With social network users expanding exponentially, they may just be the best-kept marketing secret


I have a confession to make. I work in Digital PR, and until very very recently, I hated Twitter. That was one bandwagon I was not jumping on. Wanted nothing to do with it, really. Something seemed a bit bizarre to me about having to be on Facebook for work too. But here’s the loop hole: It’s not a social media forum, it’s a social media marketing heaven.

I’m now a convert to the blasted Twitter craze, and not just because I have to be, but because, wonder of all wonders, social media is this nifty little tool, that, if exploited in all the right ways, can boost your marketing strategies. It gives you that added ‘in’ with your target market and brings you one step closer to the right contacts. This year I have decided to forgo the typical New Year’s promise of ‘back to the gym,’ so in 2015, my New Year’s resolution, along with my team here at Optimized Group, is to squeeze every opportunity out of these social networks, and here’s three good reasons why:

Marketing in disguise. Your typical Facebook/Twitter user sees these sites as social networks, not as marketing mechanisms. People are usually more receptive to ideas and information when they don’t know from the get go they’re being advertised something. Someone may tend to overlook what appears to be a traditional advertisement, but they see a cool picture and catchy teaser and click! It takes them right to the website you want. Or you entice them with a few interesting lines from your client’s company blog post, and they want more, click! Everything that you post on social media is the opportunity for someone to comment, share or like. Using them gives you much more interaction with your target audience. Consider that we have an entire job position dedicated to this, which is our social media specialist, who manages solely our clients’ Facebook and Twitter accounts. A full time job in and of itself, they interact with followers, post, update, blog, tweet, retweet and network.

Keeping tabs on competitors. One of the staples of digital marketing is checking out the competition. How did they get to be on the first page of google? What are they doing, who are they in contact with? Who’s following them on Twitter, who are they following in turn? You may feel invasive, dare I say, stalker-ish, but rest assured, in online marketing, it’s called be resourceful. Check out your competitor’s Facebook page, what they’re posting, where they’ve been published. Twitter is great because you can see who is following your competition, and if potentially they could be a useful contact as well. If you find a possibly good contact that you just have to have, slowly lay down the brickwork. Follow them, comment on their posts, retweet their posts, and as we say in Italian, piano piano (little by little), you’ve got yourself a new connection.

Avoid the cat-and-mouse game. So you want to get in touch with a journalist from the New York Times, but his/her email is not listed on the website, and when you call the central number, trying to get through to someone in the editorial department is like pulling teeth sometimes. Then maybe you here that blessed ringtone, which promptly ends with a voicemail. Chances are the journalist has already checked their Twitter several times in the ten minutes you’ve spent on the phone. Leave a voicemail, but tweet them as well. You can find most journalists on social media, and it’s a great way to contact them, because they’re all on it. Twitter is a great resource for journalists because the latest news is being updated by the second. So maybe they won’t immediately see your email, but they might see your tweet. Just simply say something like @BobSmith do you accept story pitches? I’ve got a great one, how could I contact you?

The fact remains: social media marketing is blowing up and here’s the best part: it’s free. So, take it from the once upon a time non-believer: This may be one bandwagon you want to jump on.

Heather Di Maio

Digital PR Officer