When I mention “Social Media” to most marketers, they immediately think – Facebook, YouTube, “viral”, Myspace, Linkedin, Blogs and Twitter – and launch into a conversation on how they can leverage them.
While these are all great potential tools in your social media toolbox, and creating a social media presence can be extremely valuable, but creating “official profiles” for all of them, in my opinion, is NOT the Holy Grail of Social Media Marketing.
OK, so what is the Most Important Thing that I can do on Social Media?
Find people who are already talking about you (both good and bad) and engage them.
To do this all you need is the right attitude and an email account. You don’t need a big budget.
Think about it this way – How much money would you spend on a blogger outreach/engagement program? How effective would it be? Or to make a Facebook App? Or to build a “viral” campaign?
What if… you could find people who are already interested in your brand and get them talking about you?
The key difference?
Push marketing vs. Pull marketing (with the right encouragement).
Push Social Media Marketing = The company initiates the conversation and pushes the message out to consumers. Think Facebook pages, Creating a twitter account and following a bunch of people, Launching Viral Videos and trying to seed them, etc.
Pull Social Media Marketing = The consumer/audience initiates the conversation and the company responds, inspires and encourages. Think about the people who may already be mentioning your product online?
Why does it matter?
You will (typically) spend more time and energy with worse results on push vs. pull social media marketing.
Essentially you are:
- Generating buzz
- Building word of mouth
- Encouraging and inspiring conversations
- Showing you care
- Creating brand advocates and evangelists
- Making people LOVE you
- Building positive brand equity
All with highly vocal and connected consumers.
How it Works!!
Scan social media for people who are already saying things about your brand (both positive and negative).
- Talk back to them
- Thank them
- Send them something free
- Offer them exclusive access to something
- Show them you care
- Tell them they matter
- Be transparent and genuine
- Offer and explanation or solution to a complaint (most people are reasonable)
- Make them fee important
Find the people who already talk about your brand and give them a reason to talk about you and like you more.
Why it Works
- Those who are active online have amplified voices. They have audiences. Your reach is greater than one person.
- People like to feel listened to.
- People like to feel important.
- It is genuine.
What do you think?
Are there brands that are doing this well (I’ll follow up with examples tomorrow)?
Is this the most important thing that brands can be doing on social media? What matters more?
– Krista Neher