Businesses need to develop a plan for their social media.

Plan A Dialogue

You need to create a long term strategy for you social media dialogue. What are you going to say and when are you going to say it? This dialogue can focus on special events or seasons. Different businesses have different seasons. A jewelry store needs to focus most of its effort on seasonal events, like Valentines Day and Christmas, and also focus on special events, like promotional event put on by a diamond vendor. Then something like a monthly newsletter can keep visitors coming back on a regular basis.

Make Regular Responses

Once your social media tools are in place, make sure they are being monitored. This can happen with someone checking for responses to your Web 2.0 resources like Facebook and Twitter. The ideal way to keep these monitored is to do it through a smart phone that will be with someone 24/7. Otherwise, make sure the social media tools are checked on a regular basis.

Encourage Two Way Communications

The key reason for using interactive social media is to get information from your clientele. Encourage them to participate. One neat example is what Clorox did at Christmas time. The offered a $1 donation to the Red Cross for each click through to the Red Cross website.

Here’s their message:

Clorox Last chance to give the gift that saves the day. For every click-thru to the American Red Cross Holiday Gift Catalog, Clorox will donate $1 to the Red Cross, up to $10,000. Find a link to the Red Cross Holiday Gift Catalog on the “Clorox Home” tab of our Facebook page. Then, simply click on the “Start Helping” button.

There are many other ways to get participation on your social media. What methods do you use?

...with this blog and other social media, you can respond immediately. That fact alone makes it more likely that someone will respond. Read the rest of this entry »
Facebook Members Now Exceed US Population Did you know there are more users on Facebook than there are citizens in the United States? Well, you know it now.

The Social Media Revolution shows no sign of stopping. This is the greatest paradigm shift since the industrial revolution. It may be even greater.

Internet Marketing Changes

Internet marketing started off as a one way communication. Marketing has been that way for generations. With the advent of social media and Web 2.0 Internet marketing has become a two way flow of information. Customers now tell businesses what they want. Businesses that know what their customers want have a great advantage over those that don’t.

As with any paradigm shift, major changes are taking place in business and industry due to social media. Businesses that have reacted quickly to the changes are gaining market share. Those that are not participating will probably not be around much longer.

Take A Look at The Socialnomics Video

Ask and Listen

Facebook, Twitter, Blogs and other Web 2.0 tools enable you to ask your customers what they want. And when you ask, they will tell. What they tell you can be used in the direction you grow your company. Businesses now focus on listening and learning from their target markets.

What have you learned from your customers lately?

Contact us if you need help incorporating social media into your marketing.

Go look at the story at Business And YouTube about a wonderful Christmas video.

The success of most companies is dependent on their reputation in the market place. So who should control the “company name”?

Company Control

Years ago “the good name of the company” was under the control of the higher up corporate individuals. Radio, television, print and other advertising promoted their products. The marketing information flow was primarily in one direction, from the company to the consumer. Whoever controlled the outflow of information, controlled the image of the company, or the “Company Name.”

Consumer Control

As communication technology has improved, consumers have become better able to communicate with each other about the brands they buy and the companies they buy from. The more they communicate, the more they learn from each other. This has shifted control of the “company name” into the hands of the consumer. This loss of control has presented a problem for the company that does not have happy customers.

Two Way Communication

Today, with social media, consumers are better able then ever before to share experiences, good and bad, about the products and services they buy. But the company can use this two way communication to it’s advantage. Through social media the company is better able to monitor and participate in these communications. The key information a company needs is knowledge of what it’s customer wants. And who better to get that from than the customer.

Learn What The Customer Wants

Blogs, Facebook and other social media allow companies to find out what their customers want. Tools are available that tell you when your company’s name has been mentioned. Programs like TweetDeck allow me to see when and where someone mentions my name or my company name.

As companies respond to customer needs, they make changes to the items they provide. As their goods and services change, so changes their company and their company name, and all for the better.

A. G. Lafley, CEO of Proctor and Gamble in a keynote address at an advertising industry conference stated:

…consumers are beginning in a very real sense to own our brands and participate in their creation. We need to learn to begin to let go.

Consumer control of the company name, if managed properly, is a good thing! The keys to gaining this control is to find out what the customer wants and then to provide the customer more than is expected.