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Baskin Robbins and Social Media

Ask anyone that is a long time ice-cream lover how many flavors Baskin Robbins has and they'll tell you. "They have 31 flavors". Yes, yes they do. Each of them are delicious (to someone), and each of them has their fans (and their detractors). To me, Baskin Robbins is a perfect analogy for social media. Both of them are awesome, and both of them should be a part of what you do, but not the whole meal! As a marketing person, how many times have you heard someone say "Oh my! Your company really needs to be using Facebook more!" or "Twitter will get you business, just look at these articles!". It seems like every week there's a new flavor that pops up and suddenly we rush around to try and make sure that we're doing "everything we can" to "get the word out". If I tried every flavor at Baskin Robbins, I'd get a stomach ache.  If I attempted to use every social media platform all the time, I'd probably have similar results. So, how do you choose the flavors that work the best AND work well together? The first thing you need to do is decide what you want to accomplish. Is it advertising deals and specials? Rewarding existing customers? Brand awareness? Maybe you just want to use it to increase your SEO?  Foursquare is a great platform for rewarding customer loyalty. Creating a blog is a great way to boost your SEO and build a community around your services. Facebook is a great way to engage new customers and has become part of the modern "word-of-mouth". Now, take a look at the existing promotions you are currently using? Do you use direct mail? Do you use radio, tv, or billboards? Your social media campaigns are just like any other campaign. you need more than one way to communicate your message. Often times, just considering how the user will receive your message will go a long way towards helping you choose the appropriate platform to use. Just like ALL marketing campaigns, planning and forethought will yield much better results with social media. Next week we'll take a look at Facebook and share some practices and methods that have worked well for us!

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