Yesterday, I taught the first class of Marketing for Smarties in Durango with a great business colleague and owner of DurangoSpace, Jasper Welch. The course is more than a series of lessons…it is a process that helps business owners become marketing thinkers and doers. One of the first lessons we teach is to spend time developing your unique positioning statement and message first before worrying about the various marketing channels.

Nevertheless, we still get a lot of questions about if I should use Facebook or how to post content to my blog, etc…Granted the new social media wave is causing a lot of buzz and success for many businesses. However, first people have to understand that Facebook, Twitter and blogs are just other channels…not marketing plans. To make these new channels successful, you have to understand your overall message, target audience and general “brand”. Once that is determined, then the next step is to determine a publishing strategy and timeline.

If you just publish random articles and posts with no timeline established and only publish articles or Facebook posts periodically, you won’t get much of a “following”. It is the same as putting together one newspaper ad for a few weeks and then not advertising for a few months and wondering why you didn’t grow. Some marketing activities take time to generate a buzz. In addition, a companies’ sales cycles may be six months to a year and the results won’t come in for a while. Social media is no different. You are trying to establish relationships and contacts which take time and deliberate action to work.

Once you have established a message and targeted your audience, then you can begin posting content across various channels. For example, if you speak at an event, you can then:

1.  Post that speech on YouTube…or

2. Put a snippet of the video on your website and allow people to “register” to see the entire presentation.

3. Share your presentation on SlideShare

4. Break it into a series of articles for your blog

5. Post a link to the blog article and/or video on your Facebook/Twitter/Linked-In accounts.

One strong message can be utilized to gain contacts for your database…but more importantly, is it the right message for your business?

-Marcy Mitchell