From Jennifer: If you think that just because you’re using social media, you’re business is going to soar, you’re sadly mistaken. Today’s guest columnist Dave Sattler, Web Marketing Strategist over at Scentsy, shares with us today what it takes to use this medium appropriately. There are some REALLY good things to think about in this article, so I really encourage you to take these ideas to heart.
Working Social Media like Traditional Media
by Dave Sattler
With all the buzz surrounding social media today many people mistake it for the miracle marketing tool and an onslaught of social media “gurus” are out there making a fast buck on the combination of growing interest and ignorance. You’ve probably heard someone tell you that all you have to do is to create a facebook page, twitter profile, or blog and you’ll inherently launch your brand to instant stardom. Overnight you’ll have followers, fans, and fame. Sales will soar, ’cause you, you’re different – you market with social media. But social media is a different type of animal and requires a major shift in marketing approach to make it effective.
The Medium is not the Message
In order for a virus to spread it has to be shared. That means people have to find it interesting enough to share. The powerful social web, from Facebook, to Twitter, and the growing list of sharing tools out there, makes it tremendously easy for your message to go across the world in seconds and be seen by hundreds or hundreds of thousands of people. (Think Susan Boyle)
But the Medium is not the Message. It won’t get shared if it offers no relevant value. You won’t create word of mouth by simply being on Facebook. Seth Godin would call it being “remark-able”. Yes, social media is a great place to communicate a message and engage brand evangelists, but don’t get blindsighted by the medium…realize that you still need to tell them why you’re cool.
Spam is a traditional media marketing credo. Essentially, the thinking here is that if you get your message in front of as many people as possible, you can bank on getting a response from 2-3%. A spam mentality in social media will get you defined as the two I’s you never want to be called; interruptive and irrelevant. Using this method, you can count on watching your friends or followers dwindle, and you’ll walk away from social media frustrated. The rest of us may be happy that we can go now on our merry way without the interruptions, but you’ll be jaded and tell everyone that social media is a hoax. In this same vein, don’t let your relevant, timely “drip marketing” turn into water torture. Just because we’re friends doesn’t mean we welcome incessant product or opportunity pitches.
With the advent of social media and the internet, we’ve entered into a marketing age where marketing is about relationships and conversations. Traditional media is accustomed to a monologue marketing environment. I speak; you listen, because I am the brand.
The monologue is over.
Casey Neistat, 23, is a self-professed Apple junkie. He and his brother, Van, are fans of all things Mac and are building his filmmaking career with the iMac computers and editing software. So when the Neistat brothers discovered their iPod batteries lasted only 18 months and were irreplaceable, they made a film called iPod’s Dirty Secret and launched a protest Web site. Apple Computer Inc. (AAPL ) addressed the problem. Now Neistat insists that the protest was an act of love: “We made that film because we believe in the brand so much.”
“Instead of arms-length customers, they’re beginning to act like and feel like owners or members of a community. They no longer passively consume. Through the Internet, they can talk back and talk to one another. They can ignite a groundswell of positive buzz or spawn a revolt” (Diane Brady, BusinessWeek)
If authentic, transparent conversations are scary and you’re not prepared to admit that something you do might just be lame – you could struggle here.
Relationships are primo. I think that’s Italian for important. Spend less energy on arm-twisting to drive repeat sales, and more on the experience and relationship development to drive loyalty. Loyalty is the intangible asset that builds brand equity. If you can get this right you’ll be doing better than a lot of companies that are trying to build loyalty programs – it’s not about driving the customer to the next purchase; it’s about driving “recommendability”.
Airline frequent flier programs and “buy 10 get your 11th free” kind of thing are solely concerned with driving me to buy more and they call this a loyalty program. Loyalty is built on relationships and brand experience. If I know that you’ll take care of me as a customer and keep me informed without spamming me and listening to me, I’ll stick around and I’ll recommend you. Arm-twist me to buy and I’m not loyal. Instead, I’m just waiting for the next best offer.
As you begin to use social media marketing for your direct selling business, remember that it’s about the message, and the way you deliver that message is just as important as the message itself. Invest in learning how to do it properly, in order to experience the best results for your business.
What are your thoughts on this? Have you seen good or poor examples from other direct sellers? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments!
Dave is a web marketing strategist and has worked with PetSmart, Intel (China), and MarketRx. Most of Dave’s work has been around helping consumer product companies identify word of mouth and interactive strategies to drive conversion and generate brand loyalty.
At Scentsy, Dave drives online marketing and branding strategies for Scentsy corporate as well as facilitating online evangelism by both consultants and consumers through the use of social media. Dave is a sought after presenter with casual, researched, and ROI driven presentations ranging from “Web Marketing Basics” to “Internet Marketing Using Google Analytics” as a University guest lecturer.
Dave earned an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management where he was selected to join the schools external consulting team specializing in consumer goods marketing.
Dave likes to play basketball, explore new gadgets and play with his awesome family. How to connect with Dave: http://twitter.com/davesattler, http://davesattler.posterous.com/, http://www.linkedin.com/in/getdave