Yeah, yeah, yeah … social media is getting beyond hype and everyone is getting in the game. And you are thinking, “There is no way I am going to get left behind”, but you’re concerned … how is it going to produce results for your business?
Let’s start with some simple basics. You need to build brand value that fits with your customers’ behavior and you need to drive profitable transactions that relate to your specific business objectives. So the building of brand value translates to how your customers engage with your brand and profitable transactions translate to the way your company conducts profitable business. In a social context, I call this “Social Business” and “Relationship Enterprise.”
What is a “Social Business?” First and foremost it is a business that is customer centric. And that customer centric approach needs to be very human and not corporate-like. Remember – people do business with people, not companies. And this requires engagement with the target market. Engagement such that there is brand-prospect-customer relationship building. The ultimate success is creating brand ambassadors and brand advocates. So social business is really the equivalent of relationship building. And social media relationship building is the A-Path (Attention > Attraction > Affinity > Audience > Advocate) that I have mentioned many times and defined originally in the article “Using the Social Media ‘A-Path’ to Capture Ultimate Customers.”
Now “Relationship Enterprise” is the way companies conduct profitable business. So many have asked, “How does social media contribute to sales?” I think the answer is straight-forward … social media increases the probability of sales. If you are part of a marketing organization you must be accountable and contribute to the business. The way you do this is with the Social Media Marketing Funnel I have defined. The Social Media Marketing Funnel describes how we lead prospects and customers through decision points to yield a sale. And after the sale, strengthen the customer-brand relationship. It consists of five stages (Awareness, Consideration, Conversion/Sale, Loyalty, and Advocacy) and defines a target segmentation or group, and psycho-demographic or individual state for each of the stages. The original definition was presented in the article “Social Media Conversion and the Social Media Marketing Funnel,” but I later recognized that the definition was not sufficient. Marketers need to be responsible to business objectives, so I introduced “Measuring the Stages of the Cyclic Social Media Marketing Funnel.”
So in essence, when I talk about social business I am talking about the social media A-Path which is a guide for social media execution. And when I talk about relationship enterprise, I am talking about the social media marketing funnel which should be used to identify your social media KPIs (key performance indicators).
And if you will allow me now to do a shameless plug – at MediaWhiz (where I lead the social practice), we call the intersection of building brand value and driving profitable transactions, BrandAction®. In our social media practice this is how it lines up …
Let’s get past my shameless plug. Social media is extremely powerful if you think of it in terms of Social Brand Action.” Social Brand Action brings together “Social Business” and “Relationship Enterprise.” The marriage of the two brings together an empathic focus and understanding of how your customers engage with your brand while examining the ways your company conducts profitable business. Work to find the coexistence of the two, you WILL have a kick @$$ social media program that produces measurable results.
Make It Happen!