The “What” of Social Media Marketing
Marketing in its most basic form is simply promoting a product or service to a buyer. Today this still is true, but now the road to the buyer is becoming more difficult to travel. Many years ago – when bell bottom pants were fashionable or when Neil Patrick Harris was genius man-child – print and televised marketing ruled sales, and figuring out how to get your audience was much simpler. Today we see social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being used to progress companies. People have recognized the value of social media and those who understand this odd market, will progress. Whereas businesses that stick to more conventional methods will be going the way of the dinosaur. Extinct. I find that with social media there are three main points that must be hit, and you cannot have one without the other. Today I would like to focus on the “What” of social media marketing.
What do you have to offer me, the potential customer? I cannot tell you how many times I have logged on to Facebook to “like” a business or product only to “unlike” them two weeks later! Why? It might have something to do with the spam-like mails and posts I receive every day. No body cares about your amazing company or your revolutionary service! Well, that may not be entirely true. I would care and might actually buy it if I didn’t feel “played” or trapped every time I was online. I hear and see enough advertising on the radio, television and while driving; I don’t want my free time online to be compromised as well.
Let’s be honest for two minutes. Your company (to you) is amazing and Gods gift to earth. However, not as many people see it quite like you. They may appreciate your service, but more often than not it is replaceable. Businesses must think more like a buyer, and until that time, companies will continue to alienate their consumer. Let’s say you are managing social media marketing for a hypothetical paper company. Your company makes great paper, and I sometimes buy your product – when I remember you. I might be shopping at an office supply store and notice your paper is on sale. I might buy a box or two just because it’s a great deal. I might be so impressed that I “like” you on Facebook or Follow you on Twitter, but what this really means is that you now have a limited window of opportunity to secure me as a return customer. Send me spammy ads and I will conclude that your number one goal is promoting yourself and inflating your ego. Your hypothetical paper company just lost a repeat customer. The consumer has never been in control of the market as much as today.
The “What” will determine the speed at which your company will progress; neglect the “What”, and you neglect your buyer. I would not consider myself to be “green”, but I do wish I were more “green”. This imaginary paper company should have told me that their paper is made of 70% recycled materials. I would be nice to see that they care about something other than themselves. The bottom line is this. Make me feel like a customer you lose; make me feel like a friend or equal you win. Give, give and give some more until your followers are indebted to you. That way, when you finally ask for them to buy, they will remember you.
Social media is changing the marketing game. Can you adapt?
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