This post is the thrilling conclusion to last week’s post about the first law of social media marketing. Here are the balance of “The 9 Immutable Laws of Social Media Marketing,” as presented by Target Marketing’s Jim Gilbert in this on-demand webinar. The Bachelor jokes are all mine. You’re welcome.
Law #2: Brand + multiple channels = revenue.
The more channels in which a consumer interacts with your brand, the more likely they are to buy. Your presence in multiple channels allows consumers to find you in their preferred channels, just as offering myriad contestants for each Bachelor and Bachelorette enables them to select their ideal significant other from a variety of options.
Don’t try to convince me that he’s even remotely in the league of any of these women.
Law #3: Brand + time + multiple channels = advocates.
Customers who interact with you in multiple channels are far more likely to become brand advocates and influences than if they were engaged on only one social media channel. The 21st-century multichannel marketing model means getting people involved in all channels, for wider impact and greater reach. One way to achieve this is to show customers that they have an impact by asking for their input at every step and showing that you actively implement updates and features based on their feedback.
Another way to create real reasons for customers to become involved in your various channels is to hold regular contests – nothing makes people want to engage with you like a possible prize resulting from it. Try having the prize be a sample of your company’s product, so that when someone wins, they can try the product and advocate it to others. Just don’t make your contests as ridiculous as the ones our beleaguered Bachelors and Bachelorettes are forced to endure.
Law #4: The exponential search factor.
Social media increases your search engine rankings, and helps drive additional traffic via organic search. If you’re lucky, it’s exponential: a single tweet can be shared by one person, and then by two of that person’s followers, and then by two of each of those peoples’ followers, and so on.
It’s kind of like how on The Bachelor, rumors will spread throughout the house until all of a sudden you find yourself locked in a bathroom with several of your competitors screaming obscenities and physical threats at each other while cutting to teary confessionals about how unsafe you now feel in said bathroom. Except, you know, in a positive way.
Law #5: The customer service factor.
People will choose their contact preferences when they need technical support or have questions about your product. You need to be there for them on all the channels on which you offer customer service, and ideally you should be offering it on all channels which can support it. Brands without multiple channels for customer service risk losing customers – consumers expect instant gratification where customer support is concerned. Luckily, social media delivers in this sense. It’s especially easy to use Facebook for this purpose – sales and/or IT professionals can monitor pages and respond immediately to those who post questions and concerns.
Law #6: The behind-the-scenes factor.
People don’t buy from brands – they buy from people. Social media puts a human face on faceless corporate entities, and gives customers glimpses of the humans behind the titles of “tech support” and “sales.” This goes a long way toward reducing the distance between corporations and their customers. The days of corporate anonymity are over. Provide bios of employees, and include fun facts about each of them. (All the women and men of The Bachelor have to answer whether or not they are “romantics” in their bios; if they do not immediately say “yes” they are taken to the back of the ABC lot and summarily executed. Nah, I’m just kidding. Probably.)
One tactic is to shoot fun behind-the-scenes videos about whatever you want, perhaps an aspect of the development process or the three-part-chronicle of an elaborate office prank. Your goal should be to create everyday celebrities within your staff – people who customers will come to know and recognize from your behind-the-scenes posts.
Law #7: Trust is the new black.
Work to gradually build transparency and trust; social media harkens back to the days of the neighborhood store, during which consumers and brands had trusting relationships with each other. Don’t try to make up personas from which you send social media content – this can backfire almost as badly as wearing a mask for the first several weeks of The Bachelorette so that viewers could get to know “the real me” first.
Make sure your business practices are public and accessible. Use photos and videos to illustrate what it’s like behind the scenes; a big part of transparency is your willingness to open up to your customers and show them you have nothing to hide.
Law #8: The online reputation factor.
Whether you like it or not, people talk about your brand. Listen to what they’re saying – you may be surprised. Try to monitor online conversations about your brand. Set up Google alerts to tell you when your company makes the news. Regularly check Yelp and other review compilation sites; don’t try to plant good reviews (you may think you’re being subtle but 99% of the time, people can tell), but try to learn from less-than-good ones. If you have a negative online reputation, the best thing you can do is take in your customers’ feedback and work to make your brand the best it can be. You can actually become more trustworthy if you acknowledge and solve problems. Good reviews will come along with that.
Law #9: The time spent factor. Engagement + time + trust = revenue.
Here’s the main point: Customers aren’t always ready to buy, so use the previous all laws to make sure they’re engaged until they are. At its core, social media marketing is all about using various platforms to spread the word on how awesome your company is, so no matter what, remember this: