Social media marketing begins with companies listening and then initiating actions based on what they’ve heard.
Companies using information gleaned from social media conversations are better prepared to improve their products, services and brand messages. Applying these insights to their business strategies will also help them foster and cement loyalties among their customers and brand advocates – and potentially leap ahead of less socially-attuned competitors.
Businesses are quickly discovering that social media marketing is about fostering open communication with consumers. People want to connect with you. Your customers are fans who want to be heard and feel valued for their patronage. Social commerce provides businesses the opportunity to fulfill these needs.
Integrate Social Media into your current Marketing
Social media networks (like Facebook and Twitter) are classified as viral social communication channels – for both consumers and businesses. You’ll find great value in using social media to learn more about your prospects and customers.
- GAIN HELPFUL INSIGHTS as consumers and competitors talk about your brand, products and services.
- BUILD RELATIONSHIPS as you engage them in conversations.
People want to be heard. Connecting with them via social media acknowledges that you are really listening to them.
Social Media is about the people!
Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.
– Matt Goulart
Social Media Channel Selection
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are different types of social media communication tools.
- Facebook is for more aggressive interaction (which requires approval to join).
- Twitter is a more laid back environment (which does not require approval to share or listen).
- LinkedIn is devoted to the more professional facets of our online profiles.
Facebook and Twitter are not the only social media tools that you should consider. Explore other social media networks where your customers are following, commenting and participating. Who are they talking to? Who are they sharing and interacting with?
Plan a strategy to get involved in your customers’ preferred social media networks…, even niched channels.
Gotta’ fish where the fishing’s good, right?
Conversations Humanize Social Media Sites
Social media sites provide an easy online source to unify individuals with common interests. Communities exist in a multitude of sizes and purposes, and the people within each community are talking among themselves.
Social media marketing involves listening and establishing relationships with the various personalities within these social networks.
Constant engagement with Facebook and Twitter customers is beneficial, but real conversations are critical. Your followers want to talk with humans! Consistent, proactive participation will bring results. Listen to them; share your knowledge and optimism. Most importantly, be yourself – because Social Media is not about campaigns; it’s about people and relationships!
The Power of Social Media Networking
The idea behind social media marketing is that “friends recommend links, websites and products to their peers.” This consumer-based power is but one reason why social media communications are growing faster than most other marketing channels. Why?
- People DO NOT BELIEVE
what you tell them
- People RARELY BELIEVE
what you show them
- People USUALLY BELIEVE
what friends tell them
The surge of social and mobile technologies is starting to influence commerce, supply chain management and the demand for new products and services.
- How will Social Commerce change the
Consumer Decision-Making Process?
- How will Mobile Communications impact
the Consumer Shopping Experience?
How to Succeed in Social Media
- Use social media to share product info
- Share industry knowledge and tips
- Listen to what your customers want
(if you listen carefully, they will tell you)
- Respond to their needs in a timely manner
- Optimize your social profiles to help consumers find you across diverse social channels
BOTTOM LINE: Effective networking within social media isn’t a trick or a tool or a marketing strategy. Social media marketing is a long-term commitment that will generate different opportunities to contact and build real relationships with customers or many others who share common interests or goals.
With the growing number of social media sites and followers, it’s important for online marketers to mesh social media with their other branding, promotions and advertising efforts where it makes sense. Smart online marketers begin their social media plans by listening to their customers in various social channels before diving head first into the social pool.