I didn't realize when I started this series that I would end up writing the book I always wanted to write with this title. I do think this will end up being a never ending blog series. My only fear is that I may not remember how to count as high as I may need to in Roman numerals. Oh my, what would my elementary school teacher think?
In Part II we discussed the importance of focusing on the people when planning and setting priorities for social media.
In this post (Part III) I am going to cover (okay, rant) about why you must do more than realize it's about the people. We are going to discuss why you must get in the head of the people. You must understand them!
We work with many clients big and small. From the solo-preneur to the Fortune 500 corporation.
In order to succeed in social media it doesn't necessarily require a large organization, a huge team of people to execute and the requirement that you give up the bowling league on Sundays and Wednesday evenings so you can tweet. Yes, you can still bowl & tweet andkeep your job. However, for safety we highly recommend you don't tweet and bowl at the same time. At least wait until you get the ball down the aisle.
Social Media is NOT a one way broadcast billboard.
The one thing that will determine success for any organization starting social media is understanding that social media is not a one way broadcast billboard. It is not a medium for you to blast the same content you created in 1987 for your first website into 1000 140 character tweets.
Sorry, segmenting your market into a niche of 1000 of your top clients in one industry segment does not qualify as knowing your audience.
You need to know more than what spreadsheet they live on. You must know more than their current role at their current organization. You must know how you can inspire them, connect with them and help them achieve their objectives.
Your objective: Increase customer intimacy and footprint within your client install base.
What you must know about your audience: What do I mean by "get in the head of your audience?"
- What exactly do they do?
- How can a deeper relationship with you help them personally or professionally?
- How can your services help them keep their job?
- How do they communicate with their peers?
- How do they communicate and engage with their management?
- What role do they play? How does their role fit within the organization?
- Are they the right contact to help you meet your objective of increased customer intimacy?
- How are they engaging in social circles?
- How are they engaging offline vs online?
- What is the tone of their online conversations?
- Who do they hang out with online?
- What do they talk about?
- When do they talk online?
- What motivates them? Who inspires them?
- What problems do they have that you can help solve?
- Why should they listen to you?
- What will you say or do for them that is different than your competition?
- What is your current relationship with the client? Is it tight? Are you on a first name basis? Do you text and bowl together? Or is it a formal relationship?
- What past communication have you had with them? How did they respond? What did they respond to?
- How long has it been since you contacted them? Have you ignored them the past 2 years?
- What type of social experience can you create for them that will inspire them to further connect with you and your brand?
No, I am not trying to make your social life difficult!
These are a sampling of the questions I would ask you and help you get answers to if you were my client. Nope, I am not a complicator. The ONLY way you are going to see the light of success as awesome as a triple strike on Saturday night disco bowl mania is if you set goals and objectives and know your audience!
If I didn't care about your success, I could of course throw together an email blast for you that we could spam to all of your list. We could then announce to the world like it's a world news flash that you are now on Twitter and Facebook. We could pretend you know them. We could also then watch them opt-out of your email list, watch them not visit your blog, not "like" your facebook page and not even think about following you on Twitter.
Or, we could help you achieve success and have a real possibility of meeting your objective. I know what you're thinking... "you're still a complicator... I just want to deepen the relationship with my client so they will buy more stuff."
Sorry, it doesn't work that way. It is no longer "if we build it, they would come." Even though you may see a car with a back window sticker similar to this one in our neighborhood. Looks like they still think they can build websites and people will come to it. I think this car might be responsible for making several of my Twitter friends crash their car from laughing (joking).
Sorry, they're not thinking about you, like you think of them!
Helllloooo... people are not going to buy more stuff from you just because you want them to. They probably don't even want to know you better. Having a more intimate relationship is not on their agenda for 2011 or 2012, sorry.
It's on your agenda, I know. And in order to achieve success you better figure out how you are going to inspire and connect with your audience in a real, relevant and compelling way. Inspire them connect with you. Connect with them based upon real conversation. Help them achieve their goals and objectives first. Inspire - connect - achieve!
If you focus on their needs first, yes you will hit a strike and you will hopefully reach your goals and objectives. However, you must do it with no expectation of return. Ouch! That one hurt, didn't it!? Yup, you must give to them what they need. What they want. Inspire them to be your real friend, not just your late night website visitor.
Okay, enough of my rant. Now back to regular programming.
Tell me what YOU think!
Can you relate to the scenario above? Are you taking the time to know your audience? Are the companies who are communicating with you online doing such genuinely? What attracts you to people and brands online?