To quote a new marketing client, “Today business is personal.” She’s right about that!
The client, we’ll refer to her as Natalie, followed her observation with, “Kelly, that’s why I’m hiring you, I really need to understand this social marketing stuff.”
Natalie was saying something I hear A LOT. Many entrepreneurs and businesses find the world of social marketing confusing and/or overwhelming.
My Feedback to Natalie
“Guess what? If you can be found via the internet you’re already doing social marketing
Think about it.
Any time you post, blog or interact on your website, or sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest you’re marketing, 24/7.
Simply put, social marketing is about building connections, which create brand awareness, and lead to sales.
Now we need to find out if you’ve been sending the right messages, to the right people.”
The BIGGEST Block to Social Marketing Is…
When we first met, Natalie had already hit a common social marketing roadblock. Even though she’d been in business for several years, Natalie had a hard time describing her typical customers.
You, and your business/goods and services, should be a better match than a connection made through on-line dating. Success with social marketing hinges on knowing who you’re targeting.
Describe Your Audience
For Natalie, the first step was to put together a client profile. We listed everything from her ideal client’s gender, age, location, interests, income, personality traits…etc.
In my book, OutSell Yourself, you’ll find other key things to consider in a client profile. This includes how to price your products and services to attract the ideal client.
Once Natalie was able to clearly define who she should be marketing to, and why, we had a solid foundation to build on.
Follow Actress Sally Fields’ Lead
The next step in Natalie’s social marketing came from an unlikely source. It was from actress Sally Fields.
Remember Sally Fields’ famous Academy Award acceptance speech? “I can’t deny the fact that right now you like me, you really like me!”
Well, Sally’s self-focused one-liner quickly became a running joke. However, if Sally had applied the concept to marketing she’d be having the last laugh. Here’s why: Good social marketing not only requires you understand your client — you also need to know why people will like your business.
According to a study, published in The Harvard Business Review, what really builds brand loyalty are shared values. So the question is, “what does your business stand for?”
Natalie and I discovered that her career counseling company was in the business of ‘Helping You to Realize Your Wildest Career Dreams! Natalie was thrilled. Understanding the core values produced a mini mission statement, targeted at those wanting a big career change. Plus, she got a great tag-line and was a step closer to implementing her social marketing. It was time to incorporate Natalie’s company values into her website, blog, social avatars and profiles, and off-line marketing materials.
Pick the RIGHT Social Media Sites – Let the Rest Go
With so many networking sites to choose from, many businesses don’t know where to begin. Others find themselves on the brink of social burn-out. Trying to post to a bazillion sites can feel like a full time job.
Here’s the reality. People are attracted to social networks that meet their current needs. When Natalie was clear about who to target, and what separated her business from the competition, it demystified which sites to be on. We then picked the top three sites, and let the rest go. Her response was, “Wow. I’m not overwhelmed anymore!”
To make this easy for you, I’ve listed four common social networks, their typical uses and users. (FYI, internet searches can pinpoint even more information including user’s average age, ethnicity, income, country…and more)
- LinkedIn: Primarily B2B. 63% Men and 37% Women
- Twitter: B2B, B2C and Personal. 53% Women and 47% Men
- Google+: Primarily B2B. 70% Men
- Pinterest: B2C & Personal. 84% Women
Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something
But wait. There’s more! (Wow, does that ever sound like a marketing statement.)
What I’m going to say next may seem obvious. But it needs to be said. Good social marketing requires staying active. The key is to set realistic, and do-able, goals for engagement. This keeps you out of the all or nothing trap.
Let’s get back to Natalie. Our final move was devising easy ways, such as using Nimble, to interact with current and potential clients.
Any Thoughts, Questions or Comments
Please feel free to share your thoughts or ask questions. The expert is in!