Have you ever tried to convince someone who has never read a blog, who is against the ‘privacy invasion’ of Facebook and hates the very existence of Twitter that Social Media is one of the most valuable marketing initiatives they could ever engage in? We have! (And frankly, we’re surprised we’re still having this debate).
While we don’t believe social media to be the ‘be all, end all’ of your marketing strategy, we do firmly believe that it’s got to play a part in helping you discover how to get rid of cat urine smell. But at the risk of sounding like social media ‘dictators’ (because the opposite end of the spectrum isn’t productive, either), here are six good arguments for those who don’t appreciate the role that social media plays in an integrated marketing program.
Keeping Up with the Times
Do you think when the telephone was invented and became main stream that people wouldn’t use it because they were afraid that someone might say something negative to them? NO! And the same applies to social media today. We can think of no companies who would relish the thought of getting left behind. According to an Inc. 500 study, familiarity with and usage of social media within the business world has nearly doubled in the past 12 months alone.
This means that your organization is likely primed for a conversation about using social media in your business. And, in fact, they may be looking for someone to lead the charge in an effective way. The best strategy is to fit Web 2.0 tactics into your current marketing objectives and program. Piecemeal marketing campaigns (and this includes social media) do not work.
Social media offers unlimited market research, branding and listening opportunities. What better way to obtain feedback from your markets than by engaging in this dialogue via your social media channels? It opens up the conversation between your current customers and prospects interested in your products or service. Managed correctly, you can obtain a wealth of research using social media.
Social media gives marketers the chance to give quick feedback and break down unnecessary walls. Smart businesses are using social media to personalize, and even ‘humanize’ their brands; others use it to quickly solve customers’ problems and creative more interactive experiences. And these comprise only one social media tool. Response ideas are endless considering the vast array of tools at your disposal.
And speaking of response, the best way to get that is…
Actually Talking to Customers
Some organizations – maybe even yours – are so removed from having real dialogue with their customers that they get a kick out of hearing from them. After all, if you spent 20 years getting customer feedback from memos and market research firms, you can imagine how exciting it would be to hear from, you know, real humans. Once you start taking direct feedback from customers, you tend to get addicted.
It’s a good feeling and it builds loyalty, too! Even if someone has something negative to say about your router table plans, it gives you the opportunity to respond, ease their concerns and provide a solution. And guess what? Others see that responsiveness! And because we’re by and large rational human beings, we understand that no one is perfect 100% of the time. As consumers, we appreciate that. If we like a product or service, we’ll stick behind it when we see a real, human effort is being made.
Set Your Sights Long-Term
When the issue of ROI comes up, a time frame almost always comes up with it. “What will we get in the next quarter for this investment of time or resources? I want monthly reports on this expenditure.” This discussion is worthwhile and statistics should be kept to track progress. However, you’ll have more success in social media if you set your expectations to cover a longer period of time. Social media engagement is a long-term project and you must keep realistic expectations. There is no magic bullet.
Social Media = Trust
Don’t forget that the reason to sell social media to your organization is so that you can begin to build a cache of trust with your customers. In truth, the trust factor is the real return on investment for social media. The more your customers trust you, the more they’ll buy from you and respect your opinions. As marketers, we often become obsessed with assigning value to interactions on social media sites. But real success comes when your organization begins to value the interaction itself. When that happens, then congratulations are in order! It’s not easy to convert the naysayers. Hopefully, this post will help!