What would your business look like tomorrow if your best customers left you for a competitor?
"Sometimes social media isn't the answer and, many times, it isn't the only answer."
Dale Jones, CEO
You're still in business. Testimony to the realization: You are smart and you know how to survive this economy. You realize your best customers are being courted by your fiercest competitors, both online and by traditional methods.
You're holding your own and keeping them happy.
You must have the service mentality, marketing know-how and fulfill a niche that safeguards your business from losing your top clients. Or do you? Do you know for certain?
Recently, Guy Kawasaki, former Apple chief evangelist, tweeted about a study posted on Social Media Today called "Social Media case study: Broadcast vs. Engagement in forums". The study's premise made a strong case: the traditional marketing concept of broadcasting a message at a market is less effective than building an engaging, interactive campaign which seeks the active involvement of the target audience. The study indicates a strong increase in views, and especially in comments, occurs when a promotional campaign that makes claims is changed to one that asks questions.
Kawasaki's conclusion: "Why not do both?"
Our current media environment is complex and highly fragmented. Thus creating an initial challenge for businesses to effectively reach and engage customers and prospects. This challenge is a good thing because it causes us all to get into the mindset of our clients, know them, and service them. Communication is a two-way street.
Sometimes social media isn't the answer and, many times, it isn't the only answer. We view social media as a new game-changing communication tool with great potential for advocacy, engagement and building and strengthening relationships. As one of many tools, the user needs to know how, when and if it is the correct tool to use.
"It is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer,
to treat everything as a nail."
- Abraham Maslow
If your only marketing tool is social or traditional media, it is likely your business will not reach its full potential.
There are several points that you need to consider to build your social and traditional marketing campaign. Key considerations are:
- Traditional Media is not dead, it's changing. As important as social media is to the success of your business, using it, even to its fullest potential, should never be at the expense of traditional media. Both medium must work together for to reach prospect and remind clients why using you is best for them.
- What are your goals? What is your business goal and what is your communication goal?
- Who is your target market? Before you start, stop, think and be very mindful of exactly who is in your target market. What are their needs?
- Where is your target market? This does not just mean where they are physically. It also refers to what point they are at in their lives. If you determine that answer, you have the ability to connect with your audience on a much more personal and meaningful level.
- What's the best means of connecting with your target market? Do you know their "Love Language"? Music to their ears? You need to figure out how to touch them in a way that makes them want to stay connected to you.
- Interacting with your target market: Once you have established contact, figure out how to make them stay connected to you. The more interaction, the stronger your relationship will become.
- Get clients and prospects to share you with their friends: Once you have established a strong relationship with the members of your target market, they will start to trust you. Then they will want to share you and your offerings with people whom they care about.
If you are credible in your interaction/communication and gain the trust of a prospect, they will refer you to others even before utilizing your services because people enjoy being information sources.