First you need to understand what social media is and how it works, it works through the ability to share. You are communicating with your clients the same message you are in “real life” in any other marketing form The better you understand traditional marketing, the better you will do with social media marketing. Use social media as part of your marketing plan and set goals. What does this mean for small businesses? It means you can do it.
Second you need to keep in mind that social media is real life, and it is fairly permanent so be careful of what you put out there. If you are not comfortable walking up to a client and saying something out loud, don’t post it on your social media account. Be professional, overly polite (don’t let other people assume anything negative from your messages) and be authentic. Be who you really are, it’s much easier than trying to create a persona. Represent your company as true to the brand as possible and demand the same of your employees. If you have other people managing your social media accounts, put your expectations and guidelines in writing.
The third part to understanding Social media marketing is that to successfully participate you have to know the informal expectations of participants Facebook is like a pub, it’s an informal place to talk casually with people and get to know them on a more personal basis. Your conversations can run the gamut from weather to jokes to your favorite band and when you see a friend across the room you invite them to your table. LinkedIn is like a trade show, depending on the group it can be relaxed or stuffy but it is for business professionals to connect and talk about business. You don’t need to share a funny story about your dog. You don’t want to be scribbling your name and number on scrap paper for everyone you meet, you will look unprofessional. Twitter is like a cocktail party, energetic, fast paced and many conversations happening all at once. You can jump around and mingle but you rarely get into a deep conversation, you take it to a quieter room (ie email). You also might share the information you just learned from the previous conversation with the next people you run into. You always bring a hostess gift or something to share at the party, ie a bottle of wine. Blogging is like giving a presentation at a conference. You want people to be engaged and entertained and you can encourage them to approach you with questions after the presentation and you want to provide them with a leave behind that they can share with others.
Social media is a tool in your marketing toolbox, just like a brochure or commercial or newspaper ad. If you have a bad brochure it does you no good, if you have a bad social media presence it does you no good. Social media marketing is only as good as you make it. Chances are you’re not going to out-do the big players on social media, but you can compete right along with your off-line competitors. You want to be efficient and make the most of the time you put into your efforts, use tools like Hootsuite to help schedule in advance. It’s not a billboard that you put up for 6 months and never update. The success of social media is in participating and engaging your customers
That's why you're in business: so more and more customers can find you, buy from you and tell everyone that they know how great you are. Chances are your customers are already using social media for personal reasons and they may already be talking about your company. If Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world. In marketing you want to go where the customers are, the customers are on social media. This is word of mouth times thousands.
Charmin released an iPhone app called, Sit or Squat , which allows you to locate, rate, comment on and even add the whereabouts of a clean public toilet. The feature-rich application also allows you to narrow your search to bathrooms that have a baby-changing station (as one of many examples). This crowd-sourced initiative has been downloaded millions of times. Charmin is enabling and empowering people like you and me to share with the intent of having a better bathroom experience (with the hope you'll consider buying Charmin toilet paper as you make your way through your grocer's aisle). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuthD3DIodc
Traditionally companies would put an ad out there, people would see it and slowly become aware of a product. Then they would start to think “Maybe I need something like that” and they would develop a preference for a particular brand based on those ads or maybe by what they heard from a friend over coffee. Then they decide to purchase the product and they love it so they buy it again.
Of course marketing and sales go hand-in-hand and the marketing funnel directly relates to the sales cycle. Your goal is to move your prospects to your customers and hopefully to evangelists. (The people who love your product or service so much that they tell everyone to go out and get it.) This would be me with a Mr. Clean Magic Erasers! I love them, if you haven’t tried it go out and buy one, buy a pack. Pepsi vs Coke
The path gets more complicated now that people are involved with social media. Even if you are not out there talking about your brand, someone else might be. Prospects still see advertisements but they also see unsolicited advice from friends posted on facebook and since facebook is now tied in to amazon.com they can read peer reviews from people they’ve never even met. That content is user-generated so the companies don’t even have to do anything. They also see ads on the side of the page that tell them about the competition. Eventually a prospect becomes a buyer, but they may also become a contributor, someone who will hopefully be an evangelist for you. - 90% of consumers trust peer reviews -14 % trust advertisements
These are the social media sites and what they are used for. It is overwhelming and it’s a year old so it’s already out-of-date, Google+ isn’t on here but it will be a big player going forward.
