Whats top of mind today? Social Media - the flavor of the year or here to stay? Let's explore in a few posts.
Social media is a big part of today and an even bigger part of the tomorrow of online marketing. It lends itself to helping you build an online reputation, and done right, it is a great way to build presence and status. The caveat, of course, being that it is also a great way to ruin your reputation, have other users cast you as a spammer and force some very bad press onto your brand. Regardless, the important thing to remember is that you are dealing with “real people” here and not search algorithms! Real people are interacting with you in their “social” time - so you will have to get accustomed to relating with the personalities, their opinions and their likes and dislikes that will be shared with the world and for all to see. Gulp, as you can imagine, this can be quite daunting. The key therefore, is that you should get used to dealing with their personalities, their tastes and their uncensored opinions.
Rule Number 1: Keep it honest, and absolutely transparent. Transparency is critical in this era of online marketing with social media.
Facebook has a staggering 850 million users today (as
of Dec 2011). The number is definitely mind boggling. To leverage facebook’s
population to improve your brand, and create a presence is not just for online
marketing. It has become a vital part of the business world today. An
interesting topic of discussion is the value of acquiring a new “facebook”
user. For all practical purposes, the value is determined by you, the brand.
But, in reality, if you do not have facebook user following on your fan page,
the risk of the non-presence on facebook can be extremely harmful and
detrimental to your brand image and business overall. This fear is what is
driving all/most businesses to jump on the bandwagon with
no-business-left-behind scenario. What’s more, there are desperate measures
being applied by businesses out there using companies such as
buybulkfacebookfans or similar that help you acquire “seemingly real” fans to
drive the number of fans up, for as little as $50 (500 fans). We question the
value of acquiring these fans. We believe that you should focus on acquiring
“genuine” fans interested in your brand. Fans that interact with you because they
are truly interested in you and your brand. Fans that give you insights and help
you drive your business. Fans that have longevity and will help you leverage
facebook to acquire more fans.There are a variety of tools that can really help you engage with your fans. One such Social Marketing Platform is ZynQo. ZynQo very quickly and easily helps you launch a campaign on facebook or twitter using their pre-defined templates. You can completely brand the campaign using your own imagery and colors with stylesheets. Definitely has the cool factor. There are many other products on the market today that can help you engage with your fans and followers. There are several resources for you to follow on twitter example @marismith @guykawasaki amongst some respected names. And then there is a wealth of social optimization information on Seomoz - best practices, tips and tricks that can get you started and keep you going at full speed, Great content, Great resources!
We recently discussed quantifying the “value” of a
facebook fan, with a large bookstore. This bookstore is using their facebook
fan page in, what we consider, an extremely savvy and interesting way. Primarily
used to draw insights into what their facebook fans want to read with specific
emphasis on authors and titles in specific locations/geographies. This is
followed by stocking books based on demographics/geography in the local bookstores.
The value of a facebook fan to them is quite high. Their goal is to reach a
million facebook fans quickly and at their headquarters, a ticker, similar to a
stock ticker, at reception greets all staff displaying the number of facebook
fans “today”. The stock ticker symbol
from the dotcom boom has been replaced with the facebook acquired fan number(s).
Go figure. Now, there is a customer case study for you.
Another retail business is using facebook to ensure
stocking levels of inventory such as clothes, make-up and shoes is driven by
the fan based inputs in specific under-performing locations/geographies. The
belief is that by stocking the appropriate and desired inventory levels, the
sales and markdowns would be highly reduced thereby improving profitability.
There are countless case studies of businesses leveraging facebook pages to
gain insights into consumer behavior.
Incenting People to follow you on facebook is like a no-brainer. Most businesses are doing it today with freebies and “value” adds to drive followership. Again, social marketing platform for facebook and social marketing platform for twitter are both a required part of your Everyday toolset!