Social Media Strengthens Customer Relationships
Content marketing is all about relationships, and one of the best content marketing tools available to strengthen those relationships is social media. This may not be news to some, and if you already know this, great! But, it bears repeating for anyone who is wondering what's the best way to get started with marketing their content.
With social media accounts, your content gains legs. Great content can become awfully lonely without a good distribution vehicle and, yes, you guessed it , that vehicle is your social media account. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others are all meet up points for people on the Internet, which means that they are the places you want to be. You can communicate, advertise, sell, gossip, play games, comment, critique--essentially do all the things you do in normal conversation.
And conversation is the name of the game for online marketing strategy these days. Moira Gentry of Network Design & Communications once commented that using social media tools "makes cold calls warm". What does this mean? It means that it gives you a way to establish trust over time. Ever received, or made, a cold call that did that? This "friendship approach" to marketing breaks the ice (no pun intended) by revealing the personalities behind your company so that potential customers and others in your industry can learn that you are real people at a real company and you can be trusted.
Aside from the warm and fuzzy stuff, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites give you real time feedback, let you know what people are saying about you and let you track your contacts, your performance, etc. How valuable is this information to you? Very, obviously. We love the agility of these sites as marketing tools. They allow companies to make changes quickly, to adjust to feedback. Bye, bye focus group. So long costly and time-consuming surveys.
They are not a complete and perfect answer for everyone, but at the very least they make an effective supplemental marketing tool for businesses who want to keep their fingers on the pulse on their industries. And, since they are free, and can potentially replace a lot of your direct mail advertising, cold calling and print ads, imagine the long term ROI that they can produce.
Announce specials, offer free specials, hold contests. Join conversations. It'll give you a break from the monotony of your work day. Although, I guess it sort of counts as work, right?