Love him or loath him, but you have to admit that Trump knows a thing or two about getting his message heard, and his primary vehicle seems to be the social media platform Twitter. Twitter – the ‘marmite’ of all the social media platforms, has come of age. Often decried for only giving you 140 characters to put your message across, Twitter is the medium of choice for the president of the USA. His choice – his words – and he’s certainly causing a stir in the global news with his messages.
But what can we learn from this, and why is it that some businesses use social media, and others don’t? This is a question that applies to both sides of the marketplace – b2b and b2c. Some businesses embrace the medium, whereas others don’t. Given that ALL businesses need to ‘reach’ and be heard by their respective markets, one has to assume that for those of you who aren’t, you must have impressive (alternative) solutions? Perhaps you have a telemarketing team? Physical samples being mailed out? Maybe a warehouse full of brochures that you regularly mail? Then of course there’s the trade shows, e-shots and maybe even an account manager or two at your disposal?
To be a success in any market, you have to stay engaged with your client base, staying in touch and keeping them informed, but with such a huge market to reach, how do you give your ‘message’ the best possible chance of reaching the maximum number of clients? These ‘touches’ are often referred to as ‘touchpoints’. According to Wikipedia, a touchpoint can be defined as: any way a consumer can interact with a business, whether it be person-to-person, through a website, an app or any form of communication. When consumers come in contact with these touchpoints it gives them the opportunity to compare their prior perceptions of the business and form an opinion thus influencing the decision-making process. Touchpoints are ways for a brand to reach out to its’ target market.
It’s a widely held belief in marketing circles that it takes SEVEN touch points before a prospect will engage with you. So, if all you do is an annual mail-out of your company brochure, then sit back and wait, it’ll take seven years!!! Seriously, this is where social media can truly come into play, so, should you commence social media-ing?
It’s all about TWO things:
1: Is your audience there?
2: Will you commit to doing it?
Is your audience there?
We all know there’s millions of people on social media, so doesn’t that confirm your audience is there? Well, yes and no. It’s all in the ‘your’ word I guess. If you consider all of the various social media platforms that are trending right now, they all have a different audience composition. Some are fun, some serious, some appeal to a younger market, some older, some are visual, some are wordy, etc etc. 1st things first, assess/analyse your own business and identify your perfect audience. Then do your research of the various social media platforms. You don’t need to be on all of them, just those that are right for your business.
Will you commit to doing it?
Let me be clear – social media isn’t easy. I think of social media as the Ikea of available options. You go to the store as it seems to be a one-stop-shop for solutions. It’s cheap. But, you have to wheel the monstrously heavy item to the till, then to your car (how will it fit), get it home and up the stairs, then you have to follow weird instructions to construct it. If you’re lucky you build it properly 1st time!! Maybe it wasn’t as cheap as you thought. Social Media can feel like this. It will take time and effort and will almost certainly fail if dabbled with.
“The reason social media is so difficult for most companies is that it’s a process, NOT an event” – Seth Godin
I’ve seen plenty of social media profiles where businesses have put their logo up, a few words about their business, and then posted a few things. Then the trail goes cold. NOTHING shouts out louder that yours is a company totally NOT interested in social media than this kind of half-hearted attempt. So, please, please, please – assess this before you leap in.
Oh, and by the way, I’d really like it if you followed me on Follow me on Twitter!!!!