Good, old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing has always been, and continues to be, one of the best ways to build long-term business and an influential customer base. Powerhouse brands such as Apple, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Ben & Jerry’s, Louis Vuitton, and countless others would never have reached their level of success without a hardcore army of supportive customers behind them, singing their praises to anyone who would listen.
It’s no surprise that an effective social media marketing strategy (digital word-of-mouth marketing), supported by a community of customers who wish to sing the praises of your business, could have such an enormous effect on sales and long-term growth of your organization.
The problem with social media marketing campaigns, however, is that they require time, resources, and understanding to effectively build and manage a community of loyal supporters. Often, if organizations even have the time and resources to build a social media campaign, they treat it like any other advertising channel (bad idea), by pushing out self-promotional messages and bland commentary. Or they allow an intern or mid-level staffer to manage their communities, and the goals of the business are not connected to the content and messaging strategy, so they never see an impact to their bottom line. Or worse yet, they start off with good intentions and build a community, but don’t have the time or resources to manage it long-term, so it falls flat and gets pushed into the ‘marketing failures’ list.
Social media marketing involves far more than a company’s presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or another channel. The conversation on social media should support the organization’s business goals, while maintaining a healthy balance of community-development and audience engagement to keep people interested. There should be an underlying focus on driving visitors further into the buying cycle, so that they are enticed to visit your website, download your eBook, attend your events, schedule a demo, or make a purchase. The results should be tracked and analyzed, so that you know that your time and resources are resulting in new business or improved customer relationships.
If you’re ready to build a community of customers and supporters, contact us for more information.