“The only thing that will never change is human nature. When given the choice, people will always spend their time around people they like.” Gary Vaynerchuk
Paradigm Shift with Social Media Marketing
Traditional marketers think they can use social networking sites to spread their message the same way they use traditional media platforms like print, radio, TV, and expect the similar results.
It is a massive cultural shift that has profoundly affected the way society uses the greatest platform ever invented, the Internet. Social media makes the Internet an open, level playing field where any limits to how far you want to spread your message and your brand are self-imposed. The biggest shift occurred when the Internet began allowing for two-way conversation.
More and more, people are making business and consumer decisions based on what they see talked about on social media platforms. It’s up to you to make them care, which means you have to care first.
Social media represents a gigantic power shift back to the consumer.
Consumers have more direct, daily contact with other consumers than has ever been possible in the history of the planet. More contact means more sharing of information, exchanging, engaging, in short, more word of mouth.
Take every customer (B2B or B2C) seriously because you never know who they know.
You Can’t Wait and Be Left Behind Your Competition.
If you wait until Social Media “proves itself” before deciding to engage with your customers one-on-one, you will have missed your greatest window of opportunity to move ahead of your competitors.
You can ignore social media, resist it, but that doesn’t make it go away or not affect your business. It also doesn’t mean that it isn’t a threat to your business.
Nielsen conducted a study on what drives consumer trust, the results were clear: almost 70 percent of people turn to family and friends for advice when making purchasing decisions.
If there is ROI in friendship and family, there would be ROI in social media. “We often forget the symbiotic relationship between trust and ROI,” says Pete Blackshaw, author of “Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000.”
When faced with two equal choices, people often buy for no other reason than they associate one choice with someone they know. The ROI of a company’s engagement with a customer scales in proportion to the bonds of the relationship.
Companies can’t buy volume in Social Media
Embarking on one-to-one customer engagement offers significant long-term rewards, but the company will also experience immediate benefits
- Greater brand awareness
- Stronger brand loyalty
- Increased word of mouth
- Improved understanding of customer needs
- Better, faster consumer feedback
Relationships take time to develop. Lasting friendships take emotional investment. Keep in mind, though, the number of people you connect with is far less important than the quality of those connections.
You can’t Buy Fans
Low numbers can hurt a brand. Even if you could take over someone else’s fan base to boost your numbers, those numbers exist only because of the relationship that was built, a relationship entirely dependent upon a sustained authentic interaction between brand and customer.
Start your Social Media Marketing Today
If you rely on numbers to predict the health of your company, you are responding to shifts and events that have already happened. If you rely on comments cards, surveys for feedback, you are still only getting a one-time reply. But if you are engaging with your customer in real time, having a conversation in which you can ask follow up questions, you can get clarification and details. You can tackle any issue that arises before it develops into something more problematic. Social media is great for putting out fires, but putting out fires all the time is stressful and hard. Keep the sparks from flying the in the first place.