Posts Tagged 'Kyle Lacy'

This weeks #Social Media Topic: Connecting With Consumers Through Social Media

Posted: May 3rd, 2010    By: Jason Breed

The title of this post pretty much sums it up.  So often we get caught up in frameworks and checklists and strategies and everyone is running around looking busy.  Meanwhile, back at the ranch where the real work happens, consumers are still being marketed online.  How could this be?

It is helpful sometimes to take a step back and take a look at what you are doing from the outside looking in.  Consider how your consumers view you online and where they view you.  You might begin to understand why your social programs are performing the way they are.  So many strategies stop at the tools so you end up with a blog or a Facebook page and the strategist goes home.  Inevitably the same marketer or communications person does what they know and starts blasting messages.    As a result, the consumers that you were trying to get closer to actually end up further away.  To translate this back into social media jargon, you end up with an audience of lurkers (assuming they stay that long) when you are attempting to get those consumers engaged.

Jake McKee 90-9-1.com

Jake Mckee’s infamous 90-9-1 pyramid comes to mind.  If you do not make it easy, fast and safe for consumers to engage you will end up with more than 90 percent lurkers trolling your content.  On the other hand, if you take the time to create baby steps of engagement like a simple “thumbs up/down”, share this, or even a one question “quick poll” your audience will begin to engage more.  This helps to establish trust as well.  With trust comes responsibility though.  If you allow members to digitally attack each other via comment threads, etc then you will end up with the same 4 people running your site like street dogs marking their territory on trees.  Curating community content to keep it safe will go a long ways for members to want to contribute and connect with greater frequency.

Once they are connecting with higher frequency, what’s your plan then?  What messages do you want those consumers sharing?  Your consumers have 2 experiences with every interaction they have with you.  Those 2 experiences are perception and reality.   If you ask for suggestions, get them and never respond or even acknowledge them, the consumer’s perception is that you really don’t care.  All of these experiences get crafted into a story that is told and re-told online, at dinner parties, at the gym and anywhere else someone brings up your store, brand or product.

If consumers are your storytellers, then shouldn’t you have a plan to help shape that story every chance you get?  Two main themes are emerging: 1) enable consumers to connect with you more frequently and 2) have a plan in place to help mold their story about you once you do connect.  Sound straightforward?  If it does then you have never had to a) manage a community first hand, b) never been responsible for results or c) all of the above.

By design, our moderator has a lot of experience doing both.  Kyle Lacy is the head of Brandswag and a highly sought after social media practioner for businesses.  Kyle will lead a discussion around how to better connect with consumers by converting more passive consumers into active consumers of your brand and what to do once they become active.  This discussion will follow our weekly Tuesday event schedule taking place 5/4 at noon Eastern.    The topic and questions will be:

Topic: Connecting With Consumers Through Social Media

Q1) What are ways to move customers up the interactive chain from lurker to influencer?

Q2) What’s the value of storytelling vs. messaging?

Q3) How can you get customers to take action on your behalf and tell the story for you?

The event will begin with Q1 at noon eastern followed every 20 minutes with the next questions.  To follow along and add your POV simply track #sm58 via any Twitter client or follow along via our LIVE page.

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Social Media could be the savior for SMB’s

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6 days into 2009 and I’m sure we all have our goals set or we’re busy finalizing what we are going to do. I make these lists and I write down thoughts at a furious pace and still, in the back of my mind, I’m constantly wondering what everyone is collectively thinking right now. By everyone, I’m really referring to small and medium sized business owners. The economy sucks and business is wayy down..

They have to be wondering where the business is going to come from or how they are going to get business utilizing their existing forms of advertising, sales, and marketing. The problem is,  how effective do those continue to be? Were they ever? Do they know they are not working? Do they utilize metrics or do they fly by the seat of their pants to measure their effectiveness? Do they understand that there is more for less out there right now? Or is it less for less? Their heads have to be swimming. I know mine is.

Initially I would have said No,  SMB’s are not aware of their advertising, sales and marketing effectiveness, but in that sense I was referring to “as it pertains to social media”, as in how effective could all these initiatves be if they were using social media, and that is completely true. SMB’s do not know much about how social media might be able to turn the tide.The power. The effectiveness. The impact.

But they do know plenty about what is and what isn’t working in regards to their  sales and marketing initiatives. I love what Christian Maurer says about this:

In today’s business climate, sales organizations think that they have to increase their activities to counteract the increased reluctance of customers to buy. These increased activities will however not necessarily be rewarded by higher revenue.One might end up trying to get more juice from an already squeezed out lemon

So enter Social Media. The darling of the last few years. We go from product centric to customer centric. But how do you articulate that social media could be just what the doctor ordered? Well I could wax eloquent on that question for awhile but I’d like to refer you to Kyle Lacy’s 4 part series on social media marketing for the small business as a primer. It’s a wonderful piece and more so, it exposed me to a great blog for small business called The Marketing Spot. I highly recommend you add it to your list in 2009.

Ok so back to you Mr. and Mrs. SMB how do you go about learning whether Social Media is the cure for what is ailing your business? And how do you do it quickly because you don’t have time to ramp something like this up. WHAT DO YOU DO FIRST?

-You could try and learn about “It” on your own but you need to know what “it” is. This might help.

-But then after you figure out what it is, you then need to know who you can trust or what to look for in a social media consultant, because you don’t have time to be doing this, right?

-Once you figured out what to look for, then you need to decide “who to look for”

-So now that you have “that” person or agency selected, now you have to have a strategy and they have to share that with you, so that you know exactly what they are trying to do for you and your business.

-A blueprint of how that person works is a good thing to have, it lets you know exactly how they work and it is a key component that we talk about all the time and that’s transparency in social media. Amber Naslund does a great job of discussing her “blueprint” in this post.

-Now that we have the strategy and the blueprint, it’s time to implement. Don’t worry though, your accomplished social media strategist knows just what to do.

OK, so you know what it is, you know what to look for, you know who they are, you know what they’ll do and you know how they’ll do it. But the last thing we have to do is we still have to measure what they’ve done.

-We talk all the time about how to measure social media but here’s a simple framework for measuring it’s effectiveness.

With that in mind, I end with this; As long as you know upfront what you are trying to accomplish and you adhere somewhat to these steps above, you may just have figured out how to incorporate social media into your SMB marketing  plan! But don’t stop there and don’t rely solely on your social media expert/strategist. Take the time to learn as much as you can as you go, so that you can understand the sea change that is happening within the worlds of PR, marketing, advertising and communication.

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The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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