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BizReport : Social Marketing : January 11, 2011

Brands: This is how to get more involved with social ads

Consumers are in social. Brands have to be in social. These are two sentences going around most advertising agencies, brand offices and small businesses around the world. The problem is that many brands and businesses aren't sure how to make the biggest impact and rather than misstep, they aren't stepping at all. Here are three tips to get a brand into the social space quickly.

by Kristina Knight

unicast.bmpFirst, they whys. Why should brands be in the social space? According to reports Experian Hitwise, social network Facebook is the most-searched term for the second year in a row, and according to reports from comScore more than 70% of American adults are already active on social networks. Some estimates have Facebookers spending upwards of 700 billion minutes (cumulatively) on the network each month.

"The vast majority of marketers agree that social media is a powerful tool for brands and that in today's market, it's about being present and part of the conversation," said Luca Milano, vice president of product solutions for Unicast. "Companies are spending a lot of resources building social media campaigns and it's a huge missed opportunity not to extend those efforts into their online ad campaigns. It is essential to evolve the social strategy with formats that put your brand where the people are."

How can a brand, especially a smaller brand, become relevant in the social space? Here are Unicast's top three tips for social marketing.

First, advertising your sociability. Include Facebook and Twitter handles in advertising, point consumers to your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter pages from the company blog, from ads or from content .

Second, make your content - from email messages to coupons - shareable. If you want a consumer to share through Facebook, include the Facebook icon. Same goes with Twitter. If you'd like them to share through most networks, include all of the sharing icons. Make it simple for consumers to share information and they will.

Third, be focused, conversational and brand sensitive. Social networkers don't want to read a 500 word post about Product A, even if the post comes with a great coupon or online deal. Keep your messages focused on the conversation about Product A instead. Also, make sure all of your socnet posts are brand sensitive - the social space is fragmenting the Internet, so it is more important than ever to ensure that all messages stand up to the brand promise and message.

Tags: Facebook, social ads, social marketing, social sharing, Twitter, Unicast

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