“Oh Yeah – We’re On Facebook” is Not a Social Media Strategy

social-media-signsWhile traditional brands suffer from this misconception as discussed in this great article in Venture Beat, for natural brands the missed opportunity to capitalize on the online green community is breathtaking.  Unlike the mass market of traditional brands, the green world lives and breathes online!

Unless you live in enclaves like Portland/Boulder/ Marin, it’s easier to find fellow green consumers online than in your own neighborhood. So, natural products consumers build relationships with like-minded folks and brands on the internet, especially on social media, far more than they do in the offline world.

Face it – the vast majority of natural products consumers live amongst the mainstream. This can be a mind blowing bit of information for green brands! But it makes the right social media strategy, along with your content marketing strategy, so much more important.

Let’s look 3 keys to a successful social media program

1.    Presence is not strategy

Many brands natural or not, believe that posting on the major social media channels constitutes a social media strategy.  Fan counts and comments do not necessarily measure engagement with your target consumer. They might measure instead just who likes your posts –you might be preaching to the choir instead of reaching out and informing new consumers about your brand.

2.    Integration is Paramount

Digital marketing suffers from the same challenges with integration that traditional marketing has faced for years.  As a new tactic though, the practice of silo-ing social media separate from the balance of the marketing efforts with different goals and different success ratios  is tempting. Don’t do it, rather make social media integration a priority in developing any marketing effort, not an afterthought.

3.    Experience is not Expertise

Social media and digital marketing expertise are not the province of everyone who grew up with Facebook.  With the time intensiveness of social media posting, it is tempting to relegate the entire effort to the most junior person on the staff. But as with any junior staffer doing a time intensive job (new lawyers doing mind-numbing research, fresh MBA’s  crunching numbers and making PPT charts) supervision and training needs to come from senior marketers with strategic experience in the social media world.

Social media is a powerful tool for green brands and a unique opportunity for exponential growth.  Make sure yours has a strategy not just a presence.

Learn more about social media strategy for green brands at Expo East in Baltimore this year. I’ll be sharing tips and techniques at the Social Media Marketing for Socially Conscious Brands session on Friday.

 

Social media icons image via Shutterstock 

About the Author

Hear Maryanne speak on Social Media for Socially Conscious Brands at Expo East on September 27th! Maryanne Conlin is CPG brand marketer and digital marketing expert, CEO of RedRopes Digital and Partner Digital Strategy, 4GreenPs. A Shorty Award winner for best Green Content on Twitter, she was a member of the IAA team that won the Green Award in 2010 and most recently was a finalist for the PRSA - Los Angeles PRISM awards for social media. She and her team focus on providing strategic marketing direction, custom content for web, mobile and social platforms, social media community management and online promotions and digital advertising solutions for companies in the green, food and Hispanic space. Follow her on Twitter @maryanneconlin