This graphic has been updated to emphasis the process and end game of getting social business strategy right.
Let’s begin with the end game…. which is positive consumer advocacy, the nirvana of all marketing and advertising activity. I think/hope, increasingly, that brands are becoming wary of ‘likes’ for the sake of ‘likes’ but are ill equipped to shift to the end game.
I recently joined a workshop of Marketing Directors to discuss just these issues. To varying degrees they’d tried tool-based solutions to little success (of course), chased ‘likes’ or remained sceptical about the need for any social play. The overwhelming sentiment, however, was “where do we begin?”
The pathway to getting it right is easy to navigate and at the end there lies fruitful social business solutions.
Step 1. Listen & Learn.
Invest in a better understanding of how your brand can add value/contribute to your customers’ lives (applies to B2C and B2B). What kid of content would be compelling? Don’t guess, don’t presume. Take the time.
Step 2. Publish & Participate.
Begin the dialogue with relevant (customer-desired) content and be prepared to participate as opposed to just broadcast. Don’t use the new tools in the old ways. Ensure you’re a social business not just a business having a go at social.
Step 3. Identify.
Step 4. Activate.
Don’t be shy. Begin to build relationships. Don’t just wait for them to come to you.
Steps 5&6. Nurture & Empower.
Make the relationship special. Offer rewards/incentives as you better understand what makes them tick and how your brand fits within their lives. This can be in the form of discounts, new product sampling, events etc. If they value the relationship, that you share, then in turn they will talk about you in positive terms and you can begin to build a high-business value set of customer advocates.
I appreciate its not always as simple as Steps 1-6 as there are often numerous hurdles to overcome internally at many companies, such as siloed departments, restricted information flow, vested interests and the need to demonstrate short term gratification. However these steps are full proof and will take you to the end game.
What’s stopping you??