Social Media is, for all practical aspects, a modern requirement to every business in this day and age. The use of Facebook, Twitter, and the ever growing other forms of social media outlets is becoming more and more crucial to a business to not only survive but to prosper. Is your business engaging its customers in a proactive manner? Are you losing business because your competition is engaging your audience online to drive more of an interest to them instead of you? Or have you simply not understood what it was all about and decided not to move forward?
The days in which traditional marketing techniques such as newspaper and magazine ads, mailers, radio, and even television marketing efforts are no longer enough to stay in touch with the wide array of audiences that base their decisions upon your company’s ability to interact with them. Furthermore businesses, physicians, and suppliers utilize social media outlets to drive their success to the next level.
The reality of today’s business environment is the need to interact internally and externally more efficiently. Is your ability to foster this dynamic form of communication leading you to have slower sales, less of an ability to bring in new customers, and even bigger issues as they may relate towards customer satisfaction.
Social Media Does Not Mean Social Business
Becoming a Social Busines is more than having a FaceBook page or presence. To become a truly social business, interaction with your customers is key. You want to keep that interaction as positive as possible. You want to be seen as proactive in dealing with your customers’ complaints and problems. You want to keep a finger on the pulse of what they want, how and when they want it. You need to be responsive to their needs. Communication must be two way. Blogs are a good start, but make sure you read the responses. Try to develop a dialogue with your customers.
Steps you may consider in becoming a Social Business:
- Define Goals / Metrics – Decide what your goal is and how you are going to achieve that goal. Develop metrics to measure progress so you can make changes if necessary.
- Find Your Buyers – decide on the demographic you are aiming for. Develop marketing strategies that are target for that demographic. Keep an open mind about expanding your demographic.
- Define Influences(ers) – Decide who or what you want you want to use to persuade your target audience that you have what they want and/or need.
- Develop content Strategy – Decide what message you want your content to deliver and how that message should be delivered.
- Develop a Customer Engagement Model – (4Point has a PDF that details this exquisitely.
- Develop Employee Enablement / Encouragement Plan – develop a plan to enable your employees to interact with your customers. Develop guidelines for their social interaction. Provide policy butt not too much governance.
- Remember: Audience – first in everything!
- Be human and encourage real story telling
- Promote the expression of your diversity
- Remember that disclosure and crisis response is important