The emails are pouring in and the phones are ringing. It’s been such an honor to have some large house hold names contact us to assist with their social media marketing and advertising. It also shows me that big brands are starting to really REALLY pay attention to what is going on through social media.
People are making their buying decisions by what they see on social media and what their friends say, period. Research is being done there first. Opinions are being sought there first. If you, as a brand of any size, are not there, you are losing. Period.
I love digital media in ANY form! Video, audio, PPC ads, blog posts, social media and more! I’ve also done so many ad campaigns in my 18 years online my head starts to spin when I even attempt to add them all up.
So how can you use social media for your brand? The #1 question that comes in every single day is this: What actually makes a social media campaign work?
Now assuming “Work” means it generates money, because that is what most brands want to do with their marketing efforts, our focus would be the end result. But I want to take you to a step where very few marketers ever go to, that if you do go there with me, that not only increases profits but it also causes a brand to be contagious, sticky and in plain English, the one everyone wants to connect with!
The first key is relationship.
We’ve talked about that so often many of you have finished my sentence as I said it. Ironically, very few people are doing it.
If thoughts pertaining to relationship run through your marketing mind like, “How often do I post? What do I have to say? When will I see the money?” I can already tell you’ll have problems. This is very similar to the young man who is going on his first date asking, “When can I hold her hand? Is a kiss ok on the first date? What should I say to make a girl feel good about me?” When we’re solely focused on the END result and rush into relationships like this, don’t be surprised if ‘brand divorce’ is what happens! People don’t want to feel used or like they are a cheap commodity in your marketing campaign. It’s nothing new… but it’s something all brands must understand!
Repeat after me – you cannot systematize relationship.
You can schedule some posts ahead of time, I do it everyday. You can make sure you have reminders set on your phone if you run your companies social media marketing so that you remember to check in often, I also do this. But for goodness sakes, can we open our heart first before we open another marketing manual? Caring, really caring, is what makes things ‘work’ through social media. Which leads me to my next point. If your brand has simply ‘thrown someone on your social media campaigns’ who isn’t doing much in house to test it out, don’t even bother! Take your profiles down now!
I’ve been testing some brands out lately. Going to their Facebook pages and Twitter profiles and sending simple messages like, “Hey XYZ Company, how are you guys doing today?” The replies I get are very revealing.
Here’s a list of replies from some major brands I tested on social media:
1. “Good, how are you?” – Wow that sounds about as common stance as “I’m doing fine, you?” Social media demands more. How about a nice, “We are doing great and hope you are too FIRSTNAME!” Personal. That would be nice.
2. “Great how can I help you?” – No beating around the bush. It’s the friendly way of saying, “Do you need something because I’m busy.” No further comment needed.
3. NOTHING – Yes, there are multiple brands that I posted this to and NO ONE said anything. Nothing. Wow, if I was a high paying customer of this brand you can bet this made me feel so special I’m gonna just run to your store right now and spend a ton of money, more than I typically do! NOT!
4. “Doing awesome Sandi and we LOVE your pink hair!” – This one of course won my heart. It’s personal, it’s kind and they even noticed something about me. I also had some say, “Wow what a pleasure to speak to you. You’re an expert!” Not schmoozing, just kind and complimentary. Another one was ,”Doing great and it’s a pleasure to hear from you today, Sandi!” Awesome! Made me feel wonderful and it made me want to spend money at their store!
For several years large and even small companies poo-poo’d the whole notion of using social media to build their brand. “It is confusing, takes too much time and what on earth do you say?” is what so many said. “What is the ROI?” is another biggy. The Almighty ROI- Return On Investment. I dunno. What is the ROI on having a happy cashier VS one who is acting like she has had PMS for 9 years or a guy who acts like he’s so busy ‘what on earth do you need from me’ at your front door? Do we really need to think that through?
What else makes a social media campaign work? Consistency. Don’t be sporadic. Stop posting 9 times in a week because you’re having a promotion and then disappear. When big brands (and even small businesses) do this it shows you honestly don’t care at all. Oh, remember, when you post through social media, everything you write is being cataloged. As a paying customer I can go read your entire feed and see how often you post and what you write. I can see your habit of only writing about promotions. GOTCHA!
A social media campaign that ‘works’ is speaking in my language, not yours. If you keep talking to me like you do in the advertising agency board room I won’t hear you.
The words that run through my head all day long are drowning you out. As a paying customer, I talk to my friends all day long on social media and I rarely talk to people who don’t talk like me. I don’t even feel comfortable talking to people who don’t think like me. (This is the voice of the average consumer and not the thoughts of this writer) What did you say? I can’t hear you unless you talk the way I do! You want to see how I talk and what is important to me? Well for goodness sakes I’m talking all day long on Facebook, Twitter and Amazon! Don’t you marketing genius’ have any time to watch me? Or are you so busy researching your demographic cycles of ROI that you forgot I even exist?
My friends, Sandi talking again, I’m being sarcastic but please admit, it’s real. It’s happening.
What makes a social media campaign work?
The same thing that makes any store shine in person. Let’s go back to 1950 when we polished our store floors, we made sure the place smelled fresh, we put on clean clothes, had a great haircut, did everything we could to have a smile, a winning attitude and we were genuinely interested in people. That’s it. Over and over again. Real deal.
This generation isn’t buying into the old school advertising agency nonsense anymore. They talk to their friends all day long and they pursue things to LIKE more than 4.6 BILLION times PER DAY on Facebook!
Learn to like them and they’ll like you back.