Social media is changing the marketing landscape. Small businesses who are early adopters of the “new“ marketing will find a set of useful tools for growing their companies. In this post, we share tips gleaned from a webinar by Hootsuite.com: “The New Social Media CMO: 5 Ways Your Competition is not Leveraging Social, Yet” led by social media gurus, Ian Wolfson and Mark McKinney of MeplusYou.com.
There’s more to a social media presence than merely making daily posts. People want to follow something they believe in; most won’t “follow” or “like” a page just because it has a pretty banner photo. To leverage the time you spend on the Web and social media, you’ll need more than a pretty “face.” Here are some tips to consider:
- Be “That” Guy. Most of us know someone who always seems to have the right thing to say in nearly every situation. Most likely, “that person” is able to reply appropriately because he or she listens closely to what is being said and asks questions such as “Why do you like…?” and “What is it about (whatever) that you value most?” This is referred to “actively listening.” These are good practices to follow on social media, as well.
The takeaway: Take the time to develop a real personality for your brand.
- Take A Stand. Avoid your first instinct to tell people how good you are. Social media is a place to discuss issues or topics while respecting to those who interact, to build relationships and to engage deeply. Talk about what your company believes in, not just what services you offer. Take stands on social issues that represent what your company believes in; avoid being controversial merely to be contrary. Use your social media space to take a stand, but let your followers talk for you about your brand.
The takeaway: Raw passion equals authenticity.
- Be Today’s Tom Sawyer. Tom Sawyer enlisted his friends to “help” him whitewash a fence, then he sat back and watched. Interestingly, not only did his friends do the work, but they actually enjoyed it!
Some have said that people should not be called “human beings” but rather we should be called “human doings,” because we like to feel we are making progress. When you have fans/followers who truly like what you do, they will help spread the word about your company for you. Brands with a good story can ask their friends/followers to work on their behalf. These people will advocate, “market,” provide customer service, and even help with crowd-sourcing for you.
The takeaway: Let your friends be ambassadors for your company.
- Practice Cultural Acupuncture. The goal of acupuncture is not to change but rather to realign things and cultivate them to help you improve. On social media, your goal is not getting people to “Like” your brand on your social media page. Aligning your brand image and cultivating a positive image takes friends and fans who talk positively about you around the Web and in your community.
Help your friends and fans understand your values, social graces, expectations, etiquette and sales message so they will represent you well. When you participate in an online or “live” community event, show a natural curiosity about others who are there and the cause represented, roll up your sleeves and get involved.
- Listen to what the community is saying about their cause.
- Be respectful.
- Delay talking about your brand until it has been acknowledged and embraced as valuable to the community.
This will earn you points as being a brand that cares about the community.
The takeaway: Join a community whose the focus, messages, and leadership align with your core values; listen and get involved. This way you may build numerous company ambassadors.
- Redefine ROI. When it comes to social media activities, the return is not always in revenue. Rather than measuring social media return on investment (ROI) in money, measure it the following:
- Brand equity – When consumers have trust in your product, they will typically give the brand a pass if the brand makes a mistake (think Toyota and the issue with their brakes). When you have earned their trust, people may admonish you if you make a mistake, but they will not abandon you.
- Transactional indicators – Ask yourself: Did the social media work result in a sale? Did customer/client come to the store or to your website? What direct or indirect paths did they client take to find you?
- Word of Mouth –What can you do to generate buzz? What kind of sentiment did you generate when the action was taken?
Approaching social media with the goal of “sales only” is not likely to generate a positive return overall. Being real with people and building trust is the better option. Unlike traditional advertising, social media provides a two-way conversation; talk with people, not at people, as it will help to develop trust.
The takeaway: Don’t measure only the monetary of social media. Take the time to build trust and see how people are finding and relating to you.
Want to know more? Find the full webinar on Hootsuite.
Social media and developing your online presence are important aspects of branding your services/product in the new marketing landscape. Raleigh’s Page Progressive is available and ready to help you navigate the terrain. Contact us today to learn we can partner with you to help build your business.