Social Media Strategies Are Smart Not Lame

03/28/2007

Last week I had the best time meeting marketers who are on the social media cutting edge or are open to learning how the shift in the way people communicate, circa 2007 and beyond, is changing/has changed the marketing paradigm. I really do enjoy the teaching aspects of introducing people to the exciting world of social media marketing.

Although I admit to taking a sip or two of the kool-aid, let's get real Diva dahlings -  talking with and listening to customers is Not a new idea. No matter what some bloggers may think there were companies and marketers who cared about customers, service and doing the right thing BB (before blogs).

Technology (oh that scary geeky word!) has given us the ability to know each other again in ways that were impossible ever since we became an on-the-move global society. How many people do you know who still live in their childhood neighborhoods?

"So far away. Doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore? It would be so fine to see your face at my door. Doesn't help to know you're just time away." Carol King

Blogs, wikis, mash-up communities, podcasts, vlogs, virtual communities are vehicles that can help reestablish theBakery_customers_1 corner grocery store relationship. By that I mean a time when people knew who their customers were and what was important to them. How did they know? Shopkeepers took the time to kibbutz with their customers. They intuitively understood that the relationship was the heart of a successful business. Ironically, it is these new tech tools that are the keys to opening the doors of  conversations with our customers that will to rebuild an old fashion type of relationship.

However, our world has grown complex and competition is more intense every day. Without developing goals and objectives, that support company out comes, blogs/social media marketing tactics are "me too play toys" that might be make you appear cool at your next cocktail party but little more.

Putting a structure on a social media strategy does not mean your conversation is any less real or relevant. It means you have a focus that defines success - goals & objectives - and identifies a niche … you can’t be all things to all people. To help you begin to put a strategy into place, here are -

10 Social Media Strategy Suggestions

  1. Open customer communications .. listen and learn
  2. Reinforce Branding 
  3. Improve Customer service
  4. Secure Lead generation/new business opportunities
  5. Reinforce loyalty marketing
  6. Secure customer feedback
  7. Lift search engine rankings
  8. Build community
  9. Increase awareness (viral marketing/word of mouth)
  10. Secure media attention

At BlogHer Business 07, Amy Gahran, The Right Conversation, presented an interesting concept on how to look at the value of social media. Amy's concept begins with the premise that we should consider how our customers affect us versus how we affect them through social media marketing.  Diva Amy asks, "Shouldn't we closely consider, and start accounting for, the value that people bring to us when we open up to them?"

"Each "value-add" on this list relates to existing typical business processes for which we already quantify costs, revenue, savings, or efficiency."

Value-add: ideas, creativity, and extra information or analysis
Process/Department: R&D

Value-add: Insight from diverse perspectives, including disagreement or disapproval Process/Department: Quality Assurance

Value-add: Validation and motivation, from experiencing the focused attention of others and seeing ourselves reflected in what they say and do
Process/Department: HR: compensation and benefits

Value-add: Goodwill, especially forbearance and forgiveness when we miss opportunities or screw up
Process/Department: PR and Legal

Value-add: Trust, the foundation of human society and economics. If we didn't know how to trust, we'd still be clubbing each other over the head and stealing each other's lunch. Money itself represents trust. After all, it's just tokens with numbers -- we trust that we can exchange it for value.
Process/Department: Sales

Lessons Learned: What is old is new again.

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Comments

Couldn't agree with this post more.. There are lots of little things you can do to win over your visitors. Only limited to your imagination..

Posted by: LonelyBloggers on Mar 28, 2007 7:47:18 AM

Diva, you are spot on. Today's customers demand constant improvement. Blogging is a miraculous tool that allows nimble companies, big and small, to quickly gather customer input -- the good, bad and the ugly -- and then put that information to good use. However, as you say, we can't be all things to all people. Before acting on every Tom, Dick and Sally's every wish, a good strategic planning process and understanding of our mission, should keep us rooted so that we know which consumer feedback to take to heart and which to politely ignore.

Posted by: Katie Riker Sternberg on Mar 29, 2007 10:06:34 AM

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