Social media began last year with only a small, niche group knowing what it is and how to use it properly. If you consider our economy, the success of social media has been extremely impressive.
An important occurrence was the building of the bridge between business and traditional marketing practices and social media technologies and communication vehicles. There is much to be learned when reflecting on the various topics surrounding social media.
The value of awareness
There are many people who believe that any publicity (good or bad) is worthwhile. The goal of marketers is to gain brand awareness. That means that the brand is discussed in a positive and complimentary manner. Social media is a tool that reaches out to and serves many.
It is very important to build solid, trusting relationships. The way that you build trust in a relationship is by having a good rapport and by giving valuable information to others. You can deliver value to an entire target audience or you can deliver value one on one. You need to be committed to your audience and when you promise something to them, it is imperative that you follow through.
Brands and social media
Social media has a tremendous impact on consumer and corporate brands. Branding begins as a marketing initiative. A company establishes the image that they want to project to the world. If the brand is accurate, there is a good chance that it will succeed, as long as the business supports the brand consistently with all of its messages. The business needs to live and breathe the brand. Over the years, marketing has not change (conceptually). It is only the tools that have changed.
Social media ROI or social media measurement
Social media is a marketing tool. Marketing and sales are not the same. Marketing strengthens the probability of sales by creating brand awareness and by generating qualified leads. While this is still controversial, the success of marketing should not be tied to the amount of sales that are accomplished.
There are tools to measure the effectiveness of marketing. A sales organization wins sales. However, they need the support of marketing to be successful.
Measuring the value of social media
Measuring the value of social media is the same as measuring marketing. Again, marketing is not equal to sales. Marketing doesn’t result in sales. Marketing increases the number of potential clients (qualified leads). Marketing also increases the probability of closing a sale, while reducing sales cycle time. Before social media existed, people would measure results such as the number of hits to a website, response to a specific call to action and the number of call ins.
Making social media simple
The KISS principle (keep it simple stupid) is an effective one to use when it comes to social media. If you go by the following three concepts, you will find that it works out very well:
- Listen: Listen to what your target audience wants and give it to them, if at all possible.
- Conversations: Once you understand what your target audience wants and how they relate to others online, get them involved in discussions.
- Relationships: Once you have established relationships with your target audience, work on strengthening those relationships. Give them useful information and follow up with them to keep the relationship going.
Social media is all about building relationships with people who value what you are offering. Those relationships may ultimately lead to more business. Social media allows you to have a socialized sales channel.
What companies are looking for in social media
Companies need to leverage the strength and power of social media so that they are able to communicate and converse in a more effective way with their target audience. There are many times when the marketers in a business really understand the importance of being involved with social media but have a difficult time convincing the executives in the business of how important it is that the business buy into it.
If you are nervous about getting involved with social media, just remember that the greatest risk lies in your not getting involved. Your business will eventually become socialized. You should be the one to influence the socialization as much as possible. It is better for the risk of getting involved with social media to be a calculated one.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team.
About the Author.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).