“How Do You Know She’s a Witch?” . . . “She Looks Like One!”
Social Media. Social Media. Social Media!
There. Let’s get it out of our system.
Nowadays companies love to throw a social media “phrase” into the mix, sometimes completely unrelated and out of the blue. Much like the peasants in Monty Python (watch the scene here). trying to dress up a witch, companies throw up a Facebook page and declare they are now on social media.
Yes, SM is great. But I say it all the time, it’s not the “Holy Grail” of marketing.
More importantly than creating a Facebook Page or jumping onto twitter, is looking at how SM can fit into your overall marketing strategy. More specifically let’s talk about the “customer experience.”
In some companies the “customer experience” is managed by a completely different department. But at MATRIX we talk a lot about it in our marketing meetings. After all, the marketing department should be helping with your branding, and the customer’s experience is going to brand you. Good or bad.
Because Social Media was the “buzz” of 2009, companies every where were throwing up SM positions and targeting recent college grads to start tweeting.
I understand that SM its new territory and companies were unsure about it’s “value,” but one thing that was failed to realize was SM, if done right, plays a HUGE part in your customer experience.
So, let’s back up. What do you do? How can you ensure that SM fits into your overall strategy, and guarantee that it provides a great experience for your customers?
- Make sure your SM team knows your brand! It’s easy to tweet or create a Facebook page, but does the person behind it know your brand to the core? Better yet, do they know your target audience.
- Train your team on “best practices.” How should they respond to a complaint? Or to a question they don’t know? – For Heaven’s sake, don’t just say “I don’t know. . .”
- Engage them in the discussions about your marketing strategy. The SM team should know what the overall goals are. Brainstorm ways that SM can fit into and help achieve those goals. Basically, make sure they know where the company is going.
- Incorporate SM efforts into your CRM strategy. If your SM team deals directly, even as much as a RT from a client or customer, it needs to be documented. You want to ensure that the rest of the company knows there was an interaction. Especially if there was a complaint. If you customer complains on social media, they shouldn’t have to then talk on the phone with someone that has no idea about the complaint.
- Encourage them to “look deeper.” This is probably the most vague point, but don’t just settle for the status quo. Encourage them to look deeper at the stats. What are the trends, what does your audience seem most interested in?
As you quest for your own Holy Grail using Social Media, keep in mind it all comes down to forming genuine, not illusory relationships. Providing a way to connect with your customer and ensuring that they have a good experience with your brand.
10 Essential Rules for Brands in Social Media
I recently read a blog post by Taddy Hall titled “10 Essential Rules for Brands in Social Media.” To be honest, when I first saw it in my google alerts I rolled my eyes thinking it was, yet another, “how to” on social media. Anyone else feel like the “blog-world” is saturated with those posts, that keep repeating the same information.
However, this post went deeper than just “listen first, then engage,” and explained in detail, using fresh analogies, the ins-and-outs on branding using Social Media.
To read the full article click here. But here are a few of my favorite parts:
The 1% Rule
In category after category, our data show that a small fraction of site visitors are responsible for a substantial portion of total site traffic. On average, the percentage of influential users (defined for our purposes simply as a visitor who’s subsequent sharing actions result in at least one additional site visitor) on a given site is 0.6% and rarely above 4%. However, these influencers regularly generate 20%-50% of total site traffic and an even higher share of conversion (defined however a site owner so decides). To make social media marketing effective, marketers have to identify and engage — and better recognize and reward — these super-influentials.
The Power of “Weak Links” Rule
Influentials generally do have many direct “friends” and “followers,” but what makes them truly valuable is the number and relevance of their extended or indirect connections. As Albert-Laszlo Barabasi illustrated in “Linked,” you are far more likely to find your next job through a friend-of-a-friend than through an intimate contact. These “weak links” matter in the “real world,” and they matter even more online. A critical implication for marketers is the need to track the extended social graphs of their content if they are going to be able to understand and activate the dynamics of influence.
The More Things Change Rule
Our research consistently demonstrates that e-mail and IM remain popular ways to share content. So don’t throw out your old e-mail marketing methods just because Facebook and Twitter are the newest communication platforms du jour. The tried-and-true methods of getting customers to share links via e-mail and IM are still extremely valuable sources of traffic. Furthermore, incorporating social elements into your e-mail, such as incentives to share, can dramatically enhance an investment you’re already making.
Finally, I really liked this last section on customer service. I think the best use of social media is when companies come out from behind their “corporate logo” and interact, transparently, with their customers. Personally, when I feel I’ve connected with a company I’m doing business with, I will be one of their “biggest fans” out on social media. And for those companies that don’t connect . . . . well.
The Customer-Service Rule
Social marketing programs succeed when they provide a service to the consumer. Traditional media-planing processes that begin with reach and frequency targets are largely unhelpful in social media. Reach and frequency — as well as engagement, preference and conversion — are positive consequences of giving consumers content that is sufficiently relevant and useful that they propagate your message across their own social graphs. Focus on providing useful content and offers to your target audience and they will spread your messages for you.
What are your thoughts?
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