I’m going to resist the urge to get on my high horse, and throw a verbal (or textual) diatribe towards those who actively seek to use social media and the realtime web as a marketing tool. The reality is that just about everyone who’s stuck around this long has found some way to leverage the connective and engaging power of social content for personal gain … usually financial … myself included (so shoot me). A fact of life it is, and beat them I cannot … as I have already joined them!
So why not impart some of my own learnings about the routes to market that I see work, versus those that consistently fail? In my experience, marketing comes down to the following equation or set of circumstances…
Right product, showcased in the right place, to the right people, at the right time
When it comes to the right product, I hope that this blog has given you some insights as to the importance of co-creation. Get your existing and prospective customers to create your products and services for you, and you can’t go far wrong!
As for the right place and people … the 2 go hand in hand, and the tools are out there, to assist you in finding them. It amazes me that so many business owners, marketers and entrepreneurs accept the “falsehood” at face value, that social media IS Facebook and Twitter (with perhaps a bit of YouTube, Linkedin and Google+ thrown in), or that because Pinterest is the “platform du jour”, there’s the crest fo a wave to be ridden! Putting yourself in front of the RIGHT people means finding your audience, wherever they may be, and not where you assume they must be.
Social Media monitoring tools – good ones – allow you to scour large portions of the social web, in search of specific phrases and keywords – usually alluding to brand mentions, reputation risk and customer service opportunities. More than this, the data also pinpoints the exact locations of your target market, both geographically and virtually. Very quickly, you can locate the sites on which you should be networking and prospecting for new partner and customer relationships. At the very least, you’ll know where to divert your CPC or CPM spend. JV with influencers in those communities, who may or may not be the site or blog owner, to be more efficient in your networking – reaching many via one great connection. Anything is possible when you’re hanging around in the right place.
As for timing … just be there often, and respond quickly. Better still, build relationships based on 3rd party referral – the best way to do that is to “give” first. Set the expectation, and opportunities will arise in return.
Next time you’re tempted to go with the herds, consider the virtual road-less-travelled. It may just show you the best destinations you’ll ever discover!