Even if you don’t think you’re ready to create original content for social media or even interact in conversations you should at least start listening to the conversations and see what people are saying. - if people are talking about you, you want to know. If it is good, you want to thank them. If it is bad, you want to change/control the conversation.
Google alerts, set up a key word search for example “North Dakota Young Professionals” so that when a blog post or news article or forum mentions your keywords you will be notified. Can set up notifications to be emailed 1 a day, 1 a week, etc (does not need to be a gmail account) free
Google reader simplifies the blog world, rss feed collector. Choose 3 or 4 blogs (or more) you think might be interesting, related to the fields you work in and then add them to your subscriptions. Then you can log in and read all the articles in one location rather than having to visit a bunch of sites every day. (must have google account) free
Hootsuite, great tool to use for posting to facebook, twitter, linkedin, wordpress, myspace, foursquare, etc but you can also use it to listen for keywords and follow conversations, particularly twitter (free and advanced paid version)
You want to establish yourself as an expert in your industry without saying “Buy our product, it’s great”. This is the hardest part for traditional marketers to understand, although many of the same goals and objectives are relevant – the approach is different. People know when they are being sold to and they don’t like it.
This is a screenshot of the NDYP facebook page if you are not a fan of it. Notice our goal is to increase awareness by asking people to like the page. This generates news on their friends pages and spreads awareness. This is important because very few people ever visit a company facebook page more than once. They will visit it and forget or visit and like and then read the posts on their wall. *Note about posts, three factors play into whether or not your post shows up on someone’s page 1. how often they have liked or commented on your posts in the past 2. how often other people like or comment on your posts 3. how recently the item was posted. So the top ranked posts default to be shown on an individual’s wall. Users can change to most recent or show only certain types of posts but few ever do. How do you get them to like your posts or comment on your posts? Say something interesting, not a sales push. I would say about 1/3 of your content can be directly related to talking about your good/service. For instance “Summer is here and it’s time to break out the sandals so stop in for a pedicure. Don’t your feet deserve some TLC?” 1/3 about things loosely related to your industry “What’s your favorite summer scent and then do a poll 1.lavendar 2.vanilla 3.lemongrass 4.other” and 1/3 completely random “Wow it’s hot outside, hope you’re staying cool today!”
Ask your friends and family to become fans first, chances are they are excited to help promote you. Let your current customers know you are on Facebook with a sign on your window or by the register, chances are they will add you without hesitation Add your facebook address to your business cards, flyers, print ads, etc to reach a bigger crowd. In May Facebook changed the rules for promotions yet again, if you are going to try to run a facebook promotion campaign do some research first. Can’t have people like your page to enter a contest. After awhile, with good content, your followers will grow organically
We all know the old method of Cold Calls, anyone here like doing cold calls? I don’t.
http://youtu.be/B6kbHR403JU This is where you get to prove your professional worth. Get recommendations, give recommendations, post in groups, answer questions, search for the connections you want to make and ask for introductions.
We all know it’s cheaper to keep the customers you have than to generate knew ones, so what can you offer your current customers to keep them coming back. Happy customers make fewer calls to customer service, buy more and tell friends.
Facebook Customer Service story. Pottery Barn proves that exceptional customer service online doesn’t always translate offline. One customer, Jennifer Hellum, sought customer service after the glass top on her Pottery Barn table shattered in the extreme Arizona heat last summer. Calling the customer service line and the store where she bought the table didn’t get her anywhere. A few weeks later, she posted photos of the tabletop explosion on Pottery Barn’s Facebook fan page. Within 30 minutes she had a call from a customer relations representative who worked with her to find a new tabletop and reimbursed her for it. If Pottery Barn wasn’t online listening this could have spiraled – “don’t buy Pottery Barn furniture, it breaks in heat” and they may never would have known why sales were falling.
Make your content easy to share, don’t block sharing or require log-ins to reach important info. Thank your evangelists and give them tools to do your selling.
-Notice who it is posted by, not Windows. -Other people are now saying why they like it -Even have someone making their own video response -There are dislikes and that’s okay, there are dislikes offline. Now at least you have a measurement of how many people you need to convert. They may have even provided some comments on how you can convert them! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9V7NoRjI0H0
If you have a fear that someone is going to say something bad about you, realize that they are going to say those things regardless of whether or not you are involved online. If there are that many people talking bad about you, perhaps you need to look deeper into your business practices.
