blogs to spread the word about the great content on the RJS site.

During the seeding stage of the process, 25,000 rugby fans checked out the RJS website. But this gets even better.

  • RJS added a list-building device to each of the pages. The game page had an option to notify people by email when a new game was launched. The results and upcoming games page had an option to notify people about results and updates on specific games. We added one of those boxes to each of the pages. Over 11,000 fans subscribed to the newsletter and gave RJS authorization to email them once a month.

  • RJS added another box to each of the pages with an option to tell friends about the site. Several thousand visitors used it to tell their friends about the RJS site. The news spread like fire. After we stopped this marketing campaign, the subscriber base was still growing by 100 new members per day, all through word of mouth. That’s the good thing about viral marketing: give it a little push and after that there’s no stopping it.

Content, Content, Content

Give people what they’re looking for: GREAT CONTENT! Learn the game and play it hard.

Eager for more? Check out Zeke’s series "Getting Social Smarts" and his three podcasts below for more great online marketing information and tips!

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