If you have not created a social media presence already you must hop on the social media train because your customers are already on board (online) searching for solutions. Go where they go. Be their next “stop”.
First, social media should not be the initial marketing strategy for your company. The most effective use of social media comes after you have established a brand. Social media should be used to build further credibility as well as to promote and strengthen everything your brand is about. If you think your customer relationships are strong in the transactional environment, try online, you will be surprised.
Customer relationships are essential to successful social media marketing. Social media helps generate relationships. Not only does social media assist in the generation of new relationship but it also allows businesses to reinforce your existing customer relationships.
Social media is a great tool for customers to gleen insight into your brand and offer real-time feedback. This information is invaluable as it can significantly reduce future customer service costs in addition to providing valuable ideas for further business and product development. It provides companies with immediate customer input that can be implemented ASAP. It is more than just listening to your customer. Actually engaging with them takes your strategy to the next level.
Engagement is the reason social media is worth a business’s time. It serves as a driving force for social media strategy. You can think of it as the “engine” of a car. Without the engine the car is simply a hunk of metal that provides limited benefits. I know you could argue some other uses for an engineless car but…don’t. Without community engagement in your social media outlets they serve no further purpose then a news bulletin. If no one cares to follow or engage you are pretty much a decoupled caboose.
Social media provides consumers with the ability to share and spread your content. Whether it’s via word-of-mouth, over the internet socially or commenting and starting a discussion these customer activities can lead to amazing returns on your social media investment. Never underestimate the ability of your community members to promote!
MOZ stated in its eBook Beginners Guide to Social Media “An advocate standing up for a brand is far more powerful than a brand standing up for itself.” At some points in time your loyal customers have more marketing power than you do. For example, on twitter this kind of activity is prevalent. In my experience I observed the community engagement with POPSTAR @Ladygaga. She had over 43 million community members that care about her latest activity. In addition, to her account she had thousands of subordinate Lady Gaga aficionados like @MarcMonster (many of whom have personally engaged with Lady Gaga in casual conversation as well as face to face) who had a sizable following of their own. MarcMonster even says in his bio “I have far too many people living vicariously through me to give up now.” If you did not know already the personal engagement of this subordinates with Lady Gaga are the fuel to the obsession fans have with “Gaga”. The people who have personally engaged with their favorite celebrity confers them with sizable influence authority over a large portion of Lady Gaga’s marketing activities. Funny thing is, most probably have no idea this is really happening. These highly valued aficionados are priceless accessories to Lady Gaga’s marketing strategy.
In order to promote great customer engagement you need to provide engaging and relevant content for your customers and community members. To keep them engaged you may have to change your tactics every single day.
And remember, just because you send out a tweet or a post, does not mean someone has seen/read it. The half-life of a tweet is about eighteen minutes. Know your audience, and figure out their social patterns.
…And that’s a wrap!
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