Thursday, April 15, 2010

Social Media: Friend or Foe

When trying to work your message out though the web of Social Media we can find ourselves stonewalled. It makes no difference how main street SM has become, it is a basic shift in the way we were use to working from just 3 years ago.

As you build and work into SM you need to develop a base and a plan of action. With so many people starting to use SM, to talk on SM, you need to build an awareness of building strong relationships with your existing customers and to develop interaction with prospects and suspects. How many SM sites are you in or involved in? Each one is different and has its own area of community. Each one has its own unique flavor. The first question you might want to ask yourself; is should I be here? Are my customers here? Are my prospects here or is it a waist of my time? If the answer is yes they are there, get in there and be involved. Monitor the conversations about you and other people in the group. Find out want really makes this group work what makes it tick.

Second, you can be a lurker for only so long till you need to time to jump in or jump out. If you jump in the next step is that of engagement. Get out there and talk and respond. Makes no difference it is in a forum post, a group post or response to a blog or a blog you post yourself. Just make your presence known. This step is one that you set up who you are. If you are true to your words and yourself you will be targeted and consistent in all your offline and online messages and conversations. As you work your way though this step the key is to be collecting information to add to your CRM data base for future marketing efforts. By collecting and tracking you can start to from predictive behaviors of those in your (this) SM site.

Lastly, unlike traditional marketing, don’t expect immediate results. Now I am the first one to say a sale is how you score weather (this) SM site is good or not, it sets up whether you should continue using your time in the site or not, but until you are a valued member of a given SM site you will get nothing back in return.

Action/reaction, it this was a philosophical discussion we might be talking about the Casual Principle. Instead or tracking sales, you can start by tracking increased or decreased conversation rates. At the same time track what topics increase the rate of conversation. This is the Golden Key of what is important to the group. Next track what other people on the site post and what their rate of interaction is. It’s all out there and public so it is rather easy to track, if you take the time. Only as you move into a deeper time commitment can you really use financial metrics to judge a SM site. Annual, monthly orders, repeat orders, referrals out of the group. But even as you move into this stage of SM monitoring remember it took you months to work and farm those precious (fragile) relationships and to grow new ones will take the same effort and time commitment.

Larson Notes & Satire: Want to stay competitive, stay active in your Social Media network, it’s the only way. Friend or foe? Time is your enemy and your friend. How short you can make your time line to profitability is what differentiates it as a good or bad thing. But then the same rules apply to your competition. Sweet!

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Target Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

P.S. We make telesales for small business affordable by offering programs down to only 15 hours a week. Maybe you could add telesales into your marketing mix call today and find out.

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