There are so many messages floating around on how to get the best out of your social media marketing.
Messages that sing the praises of fan engagement, social media platforms, tools, trick and tips. However, many Entrepreneurs are finding that for as much effort and these days money; that they pour into their social media campaigns, there still seems to be something missing.
The return on investment just doesn't seem to add up and many are left to wonder, "What I could possibly be doing wrong?" Is it that marketing on social media is simply a waste of time, effort and money? Do I need more training, more conferences, more staff? Why are my efforts failing?
What many of the proponents of social media fail to tell you, is that marketing and the eventual sale of your product or service, is not a one size fits all event and although social media marketing, is a very necessary tool in the arsenal of how you do business today, there is for many a missing puzzle piece and surprisingly, it's very simply, the relationship with the customer!
Now you might say, Katyan you're crazy, everything I do is with the customer in mind and I would ask, if that's so, why you are struggling to find, engage and sell to them online?
I recently spent a full 30 minutes listening to a business owner talk about his plans for restructuring his business. He spoke about staffing, new equipment, the list went on and on. However, not once did he mention how all of this actually related to what his customers were asking of his company. He had no real analysis of his customer's wants or needs. He assumed that because he provided a required service, they would want it and want it from him.
He had never taken the time to analyze his mailing list, to reach out to his subscribers with a "getting to know you" survey. Everything he was planning, changing, adding, was from a self-centered place that did not take into consideration the needs or desires of his customers.
You might be saying that's crazy, but if you're honest, how many of us truly take the time to do any of the things listed above? How many of us see the importance of getting intimate with our customers? How many of us take the time to understand what our customers are passionate about, what motivates them to purchase. To choose us and when they do choose us, how do we encourage them to keep choosing us again and again?
Are we just hit and miss, happy if we get a sale, bummed when we don't? How many of us work at being able to sell to the same customer over and over again, making us their brand of trust, the first person or business they think of when the need for a product or service arises? How do we keep them coming back?
The answer is relationship marketing and the lack of it could be the very thing that's causing your social media efforts to sputter.
Relationship marketing is a system that is designed to build customer loyalty, interaction and long-term engagement. It's designed to help you connect with your customer and in order for it to really work, you need to connect with them on a number of different levels. You must be able to answer the question of "What's the thing that really moves your customers to purchase?
If you jump into social media without a clear understanding of who your customer is, what they want and how you can engage them, you will be sorely disappointed with the results and you can't blame the tools or the platforms, the blame will lie solely with you.
So take the time to look at your business from the eyes of your ideal customer, answer the questions of why, when and what. Why, would or should they buy from you? What problem are you solving and what value do you bring? Take a moment to define your ideal customer, what motivates them and how can you connect and build the right relationships.
Coca Cola blew us away with their *Share a Coke campaign, they tapped into an emotional need, the need to connect. Sources say that the internal name of the project was actually "Project Connect." They even created a new font and called it the "You" font "because it's was about you, the consumer, not Coca-Cola!" They tapped into our emotional need to connect, to share. The message was relatable and it worked!
You can do the same and you don't need a million dollar budget, that's the gift of Social Media, so embrace it. All you need is a better understanding of your customer.
So before you start jumping on platforms, Tweeting, "Facebooking," "Instagraming" or Pinning, start by defining the type of relationship you want to have with your customers. How do you want them to perceive your brand and what can you do to connect with them on a deeper level, then build on that.
You can do it!
What are your thoughts on Relationship Marketing? I would love to hear them.
Originally Posted on Linkedin Pluse Mar 1, 2015