OK, big confession up front. I am ripping off most of this content (OK, all of it) from my friend and colleague, social media guru Janet Fouts. Though I’ve wasted an enormous amount of time on Twitter for years (like, seriously), I’ve recently taken her training and she is the best.
Janet Fouts: Social Media Marketing Rock Star
She advocates a more mindful approach to marketing, especially through social media. I’ve taken her wisdom and summarized it into the following bullet points.
Face the facts. Today’s consumer does research online. Conduct some web searches on your brand to understand your consumer’s perspective.
Create buyer personas. Instead of spray-and-pray marketing, think about who your market really is. If you have already created buyer personas, that’s great! But, you may need more individual personas than you used to. Who are they? What do they like to talk about? Who do they talk to and–more importantly–who do they listen to? Where do they hang out online? Create your personas based on this information and they will be more personalized and accurate.
Understand consumer’s motivation. Understand the specifics of what motivates initial purchases. Knowing what motivates each persona to buy allows you to customize your message to people who want to receive it. This makes for relevant content.
Are you ready to market online? This may seem like a stupid question in this day and age, but you’d be amazed at how many companies and professional service firms are simply not ready. Is your website responsive and mobile-ready? Is your social strategy and content aligned with your buyer personas?
How will you use social media? Do you want to use social media as a communication tool, not just another advertising medium? Think about educating and engaging with consumers, not just selling your product.
Give people someone real to talk to. We respond so much better to a person than a nameless marketing team. Be personal in your approach and create affinity with your customer. As an example, people HATE Comcast, but they have a social media team that defuses frustration and makes you hate them just a little bit less, with names and pictures of the folks behind the tweets. Kudos to them for reducing evil in the minds of their customers. The social media manager of UCSF Medical Center once got my doctor’s office to call me back when I got pissy on Twitter about trying to reach them. Wow, was I impressed.
Get to know the authorities in your market. There are people out there who carry a lot of weight. Get to know them and engage them in real conversations. Help them become evangelists for you because they know and like you and your product.