Thursday, April 28, 2011

Lessons From The Social Media Trenches!

I am one of the lucky ones. I have been in some form of marketing and advertising all my life and did not let all that get in my way of grabbing hold of Social Media Marketing and doing it as if it were a traditional marketing/advertising channel. Not so easy. Many of my comrades-in-arms cannot make the leap from formal channel advertising to informal.

But it is here, Social Media Marketing and it is here as a major player in many companies, be it B2C or B2B, be a player of a bystander. More that even in traditional Marketing SM is dog-eat-dog out here and its tough eating dog!

Social Medial Marketing is a living entity; it’s alive and changing almost daily. Clubs, groups, organizations, fans, prospects, clients, people all listening and making comments and responding to more marketing stimuli that ever before.

In as much as SM is making us change something my father once told me still rings true, “you need to know the rules to know how to break them”. Yes, you heard me right, break them. So consider this, Social Media is in essence one big “Focus Group”. Here you can test to your heart’s desire, ideas, slogans, new products. Yes, test, test, test!

Message Testing: If social media is about conversation test your companies “conversations”. The major difference between traditional marketing and social marketing are really quite clearly drawn. Traditional marketing does not talk directly with the target person and it cannot talk back in real time. So for Social Media Marketing I suggest that you make a message map that outlines the “message” and then keeps track of the direct messages to that “message”. When on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Merchant Circle, keep careful track of the flow of conversation revolving around what you have floated out. If you get an increase in hits, likes, of feedback of any kind make a careful note pro and con. What should you be measuring?
a) Likes on Facebook
b) Retweets on twitter
c) Comments on your social network and/or blogs
d) fans/friends/followers grown in actual numbers or %
e) Average times spent on your blog site

Time Testing: When do you get the best results? Early am? Mid morning? Afternoon or evening or during the middle of the night? The experts will be telling you that am’s are best but they are not you nor do they represent your company. So, what is best for you and the kind of customers you want to attract? Again, test your posts! You might find out that 75% of your sales come on a Thursday. You might want to look or think about why? Are they getter ready for the weekend, or do they need to make a decision on a purchase before the end of the week? Why, why, why? Next consider time zones. If you sell to multiple time zones like I do, from the Eastern Time zone to the pacific, keep track of that as well. You could be surprised on who is buying from you and where which will lead to why.

Social Media Ads: It could be Facebook, LinkedIn or Merchant Circle, but there are proprietary advertising products that you can take advantage of. Depending on what your over all objects are doing a focused marketing could pay off in spades. If you have assembled your fans and friends with any kind of care. This is similar to a pay-for-click situation so there might be a cost.

Promotions, Contests, Surveys: These are ways to create a call for action. The idea again is to create a buzz around you and your company. Again test and measure and decide what you are trying to really achieve with each action. Be it an increase in your friend or fan size, feedback response, whatever? Just have a plan. See above (in Message Testing) for what you should be looking for.

Sales: Ya Sales. Sales are how we keep (real) score, isn’t it? At least that is how I keep score. If you’re not getting sales from your efforts change or go to something that starts to generate sales for your company. Different kinds of social media messaging drive sales. You can be blunt and straightforward in your buy requests of you can use the more subtle message. Either way it all comes down to needing, wanting people to buy something. Leads must lead to sales!

Larson Notes & Satire: Need help we are here to help you make money for your business all you need to do is call 847-991-0488.

In many ways social media marketing is the most extreme channel you can be using. On line, in your face marketing! I love it. (Ya, I’m an in your face kind of guy, what can I say.) Innovation abounds or can at every turn in your Social Media Marketing experience. Opportunity knocks and many times only once. When it does you need to be ready to spring into action, and that might require some old school tools like a business card and company brochure, and oh yes, we do those too.

Remember our 3 new programs for 2011
1st is our Virtual Sales Manager Program.
2nd our Sales Function Outsourcing Program
3rd our Virtual Business Consulting Program

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.

No comments: