Intuitive Social Media Marketing – 3 Ways to Rely on Your Marketing I

Introduction

Recently I have been presented by colleagues in the marketing industry with many articles about social media marketing mistakes. Nearly all of them are about the pioneers in our business that have taken some courageous steps and ended up finding out new rules of the internet marketing game. They are all very similar to humankinds’ first attempts at air transport or open sea naval travel, resulting in the land (and sea) decorated with data points.

My message in this article is not one of fear, but rather one of intuition. The enjoyment we get from our marketing work is not about safety, but about adventure. True creativity has always been an adventure while en route. I am going to lay out 3 social media marketing (SMM) elements that will fuel your already well-developed marketing intuition.

Several years ago, I was given skiing lesson in Austria. It was the most innovative lesson I had ever taken. The instructor told me to pay attention to only 3 things. He did this because he knew that in the heat of a demanding downhill run, you will only be able to pay attention to 3 things at most. Similarly in SMM, we are cranking out information, campaigns, and messages so fast that we need to keep a few things in mind. So, in this article I will give you 3 points to remember.

1. Authenticity, Not Talk

Social media is a very tempting place to spend time conversing, chatting and making friends. After all it is a place to be a human being in the company of other human beings. However, when you put your marketing hat on, it is time to work. Creating coherent content, staying true to your mission and strategically choosing the channel and the amount of time that you spend there are questions to be answered by the minute.

You have goals to accomplish while you are engaging in any media and it is particularly important to recognize this while using social media. You have heard it before, that you need to give, before you get. Make sure that every day that you are contributing content to somebody, somewhere. When people openly plug themselves incessantly, it is only talk to many others. In addition, when you are reading others’ pieces make sure that you contribute there also. There is nothing wrong with attributing yourself while there, but make sure you are adding to the conversation. There are places to make a sale (your website, your sales letter, your store) and you may use social media to help them get there. Solve peoples’ problems everywhere and allow your solution to be an organic aspect of that interaction.

2. Be Transparent, Then Test

On the individual path to any product, cause or interest, there are real concerns that your audience will encounter. Rather than discussing your solution, make sure that you are open to these concerns and engage in the discussion of these concerns to satisfaction of your audience. In the physical sales world, these are know as objections.

These objections will arise sooner or later, and you would be best advised to bring them up a priori. There are many ways of doing this. At the very least, be aware that at any point in a campaign, you have the power of social media to test out your campaign on your audience. Some of the big mistakes in SMM, are in not testing a message before it hits the social media waves. The two way nature of social media, allows near real time airing of your message. Before you spend big money and time on a campaign make sure that you test at every step of the way.

3. Listen and Respond

The dinosaurs of the traditional off-line marketing ranks may well exempt themselves from the population based on earlier habits. Legacy skills, rely strongly on the ready, aim, fire mentality (spend big money on campaigns, launch them, and wait for the money to roll in). The social media channels take into account the need and ability for the audience to talk about stuff first. Sometimes they do not say things that you want to hear. But, ignoring bad news is like letting your checking account get overdrawn. Social media is a river that flows with heavy currents. Ride along with it, you need to go where it takes you, so you can get to a better destination.

When responding to bad news, it might be better to engage the help of other users/customers to address the concerns of fellow users/customers. Self-defense techniques may not be the quickest way of listening, responding and resolving concerns. I have seen this done in both bad and good ways. I think the most effective, is to openly admit to customers how frustrating the problem must be for them, express that you understand the concern, that you are either working on it or have a solution for this problem or that you will have a solution. It is no different than if you were working at a service counter at your own store, except that the rest of the world may be listening this time.

Summary

Do not be overwhelmed by the mistakes of others in SMM. You, your business, and your product have been designed in a very quality and ethical manner. Even your message may be well crafted. Using SMM in communicating will be frustrating sometime, because it may progress no faster than than its slowest listener. You cannot resonate to the lowest common denominator of society, but you should be aware of the characteristics of your customers. After all, you do need to know everything about your customer, even the stuff you do not want to know. Enjoy yourself.

Frank Dobner Director – Sales & Marketing The Startup Source http://thestartupsource.com/ dobner@comcast.net Twitter: @dobner