Whenever I help a company with a digital or social media strategy, we spend a lot of time defining the business and understanding their customers. Why? Because understanding your customers is vital to the success of any marketing strategy, online or off. Who your customers are, what they care about, what their needs are all dictate how you should be using social media in order to engage and have conversations. Any type of marketing is more effective if you’re reaching the right people with the right message in the right places. Understanding your customers will help you be more effective in your social media strategy and increase engagement with the right people.
Facebook & Twitter are great, but…
Everyone wants to get on the Facebook and Twitter bandwagon, especially because Facebook is often in the news. And those may be places that makes sense for your business to have a presence and be active. But they may not. Or they may not be the most effective use of your time. By really understanding WHO your customers are and what they’re interested in, you can find the right places to spend your time online. If you’re not sure where they are, doing some searches and listening can help pinpoint some places where conversations are already happening.
Your customers’ needs. Not yours.
Look. You think you have the greatest widget in the world and everyone wants to buy it. The truth is that no one really cares. Everyone is selfish. They want to know what’s in it for them. The same is true in marketing and in social media. If you understand the needs of your customers, you’ll know how your product meets those needs and can communicate in terms of their needs. It’s the same with content and sharing you do on social media. What type of information and content do your customers want? Serve those needs and then they’ll be more receptive to a few promotions thrown in occasionally.
It’s not about reaching everyone.
The days of getting behind an expensive bullhorn and shouting your message out to everyone you can afford to reach are over (newspapers, magazines, tv, radio). With social media you can reach the right people. This is not only more effective, it also saves you a lot of time and money. Spend the time to find the right people online. Talk with them. Listen to them. Provide useful and pertinent content and information and they’ll be more willing to listen to what you have to say.
What do you think? What else should you know about your customers to use social media effectively?
(image by woodley wonderworks)