Social Strategy from the BEHIND THE SCENES eBook - Part 9 of 10

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"Our view of social is quite simple: everything we do is designed to reinforce and enhance the DRTV and search campaigns. They are the workhorses, and social provides great support. ButAcquirysocial has to fit naturally in that plan and should not be forced. Consumers use social not just to engage with friends or family, but also to research a product, tell others about it and seek opinions. A carefully planned social strategy can complement a DRTV or search campaign and reach those consumers and their connections in a big way."Carrie Burns, VP, Account Director

Note: see our Executive Brief on the roles of DRTV, search and social at:http://D3V.acquirgy.net

How do we integrate social media tactics with DRTV?

The first step is to identify the goals of the DRTV commercial and search campaigns to determine if a social strategy makes sense and if it will meet or support those goals. Considering the way consumers use social media is critical to determining its role in your strategy. Will social serve as a customer support vehicle, will it provide valuable information or updates to consumers, or will it be fun or entertaining? Understanding the brand and product "personality" is also key to the strategy. Any message disseminated through social channels needs to be genuine or it will not resonate…or worse, be chastised for all to see.

Once the blueprint is developed, materials for the Facebooks and Twitters of the world need to be created, organized and disseminated. Creating a media plan like you would for a TV buy is just as important for your social strategy. It should complement your other marketing efforts and have the same message, offer, look and feel.

Benefits of a social strategy include the ability to feature more testimonials than actually appear in the commercial, as well as develop fun and creative ways to engage consumers in the online space where they can interact with the product or service.

What is the actual up-front research you do?

Based on the blueprint and creative brief that our team produces, we identify:

· The audience demographics

· What online media they consume

· The types of devices, sites, blogs and networks they visit

· The tone of the commercial

· The existing social presence, if any

· How engaged followers of the company/product/service are

Those are the basics. We obviously dig deeper based on the goals and objectives of the multichannel program.

Does it make sense to put your infomercial or short-form on YouTube?

It sure does! First, take a look at what we've done (http://D3W.acquirgy.net) on our own YouTube channel. In addition to having videos of our commercials, we also provide commentary based around "Why It Worked" – a peek at our strategy. There should always be a link from the YouTube copy area back to a relevant and live page on your site.

And, this is important, if the product is discontinued or not available for any reason, and you keep the video on YouTube, make sure the page to which the link sends a consumer is to a live page with a similar product.

How should DRTV marketers use Facebook?

A Facebook page for the company's product or service is almost a must in today's market. It's a resource where people will go to learn more, get opinions and see what other buyers are saying. But your social strategy shouldn't just to include Facebook, but that your Facebook effort has a strategy of its own. Facebook can:

· Serve to simply mirror and support the DRTV campaign

· Function as a customer support vehicle

· Generate opportunities to engage your customers and form relationships with them

Remember at the end of the day, your Facebook page has to have value or serve some purpose for people to follow or engage with you.

Should DRTV marketers tweet?

The answer is "maybe." Just like Facebook, a presence on Twitter is almost expected, but again, it needs to have a strategy of its own. What purpose will it serve? And just because you are there tweeting doesn't mean people are seeing your tweets. For people to follow your Twitter feed, you need to offer something of value: an opinion, some humor, discounts, customer support, etc.

As with any strategy, your goals and objectives must be considered – are you selling a product/service or looking for leads? The strategy and web pages are clearly different based on which goal it is.

You can download the entire eBook at any time at: http://BS123.acquirgy.net

Irv Brechner has written over 100 published direct marketing articles and 13 books on a variety of topics. He's been a pioneer in online customer acquisition since 1996 and offline for his 35-year career. He has developed Acquirgy.com's "Customer Acquisition Intel Center" (acquirgy.com/intel ) he evangelizes best-of-breed tactics to help companies acquire customers in the digital age. He can be reached at: irv@acquirgy.com .

Read all Irv's MediaBizBloggers commentaries at Customer Acquisition Intel.

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