We have the good fortune to speak with many manufacturers in the process of developing potential partnerships and often hear prospective partners ask a lot about social marketing and Twitter campaigns. As part of the process of honoring the request we do an analysis of their existing online profit center. Following the analysis, we schedule a time to discuss what next steps need to be taken to prepare for social marketing. In almost all cases, there needs to be some content development and site preparation prior to the social marketing effort.
Recently I was reading Jim Connolly’s blog, titled Jim’s marketing Blog, Marketing Ideas for small & medium sized businesses, which has some excellent content for businesses of any size. The subject line was “Give your business an immediate boost with these 3 great questions” Following is an excerpt from his blog:
- What was the last service you recommended to someone and what motivated you to recommend it?
- Who was the last person to leave an extremely positive impression on you, and what was it that impressed you?
- What was the last website or blog you shared with your social network, and why did you share it?
- What would you add as a 4th question?
Of course the answer to the questions is really what creates social currency with the customer. Once these questions are answered and applied to your specific business, it is much easier to improve the site to create more positive customer experiences and response. We often apply three simple components that help us begin to “build” the relationship with the customer, leading to the long-term relationship and positive recommendation:
- Educate where possible – In addition to the product or service, customers often want to know the inside story. Sharing useful, relevant information results in the creation of valuable content that visitors may want to share with others.
- Respond quickly – If you have correctly provided your visitors with access to a contact email address monitor often and respond quickly.
- Ask your customers for their input – apply when useful. Recognize that your product or service is not the center of the visitor’s world. They are! How can you provide them with an opportunity to shine? The story that involves your customer is more important than the story about your product or services. Take a look at Jones Soda to see how far you can go make the customer the center of your focus and the story.
If you are ready to take full advantage of the power of social marketing you will find considerable rewards. Before taking that step, prepare your site and optimize so you are easily found, develop relevant content and prepare to engage with your prospects.
My answer to Jim Connoll’s 4th question would be; Are you marketing to or with? We endeavor to market with our audience and encourage feedback and comments. Until next week!