Very comprehensive and action packed. Thank you!
Social Media Marketing Success - How to get from 'Who are You?' to 'Follow Me'
Starting out in social media can be a daunting prospect for any business. It requires designing and implementing a successful strategy as a key priority, this new model is designed to provide a clear route map to success
Whether you are starting out on your social media journey or thinking about how best to develop your strategy, here are some questions you should be asking yourself right now:
- What are my objectives?
- What outcomes am I looking for?
- How will I measure my results and progress?
- What are my competitors doing?
- How will I best present my brand and content?
- How will I find the right people to communicate with?
- How will I engage with my connections?
- How will I nurture collaborative relationships?
- How will I plan and implement my strategy?
- Route to Success - ‘Who are You’ to ‘Follow Me’
I have developed a model that will help you map a route map to success. It’s based on a simple strategy that positions social media as part of your existing marketing mix. It will help you to design your own strategy to best suit the needs of your business. It’s designed to help you manage your social media investment so that you are in control. Remember, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
Let’s start with a simple Social Media Marketing Success Axis Chart (© Unisey Ltd, 2010) and take it from there:
- Left Axis Quadrants
Brand / Content / Information
- Right Axis Quadrants
Contact / Communication / Engagement
- Quadrant 1 (Bottom Left) - Who are You?
No Content / No Communication
- Quadrant 2 (Top Left) - Who Cares?
Great Content / Poor Communication
- Quadrant 3 (Bottom Right) - So What?
Great Communication / Poor Content
- Quadrant 4 (Top Right) - Follow Me!
Great Content / Great Communication
So what’s this telling us? It's based on my new Social Media Marketing Model (© Unisey Ltd, 2010) - Quality Content (professional branding) and Quality Communication (relationship building) achieves Quality Collaboration (successful business partnerships). Essentially, we must attract and delight valued prospects, clients, referrers and other stakeholders to sustain and grow a healthy business.
Quadrant 1 – Who are You?
You have no presence on social media sites and you don’t do any social media marketing or networking online. You may have a website but you don’t update it very often and your promotional activities revolve around handing out business cards, brochures and other printed materials at networking events or by other means.
You don’t have an online presence so your contacts, colleagues, prospects and clients who are online can’t introduce you or recommend you to their network. Online networkers don’t know who you are, what you represent or what you have to offer. Worse, there may be people online who are talking about you and your business but you have no way of knowing about it – if they’re saying good things about your business, you have no way of cashing in on it, if they’re saying bad things about your business, you have no way of doing anything about it.
Quadrant 2 – Who Cares?
You have great content online, perhaps a blog with visuals, videos, helpful guides and downloads or a website that you continuously update with fresh information. Your content is well researched and responds to the needs of your face to face business network and you provide a rich source of consistently accurate, up to date, helpful and well presented information.
But you’re not reaching out to find people online, connect with them and engage with them in a beneficial way. You’re not taking the time to have meaningful conversations with people you want to do business with and don’t know how to. You’re not keeping in regular contact with your online contacts so you can’t delight their world, respond to their queries or get them interested in what you have to offer.
Quadrant 3 – So What?
You keep in regular contact with your business network and take time to start and engage in meaningful conversations. You continually present new ideas by commenting on forums and contributing to the debate. You leave comments on other people’s blogs and post reviews and recommendations about products and services you like. You follow the people you want to do business with and jump in with answers to their questions, useful links they might find interesting or local events they might like to attend. People trust you because you are always there and you never seem to be selling anything unless it’s a well placed offer or service you just know they need right now. You talk about your clients and the great results you have achieved for them. You promote your clients and you’re always saying great things about your contacts, making referrals and being a generally good online citizen.
All this work and when people visit your website or blog they are disappointed because it lacks useful, interesting, relevant information. Your content is confusing, wordy and/or too complicated for people to understand - it’s all about you and not about them. Visitors quickly realise your information is out of date, vague, inaccurate and littered with spelling mistakes. Worse, there’s no change since the last time they popped by, no fresh information, no place for them to interact and comment. They get the feeling you don’t care about your content so why should they? Rather than feel delighted that your words speak to them, they say ‘so what, this isn’t relevant to me or my needs’ and they leave, never to return again.
