Social Media is no longer optional. Including video, audio, and communities along with interactive and sharable content within your marketing strategy is required if you want to remain competitive in this business climate. A social media strategy is not a plan for collecting 1000’s of friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter. It is a well-defined series of campaigns planned to meet the needs of today’s customers who are ever-connected, ever-social, and ever-engaged. A winning social media strategy leverages the right combination of technology and content to create a unique customer experience with “buzzability”.
It’s not about the technology. It’s all about the customer!
1. They Are Looking for You. 4 out of 5 buyers are using the web to locate business and product information before they make a purchase yet less than half of small businesses can be found on the web. The location options for web real-estate are numerous, including platforms such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and a variety of other directories and communities. Your plan must ensure you can be found by your target market who wants to read and hear testimonials about your offer. Potential buyers are more likely to trust a business with customer generated reviews and ratings than one without endorsements. Your strategy must include a plan for generating fresh content with the purpose of educating the consumer and informing the buying decision.
2. They Want an Experience with You. You have less than a minute. Prospects will abandon your website or business profile within seconds if they are not engaged. Create engaging and informative content with the aim of evoking a response from your customers. Multimedia and interactive content such as pictures, video, podcasts and product reviews is affordable and easily created by businesses with modest budgets and minimal technical expertise. A planned series of campaigns which include a call to action and which integrate with traditional media (newspapers, radio, etc) will create a community of loyal supporters among your customers.
3. They Want to “Buzz” About You. Your customers want to spread the word! A growing number people on the web share content such as video, articles, audio, etc with their friends. Over 90% of people trust the recommendations of friends when making purchase decisions and less than 15% trust advertising so give them something to buzz about! Generate participation and enthusiasm. Create a call to action. When you create a buzzable social media strategy, prospects become customers and customers become loyal evangelists.
Creating a social media marketing plan is like creating a special family recipe. It is not accomplished with “out-of-the-box” solutions. Every social media marketing strategy includes a vision, brand message, web and social platforms, a content strategy, and a buzz plan. Be prepared to actively listen to your customers and allow them to co-create with you. Ultimately, creating a unique social media mix tailored to your customers will keep your evangelists buzzing and your business soaring.