Correct? Well yes if you are a business person in the 21stcentury! Social media and networking has made it imperative that business owners make their presence felt on the web, as the amount of business attainable online increases.
However, overt sales and marketing pushes online are not the strategy to take in getting a buzz on the net! The trick is to build some sense of recognition or loyalty with web users, who will in turn share your content with others, while you sit back and watch! As the title says it is who ‘knows you!’..Chances are you will not know your customers, in the intimate fashion small business owners did in ye old country. Good use of social media should generate similar sentiments and relationships with customers though, hopefully even on a much larger scale!
The initial key is to ‘know’ your target audience! Once you have an understanding of what their values and interests are it is easy to provide content they will enjoy and share with their peers. Social networking is all about identification; ensure your target audience feel some affinity to your brand or business, talk to them and most importantly LISTEN.
A prime example of a company who have done well at this is online shoe retailer Zappos. Getting over 1/3 of their employees involved using @Zappos_[insert employee name] Twitter accounts they interact with the majority of their customer base on a one-to-one basis. Unsurprisingly 75% of the retailer’s sales are from repeat customers; while the Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s @Zappos Twitter account has amassed over 1.8
He, himself does not regularly deal with customer queries, instead his sidebar contains various links to
Zappos customer service departments, asserting “Have a question? Here’s how to get the fastest response.” Smart man! Instead, the majority of Hsieh’s tweets are tidbits about life, entrepreneurialism and business. For example, “Vision + Values + Velocity of Adaptation is a great formula for business and for life.” The success of Zappos use of social media lies in the air of intimacy created by the brand, even referring to employees as the ‘Zappos family’ and shooting fun promotional videos. Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gHlEBU_NSg.
Now obviously I’m not saying that every company should go out and re-create the latest 50 Cent video!…The key is to interact with web users! A common mistake made by companies is to mistake high visibility for effective marketing. Many companies lazily post similar or identical information repetitively, in a fashion fondly titled spam! Though the high volume nature of spam posting will ensure your content is seen, the majority of responses will not be positive! Whether via E-mail, Twitter, Facebook or any other social networking site, spam posting is a no-no, and is a practice that for the most part annoys and is ignored!
Remember as the saying goes ‘all press isn’t good press!” And pushing the wrong buttons in the social networking world can cause an immediate backlash!
Sound daunting? Well it’s not really, with most things business-related the key is to plan! Know your product/brand/service, know your target audience and the rest SHOULD be plain sailing. Remember the social media game is a marathon not a sprint! So pace yourself!