Social Media Is An Inbound Marketing Diamond In The Rough
Later on today after you’ve read this post, I want you to look around you as you walk to catch your train or drive home. How many people you see are on their smartphones?
Perhaps even every single one of them.
Only 5 years ago that would have been a stupid question to ask. Why would anyone be walking through the streets with their heads firmly buried within their phones?
I know, I even think the same thing today but it’s what we do. The world is changing at a rate we’ve never witnessed before and the rapid increase in capability of technology is what we have to thank for it.
Today the average human being spends 29% of their mobile usage on social media. 29%!!! We simply cannot ignore that figure.
The thing is, so many businesses do. It’s there right in front of our very eyes with every step we take, every bus or train journey, every spare second we get in our lives we check our phones and the majority of that usage is firmly held within the grasps of our social media profiles and interests into the lives of our friends, loved ones and most importantly for us – what our favorite brands and businesses have to say.
But, there is a problem.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS JUST A BOX TICKED FOR SO MANY BUSINESSES
If the eyes and the ears of our customers are paying attention to the activity within social media, then why is there so little concern for the advantages that it can bring to your business?
Every business believes that just being there and showing up to the party is enough.
It isn’t, it just isn’t!
Done right social media is your way into the palms of every single one of your present and potential customers; it’s a way to communicate on their level. Giving them the feeling of being in control of the conversation and communicating to them without pressurising them into buying your product.
When we treat social media like it’s another outbound marketing tactic we fail, it’s simple. The platform is different; people aren’t there to be marketed to. They’re there to be entertained, informed and most importantly from a business standpoint – educated.
I do understand why businesses treat it like that – social media is the new kid on the block, the level of understanding isn’t there yet but there’s time and the time to start is now.
LEARNING ABOUT YOUR NEXT CUSTOMER HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER
There’s a funny thing that happens when people chat on social media. They promote everything that they love and hate in life to everyone that will listen.
It’s almost bizarre.
People say things that they would never randomly shout out in front of their friends, but on social media it seems okay.
This is an amazing thing for marketers though. Whilst your most desired customers are out there shouting about their deepest loves, we can analyse and scrutinise all of that data to turn it into an actionable plan of how best to market our businesses to them.
YOUR BEST FRIEND IS TWITTER – FULL STOP
Use Twitter to listen to what your customers are saying and answer them with as much value as you can provide. You will see that value repaid in future, I promise you.
People don’t mind you talking to them on Twitter; it’s not like spamming them through email or cold calling. Just look at someone’s query as an invitation to communicate with him or her. Don’t try to sell them your product, just help them; it’s how long lasting relationships are formed.
Follow journalists and bloggers regardless of whether you think they could help you in the near future, just follow and interact, which I think makes you more credible, it shows that you’re a real person. It’s pretty common knowledge that you can use Twitter for finding common grounds to build rapport.
There’s nowhere to hide in the age of transparency. Privacy is dead and you know what; that’s okay.
IT’S A 2-WAY CONVERSATION
I heard a quote earlier this year that really resonated with me:
Your customers now have a voice that collectively can be more powerful than yours!
This is actually the biggest advantage social media brings to every credible business. The power of the consumer to sway buying decisions is bigger than it has ever been.
Word of mouth marketing finally has a platform to scale.
User generated content is possibly the most effective form of social media marketing right now. Sure it’s fairly new to the platforms we all use but the tactic itself is as old as mankind.
I will be talking a lot about user generated content on this blog, it’s something that I strongly believe to be firmly positioned in the future of great digital marketing. A strategy that our business is working on everyday to learn the best way to activate our clients and bring value to those who really matter – “Your Customers”.
I’d love to hear about the strategies and tactics you use to analyse your audience and incorporate your customers into your marketing. Drop me a line on my Twitter handle @joecpack or leave us a comment below.