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What is social media marketing?

Social media marketing is the process of delivering value to the consumer in online communities where they congregate. By delivering value via social media channels, potential customers will.

  1. Become aware of your business,
  2. Begin to build trust in your company,
  3. Begin to share your information with their peers,
  4. Ultimately begin to purchase products and services from you,

The key point all of this is delivering value to consumers where they congregate. It’s not about interrupting them or yelling at them to get their attention, as has often been the case with traditional marketing. It is no longer about them coming to you. It’s about you delivering value where they are.

Another key point to understand about social media marketing is it’s a two-way conversation where the consumer is an active participant. That’s a big difference from the world of traditional marketing. Which is a monologue consisting of you asking someone to buy from you and walking away before you even give them a chance to say “yes” or “no”. Social media marketing is about building a relationship through conversation with your target audience. In many cases the customer starts the dialogue and you are jumping in and participating in their conversation.

Social Media Marketing Guide

Because so much of it is about dialogue, social media marketing success is dependent on effective communication skills. It’s as much about communicating as it is about marketing. Skills such as acknowledging thoughts and opinions, offering advice, providing encouragement, and responding to questions are the tenets of an effective social media marketing campaign. In many ways social media marketing is the inside out and upside down marketing process. You almost need to take everything you’ve thought in the past about the way to get your marketing. Message out to your targeted audience and throw it out the window.

It’s like operating in the inverse of what you’ve always done before.

  • The old value-add has been replaced by leading with value. It’s about giving away something of value to your customer first and not waiting until they buy something from you before deliver value.
  • Rather than interrupting, you are now responding. In the world of social media you should respond to conversations and not interrupt them with your marketing message like a traditional radio commercial or a television commercial.
  • Instead of a monologue, communication is now a dialogue.
  • The company is no longer in control of the conversation; the customer is.
  • Barraging the customer to get their attention like a snake oil salesman has shifted to the role of camp counselor providing advice..

Social media marketing is the antithesis of what might have worked in the past. The world is changing and a revolution is occurring and people are expecting companies to behave differently as a result of this revolution.

Turning strangers into friends

This is done by searching for them and participating in social media conversations that are happening between customers,. potential customers, competitors, and partners. It is perfectly okay to engage in a conversation with a competitor or an influence’. Because your potential customers are able to see those conversations in the public domain.

Turning friends into customers

This is accomplished by leading with value, answering questions,. and waiting patiently to help people or companies improve their situation with your products or services. Remember you have something of value to offer or you would not be in business. Ultimately you need to get out of the mindset that you have something to sell and switch to finding a way to help an individual or a company achieve an objective by leveraging your product or service.

Turning customers into evangelists

Way to make this happen is to deliver a good product or service coupled with amazing customer service. Notice I said a good product and amazing customer service. This is an interesting component of social media. Your product doesn’t have to be amazing. At the end of the day that depends on what price you are offering, who are the customers you are trying to reach, and what value you produce. Whether or not you have a good product or an amazing product, you must be able to deliver amazing customer service. That’s a key part of social media marketing and turning customers into evangelists.

You then need to provide platforms for your customers to share their stories how much they love your company and love your service. These platforms would be your various social media accounts. Simply stated, this is word-of-mouth advertising on steroids.

Social media marketing from consumer perspective

Social media marketing is important to the consumer because we are quickly becoming a content-on-demand society. Customers have the power to consumer any type of content, an any from or fashion, from anywhere. Whether it’s on our phone, laptop, iPad, sitting in front of the television or at a sporting event, we can receive any type of content we want, whenever we want it. As a result, most people are tuning out commercials. Instead of relying on advertising, we’re using the web extensively to research information about products and services.

We want to buy and about ways to solve problems and improve our lives. We are also spending a lot of time on social media sites, engaging with Facebook, and LinkedIn, and Twitter to gather this information. In fact, we are also spending more time online than ever before. According to a Forrest-er Research Study from December 2010, Americans are spending as much time on the Internet as they do watching TV, with Internet usage soaring 121% over the previous five years. Additionally, a Pew research study from August 2010 cited these interesting facts regarding social media usage.

  • Nearly 50% of 50-64 year-olds are now active on social media !
  • 86% of Americans between the ages of 18-29 are active in social media.
  • 61% of the 30-49 crowd are active online.

By the chart below, you can see these segments are growing substantially over year.

Additional benefits to social media

So far we’ve touched on how to leverage social media to turn strangers into friends,. friends into customers and customers into evangelists. Now it’s time to help you see the other important benefits and components of social media that are important to your business.

Reputation Management

Reputation management is managing what is being said online, primarily within social sites,. About your company or the products and services that you provide. It’s important to understand that there are conversations going on in social media and the web about your industry, company, products and services,. Regardless of whether your company is active in the online communities. Let’s also dispel the myth that by having a presence and being active in social media.you are exposing yourself and inviting negative comments from your customers. I hear that a lot at the social media boot camps I present.

People come up to me and say they don’t want to get into social media marketing because they fear that as soon as they set up a Facebook page. Twitter account or a blog, customers will use those platforms to public-ally complain about their company. My response to them is the same as it is to you. Positive and negative conversations are already happening, so why not make sure you know where they are so you can address them quickly and effectively.

One value you’ll receive by getting in the game is you’re creating an opportunity for those conversations to happen. In an environment where you can react immediately and take control. Don’t think that just because you are getting into social media is the reason why are going to have to deal with reputation management. It’s just the smart and proactive response to what’s already happening in the world today.

Step by Step Social Media Marketing Tips

The goal for reputation management is respond first, then repair or reward. You will see throughout this chapter that reputation management isn’t just about dealing with negative issues and feedback regarding your brand. It’s also about having a strategy to maximize the positive reactions and make sure those people are being rewarded. these are the evangelists I alluded to earlier. leveraging evangelists is the Holy Grail when it comes to social media marketing.

Social media provides tremendous opportunities to showcase to your customers that you are listening and you care. A client of mine said there are two times during the file of a customer that you can prove you are worth the investment they made in you. One is at the time of the sale, when you made a compelling argument for them to say yes.

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