who are absolutely, positively against it (let’s call them the dinosaurs).Over the last twelve months I’ve met three kinds of customers :-those who want to be on social networks (let’s call them the Tigers),-those who would like to leverage them but are scared (let’s call them the sheep)
As the Dinosaurs cannot bring me any business and won’t read this blog my tendency would be to leave them aside and wish them all the best. But their resistance is telling me something.
The two others, whether scared or not are certainly dreaming of having tons of followers on Twitter, millions of likes on Facebook and a few kilos of professionals on Linkedin. The sheep just need to be reassured that those millions of people will be positvie. It would be nice but as the Dinosaurs would say : what’s in it for you ? How much are these followers and likers worth even if they’re positive.
I don’t want to be cynical. I’m a great believer in social media but besides the fad, we’ve got to be realistic, what is this worth and what does it mean for your business.
1. What does this really mean?
It means, quite simply, that you are good at engaging your audience. You’re doing the right things to attract likers, followers and group members.
Your agencies or yourself will be able to provide some metrics about your engagement potential : frequency, recency, numbers of interaction, kind of emotions expressed, virality (how many retweets do you have ?), etc…but it happens in a place that you don’t own.
It means that you’re probably doing the right thing in the wrong place.
2. What is this worth?
This very much depends on a whole range of factors and crtieria. What is you goal ? What do you want to achieve ? Do you have a t-shirt brand or not ? Likers and followers are not born equal.
As far as your brand is concerned, you’ll need more metrics than those reviewed above.
Saliency, reputation, esteem, propensity to buy are the key metrics of your brand. A flow of positive feedback on social media will boost those metrics if well managed and certainly if you activate the social media after a major mass media campaign. The most googled brands are the one most advertised in mass media.
Social Media will provide you with a free army of ambassadors.
The tigers will say that those are rather « embarassadors ». Don’t trust them. The majority of people on earth believe that german cars are better while most of them don’t own one. These are imported images amplifying reputation. Most of BMW drivers don’t watch tv commercials so why is BMW advertising on TV ? In order to create and strengthen its importend image, ist reputation amongst the masses. Social media do that even better. Your fans and followers might not buy your product but they will talk about it and in a world where people trust their peers more than anybody else, this is worth a lot. But shouldn’t that happen in a better environment ?
Is e-mailing newsletters not still a better weapon ?
It is certainly still very effective although social CRM shows more and more how effective it could be and e-mails might die with email-readers. Is the young generation still reading emails ? Not sure. So allowing your customers to stay tuned with your brand on the communication channel of their choice might become a priority. People are saturated with media. Hence you better be on the media of their choice rather than on the one of your choice. Being on Twitter or Facebook allows this. I agree with the Tigers. But can’t we improve this ?
Yes, we can. Here is something which might convince all kind of customers, Tigers , Sheep and Dinosaurs : dialogfeed.com
Let the conversation happen where ambassadors, prospects and customers are but bring those conversations back on your own website, in an environment which you own. Dialogfeed allows this while giving you the opportunity to highlight the conversations which you thing will best serve your goals.
With dialogfeed you get a weapon which will allow you to amplify the best and true testimonials about your services, products or brands. It gives you a way to raise the conversion rate of ambassadors, members of your brand community and /or buyers.
Conversion in to buyers, ambassadors or customers is vital.
It’s vital because it will give you data and generate sales. So far the data about your likers and followers is owned by the social media. They own the environment and the data. What if one of these sites fell over ? What would be left for you ? It’s going to be lost and you’ll have to rely on the goodwill you’ve been able to generate and the data you’be been able to migrate.
So, dear Dinosaurs, you might have some points but staying away from social media is commercial suicide.
Dear Tigers, don’t get satisfied by the number of likers and followers you have. Bring them in a place where you can convert them. Go and see what Betagroup is doing with our Dialogfeed : http://coworking.betagroup.be/community.html
Dear sheep, just go and watch what Touring is doing with our dialogfeed on their homepage : Touring.be
Altimeter did interview 140 Corporate socialmedia strategists in the US about their priority in 2011 and their top priority is about bringing the conversations back on their websites. Act now.
01 juin 2011
Are you really having conversations with your customers and prospects in the right environment ?
Posted by patrick willemarck at 12:31 AM
Welcome on Patrick Willemarck's blog
I'm the founder of Dialog Solutions.
On this blog I want to share views and opinions about business and more specifically about Brands, Consumers, Marketing, market research, innovation, loyalty, etc., all those business aspects that are deeply affected by social media.
Every company shouldn't be present on every social media network. but every company is becoming porous to the outside world and has therefore to become both social and media.