How Can Social Media Be A Springboard For Success In Other Marketing Channels?
How can Social Media be a springboard for success in other marketing channels? Let's slow down for a few minutes, and remember that your brand nor your customers experience should start with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever other medium is out there.
Social Media should be an extension of your existing brand and bring everything together. Every effort that you put into Social Media should be an extension of everything else you do for your company. Capturing your company's voice and sharing it with the world through social media will open up unique opportunities in all other channels of inbound marketing, including SEO, branding, public relations, sales, and more.
To get the most out of Social Media, your end goal should be to build long-lasting relationships. Now I know that the "traditionalist" out there is shaking their head and laughing because they are more grounded in having tangible business metrics and need to see the ROI aspect and look at the BIG picture. The relationships you build with potential customers are the basis of the foundations which multiple aspects of your business will flourish.
Now, relationships only grow and flourish when you cultivate them. Imagine for a second trying to cultivate relationships the old fashion way. It would be brutally time-consuming. Social Media allows you to do this, it has kicked down doors at an unprecedented rate. Facebook released data in 2011 showing that it's users were, on average 3.74 degrees of separation from each other. Remember that game 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon that could link just about anyone in Hollywood to Kevin Bacon, well this just got closer. In the years since that report was released, it has continued to grow.
I want you to understand that the relationships that you build with your customer base will lead to advocacy and loyalty that you've probably never seen before. These are traits that support your brand during good times and bad times. This base will prove an incredible investment that will remain strong and infallible on just about any platform or circumstance. With that said, gone are the days of word-of-mouth in just your community, feedback from customers (consumers) is shared at a crazy fast pace - in real-time. An important thing to remember is that you have to listen to the feedback that is given to you on social media from your customers. I am not saying that you have to take every little comment to heart but, if you listen to the right cues coming from your customers, you will gain incredible insight. By listening to your audience, you can also treat it as an early warning system, and save yourself a lot of headache in the long run.
STOP. LOOK. UNDERSTAND. Social media is not a one size fits all, and it most definitely isn't something that should just be added on. Social media should be fully integrated into your marketing, PR, branding, and advertising efforts. By doing this, you will create symmetry for your brand, thus giving your customers a cohesive experience. In order to solidify your efforts with Social Media, you should incorporate planning strategy in the beginning of your marketing, so that you're not scrambling at the very last minute to come up with a viable Social Media plan.
If you incorporate a clear Social Meda path at the beginning of your marketing efforts, your PR will lift in reach and impressions, your branding will benefit from valuable customer touchpoints and your customer service will be proactive instead of reactive.
If you take the time to sit, plan and execute your social presence you can have a far better reach and powerful impact for your business because it will be executed in an authentic manner. If you make social media and engagement a core part of your business operations, rather than an afterthought, you will be able to fully leverage its power to your benefit.