Integrating social media into your traditional marketing program is more than “friending”, “following”, and Facebook ads.
Social Media’s strength revolves around trust. Only 55% of Americans trust advertising, but 78% of respondents said they trusted the recommendations of other consumers. (2007 Nielsen Report)
Building trust takes time. And social media exposure, “friending” one person at a time, can take weeks, months, even years to accumulate the numbers to gather an army of “evangelists” that will add wings to an effective social media program.
While you are busy building the trust of an army of friends, consider leveraging traditional marketing/PR tactics by bringing in a sense of “believability” with your social media friends by driving your prospects and potential customers to online destinations where conversations are built to deliver long-term brand results.
Before embarking on any campaign — using traditional marketing/PR or social media tactics, you must first:
#1: Identify the outcome you want to achieve
Social media is an excellent venue for reputation management. . . making your brand believable and trustable. But what do you want to happen? All the conversation and trust in the world, won’t add to your financial balance sheet if you don’t tell people what you want them to do once they “trust” and “believe” you.
Also, are you equipped to handle and manage the massive influx of orders once the world trusts and believes in you?
#2: Who is the audience . . your ideal clients. . . who do you want to work with?
Go beyond general demographics. What do they look like, sound like and whom do they hang out with when they’re using your product? At what stage are they in their lives? In their career?
#3: Where is the audience located?
Social Media opens up the world, or targets specific demographics. It’s your choice. Experiment with Facebook ads to draw people to your Facebook/website blog and discussion boards. Create different messages for different audiences and test them.
#4: How can I connect with my audience?
By “listening” to your friends and others, you can uncover what’s bothering/upsetting them? What they desire; what they want; what they need.
#5: How do I extend the conversation?
This is really about having a 2-way/multi-way conversation. Once you’ve made that initial contact and gained permission to have an ongoing conversation, start by really listening, offering suggestions, and positively interactively.
#6: How can I get my audience to introduce me to others?
This is the challenging part, you have to think beyond the conversation to the “recommendation”. Recommendations are where the real money lies, so think about how you can get them from your customers and evangelists.
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