Let’s face it. Social media is an expensive, expansive, confusing, time-sucking monster that’s mostly viewed by kids. Right? Your customers aren’t kids. How many kids own businesses? You work with businesses – with business people. Why would you want to invest precious time and resources on a black hole like that? Because you’d be insane not to.
A social or relational approach is part of marketing and sales best practices today. You’re going to miss business opportunities if you don’t make social media part of your marketing mix as soon as you can. Plus, most of what I said about social media above just isn’t true.
Business has always been a social enterprise, between people who know each other. People have always done business with friends, family, people they went to school with, to church with, worked on a charity with, bowled or played softball with. Social media gives your prospects an opportunity to meet you in a non-threatening arena and build familiarity with you before even thinking about doing business with you.
Your other media, online and offline, creates an introduction for prospects, but that’s a stranger introducing himself. Most people, especially big ticket buyers, don’t go from an ad to buying from a new vendor. They want to vet you first. And because of social media, they can really dig into who you are.
They will look at your website so that has to be a great representation of what you have to offer. But your website is a brochure – a commercial for your company – which makes it mostly a one sided conversation or monologue.
In the social arena prospects can check you out on LinkedIn or Face Book, follow you on Twitter or Tumblr, and see you on YouTube, thereby getting to know you better. Pretty soon you’re not a stranger anymore.
Those are the more passive ways social media can help you nurture relationships that become customers. There are many ways to be more active in social media while maintaining a non-threatening presence.
Here’s another benefit. You often don’t have to create new content for your social media campaigns. Though the creative used in your social campaign varies a little from your other marketing, all of your marketing needs to follow one strategy, right? That allows content you’ve created for any other media (TV spots, product sheets, PR, brochures) to be used on your social networks. Then dissemination of that information costs next to nothing.
But wait! There’s more. Reputation is more important than ever because anyone with an internet connection has access to it. Obviously, the best way to keep your reputation squeaky clean is to always deliver a fantastic product or service in a flawless way. Even when achieving that things can happen. When you’re involved in social media, you can monitor and, to a significant extent, control what the market is saying about you. When unpleasant stuff gets out, you can react immediately to reverse the situation. If you don’t want to do that monitoring yourself, excellent companies like Reputation.com will be glad to do it for you.
Digital marketing is a fact of life. And social media is now an integral part of the digital marketing and communications landscape. Every day programmers and engineers are working on very creative ways to make social media more relevant to every aspect of business. It’s a support media and not going to replace your primary marketing drive, but it’s a tool you can pick up and start using today.
This article covers the tip of the social media iceberg. If you’d like to know more or hear about a few case studies, please let us know via the form on our contact us page.
The art for this article came from blog.spoon graphics.