Measuring is one aspect we didn’t delve into but all social media has measurement tools, google analytics, facebook insights, youtube insights, hootsuite has tracking data. Keep track of what works and what doesn’t but remember that marketing results take time. How long does a yellow pages ad take to generate foot traffic? Social media will be faster than that if done right.
Harnessing the Power of Social Media MARKETING Assessing and understanding social media resources. -Laurie Morse-Dell, Center for Technology & Business
1. Know what Social Media Marketing is <ul><li>Use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue with ability to share </li></ul><ul><li>It is still MARKETING </li></ul>
What does that mean for small businesses? <ul><li>It means you can do it. </li></ul>
2. Understand that Social Media is Real Life <ul><li>Bring it back to real life & be authentic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Would you say or do what you are proposing to do on social media in “real life”? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If not, don’t do it. </li></ul></ul></ul>Photo by purplemattfish
3. Follow the Informal Rules of Social Media <ul><li>Each social media tool has it’s own social guidelines. </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook = a pub: bring a friend </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn = trade show: bring business card </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter =cocktail party: bring a hostess gift </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging = keynote presentation: bring a leave-behind </li></ul>
4. Be Realistic <ul><li>Social media is just another tool. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is not the silver bullet for your marketing problems </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not every brand is going to do as well as Starbucks or Nike </li></ul><ul><li>Time is money, make the most of it </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t set it and forget it, social media marketing requires interaction and conversation </li></ul>
What does that mean for small businesses? <ul><li>Set achievable goals so you don’t burn out. </li></ul>
Should I Use Social Media for my Small Business Marketing? <ul><li>S hould my business be sharing who we are and what we do with the public? </li></ul><ul><li>If you want more and more customers to find you, buy from you and share how much they love you… </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yes. </li></ul></ul></ul>
I still don’t think it relates to my business… <ul><li>Do you think it relates to toilet paper? </li></ul>
So what tools should you use for your small business? <ul><li>It depends on what you want to accomplish… </li></ul>
Find Prospects - Listen <ul><li>Listening for potential customers at their point of need allows you to identify and make them aware </li></ul><ul><li>ANY size business should listen </li></ul><ul><li>You never know what you might hear… </li></ul>Photo by tomhe
Tips for Small Businesses <ul><li>Recruit your current customer base first </li></ul><ul><li>Put your Facebook address on your off-line promotional materials </li></ul><ul><li>Form alliances with other companies for joint giveaways – it will help bring their likers to your page, and vice versa. </li></ul>
Generate Leads <ul><li>Identify interested buyers </li></ul><ul><li>Provide direct contact </li></ul>
Lead Generation Tools <ul><li>LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>E-newsletters </li></ul>http://youtu.be/B6kbHR403JU
Tips for Small Businesses <ul><li>Set up your personal profile first, then your business </li></ul><ul><li>Add your current contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Give recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Get involved in groups </li></ul><ul><li>Use advanced people search to find more contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for introductions </li></ul>
Customers <ul><li>Support: Keep the customers you gain. What else can you offer them to make them evangelists </li></ul><ul><li>Research: Poll your followers for ideas on product improvements or new services </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives: Give them coupons/special offers </li></ul>
Customer Support Tools <ul><li>You don’t have to be a big business to go the extra mile for your clients. </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook: Support, Market Research </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube: How to videos </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn: Market Research </li></ul><ul><li>E-newsletters: Incentives (mailchimp.com) </li></ul>
Tips for Small Businesses <ul><li>Offer the same great customer service on-line as you do off-line </li></ul><ul><li>Be personable’ </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for feedback, it can only help </li></ul>
Evangelists <ul><li>Allow fans to tell your story </li></ul><ul><li>Give them as much information and assets as possible </li></ul><ul><li>You never know what they are going to create for you </li></ul><ul><li>It will be authentic because it will be in their words </li></ul>
Tools to Support Evangelists <ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>LinkedIn </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>List is endless! </li></ul>
Tips for Small Businesses <ul><li>Don’t be afraid to let customers talk about you, they want to help you </li></ul>
So now what… <ul><li>Remember to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with a consistent message that you share on and off line </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find where your audience is by listening </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Share the consistent message and engage the audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create evangelists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measure, ask your customers where they heard about you </li></ul></ul>
Start with LinkedIn! linkd.in .com/in/lauriedell