Quadrant 4 – Follow Me!
This is where you want to be, this is where all your social media efforts should be focused. Great content (as explained above) should be defined by your network. Through great communication and listening you know what your contacts need right now, what interests them, makes them laugh, think, dream, and pause to consider what you have to say. You brighten up their day, help them, support them and make their world a better place to be. Great content will have them coming back for more, subscribing to your newsletters, booking onto your events, workshops and courses, buying your products, visiting your shop or warehouse and referring your great service to their network. Enter the wonderful world of viral marketing, its word of mouth scaled up exponentially and this must be the ultimate goal for your social media investment.
Likewise, this is what you have to achieve in order to drive more and more people to your blog, your website, your shopping cart, your business. Great communication (as explained above) should be defined by your commitment, not just online but out in the real world too. Remember that there is no replacement for meeting contacts in person and arranging 121s, especially if you are building a local network. It’s a good idea to spread awareness of your social media activities by using it as a conversation piece at meetings ‘Are you on LinkedIn’, ‘Do you tweet?’, ‘Let’s connect’ or ‘Let me tell you how I started’. You can then connect with people online and continue the conversation, get introduced to their network, introduce them to yours and keep on building your online community. With great content and great communication, you can see how things can quickly develop into a win-win-win situation and how relationships built on trust can lead to greater visibility, greater awareness and increasing sales!
Phase One – Get Started
- Learn about social media and how it can benefit your business
- Learn how to set up sites, build profiles and find people
- Design a well considered social media marketing strategy and action plan
- Establish your presence on the most popular social media sites for your industry
- Update your content in direct response to engagement with your business network
- Network regularly to attract, engage and delight loyal followers, connections and fans
Phase Two – Start the Conversation
- Find and connect with the people you want to do business with
- Engage with people regularly and listen to what they have to say – no hard selling
- Continually adapt your offerings to meet the needs of your prospects and clients
- Inspire people to read your content and take positive action
- Build a reputation for being an invaluable introducer, promoter and referrer
- Contribute to forums, write comments, reviews and posts at every opportunity
Phase Three – Create Remarkable Content
- Design excellent, well designed, informative content
- Build a portfolio of remarkable information and visuals for different niche contacts
- Keep it simple and always keep the other person’s needs and preferences in mind
- Attract potential fans and followers and keep them coming back for more
- Signpost people to other information that might be helpful to them
- Invest in protecting your credibility as a business
Phase Four – Build Relationships
- Clearly demonstrate and celebrate your value, experience and expertise
- Understand who you want to connect with and why
- Listen to your network, accommodate their needs and support them
- Share your passion to help people develop and succeed
- Raise your profile using a full range of marketing techniques
- Maximise your social media marketing investment
Whatever your objectives are for social media, you can be sure of one thing, it's means a whole lot more than marketing! The more you weave the principles of excellent content and communication into the fabric of your business with a view to nurturing quality collaborations, the more you are likely to gain from it.
Look forward to sharing more about my new model with you and thanks for listening!
Learn more about the author, Sue Cartwright.
Comment on this article
Very comprehensive and action packed. Thank you!
Posted by Susan Straub-Martin, Bellevue, Washington |
Aug 29, 2010
Great action plan. Biznik has some great programs that help you put this action plan into place.
I know when I first started it was like wading through a swamp. The key is to start and then build. Your marketing plan is ever changing but social media makes it easy to change, add, create and then act!
Posted by Sue Cartwright, Worcester, Worcestershire United Kingdom |
Sep 03, 2010
Hi Gail and Susan,
I am delighted you found the article useful and practical, thank you for your comments.
I hope to provide further insights as I expand on this approach. It's great to receive confirmation that this wider perspective on social media as an integral part of an overall marketing strategy is of benefit.
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