A creative marketing agency.

Understanding Social Media

Contributor: David Brim March 24, 2010

Recently we were referred to a growing author and successful business man to generate buzz and awareness for his upcoming book and tour. After several interactions with him it was clear that he was viewing social media as traditional “push” marketing. The points below were articulated to him in an email…specific aspects of the email relative to his business were stripped away for this post, however I thought it would still be beneficial to share this information as it may help others better understand social media and how it can help grow their business.

1. Social media is not sales

Social media creates an environment for sales to happen, but social media itself is not sales. If you go into a social setting and “sell” it is frowned upon. Selling in social media is like pushing your products in church…People go to church, just like social sites, for a purpose and it’s very interrupting to “Sell” and push a message at them…It’s better to engage with them and participate in conversations. This doesn’t mean that you won’t meet and start your relationship with your best and most profitable customers at church.

2. Word of mouth marketing is the most powerful form of marketing

When people make a purchasing decision they often ask others what their experience has been with that brand or person through a social interaction. Think of social media as Word of mouth on steroids. There are over 400 million people on facebook and millions on twitter…talking with friends, associates and family members. Crafting a solid social media campaign with a little oomph can spread this Word of mouth of your brand virally throughout each person’s social circle.

3. Growing Awareness & Respectability is Key

The key to social media is connecting with people through content and meaningful interactions and revealing your expertise and thought leadership in the process. Once people know and respect you as an expert in what you do increased business and sales will follow. Think about Donald Trump, his personal brand is synonymous with business success (even though he has failed many times, as most successful people have). But the key is when Donald Trump puts out a book, tie or anything else with his name attached sales will often follow because people are aware of his his brand.

Which brings me to my next point…

4. Build a commnity

People often buy from people or brands they have a relationship with. Building up a community of loyal and engaged advocates will never hurt. It’s called herd marketing….Once you have a herd (engaged audience) you can lead them where you see fit. Part of this is building your communication touch points and customer contact information….Facebook, twitter and email addresses.

5. Social Media ROI

If people are engaging with your brand and spreading the word through their social circle you’re getting far more value from a well crafted social media campaign then “traditional advertising”. Social media is also not measured like typical advertising…We can measure it on a profit and loss statement…but as mentioned social media is not sales, it creates an environment for sales to happen and helps you connect with your current and potential customers to break through the clutter. You measure ROI for social media over time on the overall company profit and loss statement, because it’s difficult to measure where a specific sale generated from word of mouth actually came from. In social media you measure the word of mouth, communication with the brand, shares, web traffic and other key performance indicators.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can take advantage of social media to help grow your business feel free to contact us. Our team offers a free initial consultation and would be happy to assist you in finding success through social media.

David