Do you ever think that your business digital media marketing plan is very similar to a place setting at dinner?
This is a typical picture to show the proper way of setting the table. These same details have value when your marketing coach plans your business digital media presence. Looking at your entire plan laid out like this table setting helps sort out all the components and helps us focus. Some items will only be used for special occasions, similar to the cake fork or the wine glasses, and with everything in its place, we are more likely to connect with our target customers and clients.
So, let’s review your social media place setting:
The plate is the central component to any well laid table, the plate represents your business website. It contains the meat and potatoes of your services, products, mission, vision, and values to any prospects that search the Internet for your business.
The salad plate is also an important component. In the food world, it holds life-giving vegetables. While in the social media world, it represents a regular enewsletter that also provides life-giving information to help your prospects and customers. A regular enewsletter that offers valuable articles becomes a must read email that is received by prospects and is also a great way to keep your name in front of your network.
The water glass: They say we can live without food far longer than we can live without water and so that is why the water glass represents our existing customers. We must keep them informed and never take them for granted. They sign our paycheck and are also the source of referrals, testimonials, and repeat business.
The fork is the tool we use to consume our food and it represents YouTube. By 2015, 65 percent of all Internet traffic will be video. Video is a great way to feed our prospects information, humor, and examples of how to best use our products and services.
The napkin keeps us tidy. As a blog in our media plan, it provides tidy bits of information that shares our expertise, provides insights into our values, and gives us our voice. Not used by many (a sleeve sometimes is used instead), the blog is a great way to flood the Internet with our company name associated with key words, which aids in expediting search results and driving traffic to our website.
The bread and butter plate may not be used at every meal but is still a great staple in our social media plan. It represents the press release, which is still a valuable tool to keep our name in the news and also online. Create a monthly press release and submit to online directories and email your prospects.
The knife: cuts our meat and also cuts through to find the decision makers on LinkedIn. Four-out-of-five LinkedIn users are the decision makers for their company. This is a great tool for slicing and dicing information as well as building your business network.
The teaspoon is small in size and represents Twitter – just a spoonful of information for your readers. Use it frequently to share and learn from your community.
The soup spoon: we use the soup spoon for larger portions of information like we’ll find on Facebook. However, we don’t want to overindulge.
The salad fork: goes with the salad plate. Just like enewsletters, articles published online are a great way to share information, demonstrate your expertise, and keep your name in front of prospects. Consider writing articles to be published on other websites/blogs/online magazines to reach your target audience.
Cup and saucer: Just like the cup is circular – so are your centers of influence. Like the hub and spokes of a wheel – they reach out to an ever-expanding network to help spread the word of your services to their network. Make sure they understand your primary purpose and your ideal customers so that they can properly refer you to customers most likely interested in your services.
Red wine is a tasty beverage for certain meals. Direct mail is the same; a marketing option for certain messages. You may choose to use direct mail on occasion in conjunction with a special offer to local consumers around your location.
White wine: speaking of special offers, our white wine glass represents those special offers you might present to your online community such as a Facebook special discount, a Twitter coupon, or a free download in exchange for an email address.
Cake fork and dessert spoon: rarely will we see these utensils on the table, however, they have a definite purpose. Social media tools like the #hashtag allow you to feature a specific product, service, or event using the sort tool for all your content. Not only can you include the #hashtag in your communications but you can encourage others to use the #hashtag as they prepare to attend your event or use your product. It is a great tool and will most likely be used sparingly.
Place cards: finally, just like important information is on a place card, make sure to keep your name and contact information front and center on your marketing collateral such as your business cards, flyers, brochures, or email signature. This helps consumers know how to reach you when they need your products or services.
Butter knife: That spreads your message with a consistent brand across all these communication avenues.
Although you can have a meal with just a plate – it is far more efficient if you also have utensils, glassware, and napkins available to help you enjoy your meal more completely.
The same is true for your online marketing presence. The more complete your efforts across the web, the more likely you will be to be found. The more options consumers have, the more they learn about your abilities, your experience, and your personality.