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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Social Media..Digging Deeper

      The traditional marketing practice of interruption marketing like television and radio advertisements are becoming obsolete. Today we look toward gaining customers, keeping customers and turning those customers into walking billboards for your business we need to constantly nurture relationships. Companies that will jump ahead of the herd will be those that have figured out how to win at the social media game. Success magazines cd this month interviews a master social media expert, Paul Slack on how to actually gain traction and move the bottom line in your business. He stresses that all businesses need to engage in social media in a way that gets real results. There are three important reasons.

1. Quite simply because that's where your customers are. Facebook alone is now over 800 million active users. Linked In has over 100 million users, most of them making 60 to 70 thousand dollars per year if not more. Many making well over 100 thousand. Who doesn't want to tap into that market? Social media is the most effective way.
2. Think in terms of the old adage of word of mouth advertising. In social media one happy customer can tell thousands about how fantastic your business is and why they should do business with you. Results don't happen overnight, you have to have a plan to be successful.
3. People don't necessarily believe the marketing messages from traditional marketing venues.
      There are plenty of mistakes businesses are making in the social media world.
1.The biggest mistake businesses are making is failing to plan their social media strategy. You have to understand what you are trying to accomplish before just jumping in. If you have already jumped in without a life raft, take a step back. Identify, define and document what a winning plan looks like for your business. Figure out where your target audience is hanging out and how can I help them.
2 Right behind no plan is not seeing the plan through and giving up before even making a dent. Your business won't necessarily grow at the same rate of social media and get a quick fix. You may have to spend 4-6 months building up your community before you ever see results.

      So what's really useful? And what is a waste of time?
First understand what he calls your "social media currency" What are you giving away in order for your customers to engage with your business. Leading with value, through your social media currency is the way. What is it that our customers don't have that if we provided them with they could make better purchasing decisions. An example would be knowledge. As an expert in your field you have information that is valuable to your potential customer during their buying process, and if you can share that knowledge and help them make better they will beat a path to your doors. we also need to have a next step in mind for these potential customers, what do we want them to do once we h have engaged them in the process. We want our clients to wither pick up the phone and schedule an appointment or book online. Make sure you provide an opportunity for them to easily do these things from your engagement pages whether its Facebook or your blog or twitter etc.

      We also need to have a content plan that answers what our potential customers are researching. Discovering the questions and providing answers will be key to your content. The key secret to success is to then build a blog for the content to exist. Your blog containing all this great content is what you can then promote on social media. Dropping links will draw your audience back to a site that you own and control. You want to become a long term trusted advisor. Stay tuned for part 2 next week.


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