Online Markerting Trends
Back in the day when WWW was all the rage (1998 – 2004) and everyone was talking about having a web page, the entire industry was hit all of a sudden by a huge amount of “website builder architect designer” people. Everyone was an expert, and the industry was full of geek speak mixed with smoke and mirrors that just made you feel really out of touch.
Well it’s here again, but this time Papa’s got a brand new bag. It’s social marketing and media and there’s so much of the same that’s happening that you’re heads going to turn.
There is a term in marketing called social validation – explained by Wikipedia as “a phenomenon in which people are more willing to take a recommended step if they see evidence that many others, especially similar others, are taking it“. In other words, do what your competitors do or what the social cowboys tell you to do.
So lets firstly clarify one of the big reason to adopt a social marketing strategy
Why do you want to build a relationship with your customers?
Here’s my thoughts on it – The primary aim of social marketing is “social good”, while in commercial marketing the aim is mainly “financial”.
So if you’re thinking that you feel it’s important to build a relationship with potential customers in which you provide insights and offer your opinion without the expectation of getting something in return, then this is a great start. Naturally what happens here is, you build a better relationship with your potential customers and as a result, they are more likely to consider you if you provide a solution to their needs. While you’re building this relationship you’re also building your brand – in a positive way.
What should your goals be?
There are loads to consider, however for the purpose of simplicity lets outline 2
Goal a: Acquire new followers
Goal b: Increase Loyalty.
How do you do that?
a) Add some simple social media connections to your website and email.
The immediate: For your website look at Add This. It’s a very simple process for your web guy to handle.
When you’re ready to create your twitter, facebook, linked and any other social media account – finding the simple solution to adding these to your site in place of the simple addthis system is daunting. We found a few tools helped us.
- WordPress has some great social plugins – the one we use right now is Share & Follow
- DandyID – Simply put, DandyID allows you to store your various online social identities in one place. They have over 300 social networks you can add to your profile. Obviously this is an overkill, however what they want to do ids offer the right choice depending on your needs.
- For email signature we really like Wise Stamp. Using Thunderbird it was a snap to set up, and their tips and articles pages have loads of additional resources for setting up alternate options. Hotmail was not available at the time of writing this, however one of our clients has word from them that it is in the pipeline.
We will touch base and review more options here shortly (feel free to follow us on twitter and we will update when we post a new blog)
OK so to address Goal B – increase loyalty, I feel as though you have to give and help out others while using social media. So feel free to write about the things that you’re passionate about and things of interest to you as a business. This is basics 101. The second part to this is listen to what your followers and potential new customers are saying. To do this you can use a host of different platforms.
You can just log into Twitter itself or try using a platform such as the ones below. Some of the advantages of these platforms include the ability to manage both personal and business accounts as well as Linked In, Four Square
Tools For Managing & Listening
Hootsuite - huge interface with an iphone / ipad app as well as web and desktop versions. The ability to manage multiple accounts and a real nice statistic tool that brings in your Google Analytic account to help cross reference tweet traffic. Lots of power in this puppy and takes a bit of time behind the wheel to get the most from it, but well worth it.
Tweetdeck – very similar to Hootsuite, however it has some other subtle differences in usability. One of the tools I like here is the simple way you can view new followers to your twitter account and interact directly with them with a nice “howdy” back.
Sprout Social – my new favorite social tool. I love the simplicity of this one and also the power to mange my daily tweets. Like the first 2 you have the ability to schedule tweets and promotions, however the ease in which you can monitor competitors is very attractive. I also like the discovery tool which allows you to use a set of keywords to then be presented with tweets similar in nature – it’s a great way to research. They have mentioned to us that there is an app in the making for mobile devices as well – can’t wait to see that.
Don’t forget why you’re doing this while you emerge yourself in all of this technology – you’re here to give. One of the best ways to show your appreciation now you have a following is to reward the people that advocate your business and engage/applaud your followers. Offer solution and help, provide information to them that makes their life better, easier, faster, smarter. After all – recognition is a great thing to be able to offer someone and something we all enjoy receiving.
To be honest with you this post has grown far larger than I indented and there are so many social tools I would like to discuss, so perhaps I will begin again with a who’s what of social media and marketing in the next article.
While this is compiled – if you find a great resource for social measurement, please feel free to leave a comment and I will check it out.