Social Media – A Must in the Current Economic Times

By now, most of us are tired (if not sick) of hearing “in these economic challenging times …” Well it is time to change that and shape the future in a positive direction. It is in our hands and we can make it happen!

But first, there are a couple of things we should remember from the past two years as we put together our success strategy moving forward. The days of getting rich fast and sustaining market value are most likely in the rear view mirror. I am reminded of some great words of wisdom from Ram Charan . Ram is a Senior Fellow at The Wharton School of Business at The University of Pennsylvania. I had the pleasure of meeting him at an annual sales kick-off meeting for a large company I worked for a handful of years back. At that time, I had just finished reading his book “Profitable Growth Is Everyone’s Business.” In this book, he not only talks about the need for a culture where everyone feels responsibility and contributes to positive revenue initiatives, but also emphasizes a mindset of sustainable, profitable growth. Ram uses a baseball analogy to make this point. He talks about the need to hit a series of singles and doubles to score runs. There are few cases of homeruns to score in business, but a continuous teaming approach of getting on base and bringing runs around with a number of small successful hits produces winners.

Social media, when used properly, will produce these results. In my article “Social Media Conversion and the Social Media Marketing Funnel,” I discuss an extension of a traditional marketing funnel. The traditional marketing funnel has states that include:

1) awareness,
2) consideration, and
3) sale.

This marketing funnel can be enhanced and two more states can be added:

4) loyalty and
5) advocacy.

Here, I define a “social media marketing funnel.” This is work and it takes time. No quick solutions. First you must make sure that you truly deliver value to your target market. Then use social media to reinforce the value you deliver. Provide your audience important information and earn a perception as a subject matter expert and leader in your industry. It is about establishing very strong relationships with your existing customers and potential customers. The focus of social media should not be on selling, but rather building relationships as I note in the article “2010 – Don’t Think Social Media, Think Relationships.”

Value and strong relationships will prevail in any economic times. And yes – social media is key! Social media is not a quick hit marketing endeavor. It takes time to build strong relationships and you must work hard at cultivating lasting bounds. Think what it would have meant to have the most loyal customers in the past two years – survival. And now as we see the stock market growing and have optimism of better days ahead, just think how those customers can be advocates that spur growth.

If you really focus on delivering valuable information to your target audience (assuming you deliver a valued product or service to begin with), you will sustain a profitable business. But remember, building strong relationships takes time. It is not smashing homeruns to produce winning runs. It is a slower process of hitting many singles, sometimes doubles. But doing so produces loyal customers and even advocates that are literally part of your team. Part of the team that communicates your value. Once this happens, you have people promoting your company in a way that it is a hell of a lot more compelling than anything you can say.

I have heard the social media cliché it is not quantity, but quality. I would change this a bit to say focus on quality and the quantity will come over time. And when that quantity does come, it will be of a much greater quality. So concentrate and use social media to put some runners on base and bring them around one base at time. Use the social media A-path. Make it happen!

Social Steve

7 Comments

Filed under economy, marketing, marketing plan, sales conversion, social media, social media marketing, Social Steve, socialmedia, SocialSteve, Word of Mouth Marketing

7 responses to “Social Media – A Must in the Current Economic Times

  1. Great insights. It’s not about adding another channel, but about defining all channels under the relationship umbrella — not in the cold “networking” sense of the word, but in the real, authentic, get-to-know-you-over-time kind of way.

  2. Agreed Steve, it is about delivering a message that resonates and has as its basis a human one. What makes social exciting is that we can access it when we want to and when we are READY to hear the message. Unlike tradional advertising it’s not thrown at us in X number of impressions, hoping some of it sticks. Search marketing has people actively looking for product or service and that is why it sis so effective, social media marketing already has people looking to connect with issues and to follow people they are open and ready to hear.
    Having something to say which touches your target audience when they are ready to hear it is a winning combination. And yes it does take time to develop, well giving it time to develop will deliver a more promising situation than raising false expectations.
    I think there are two kinds of ways a social media strategy can go. One is to “peak” in terms of numbers of users (quantity), and the other is “deep” how strong the level of adoption becomes (amount of time of engagement – quality)
    Using both results in a really broad appeal.

    Having something people want to interact with is again critical, and here we go back to what appeals to people, and the Humanity we all share.
    I think it is a great and exciting time we have before us and I predict more use of 3D virtual Avatar based platforms for real social and vital real time experiences.
    Thank you for the article Steve.

  3. Hey Steve…caught you through Linkedin. Thanks for the tip. YOU speak my language…:).

    Just published a book about this same subject. Building relationships…gosh the topic is awesome. Anyway, my book is called “Premium Promotional Tips for Writers” (yet, the promotional tips can extend to anyone who’s in the market to sell a product).

    This Internet Resource is an easy read with examples and proven marketing tips. To ‘Sneek-A-Peak’, go to:

    http://vandermeulen.laurusbooks.com/

    This way the viewer can decide for themselves if it’s worth the purchase.

    Loved writing it…just as I love researching my niche.

    Blessings…and keep up the great posts…really enjoy reading what confirms my belief.

    Jo-Anne Vandermeulen
    Prolific Writer & Professional Marketeer
    *FREE Marketing Tips for Writers*
    http://www.joconquerobstacles.com

    Jo-Anne Vandermeulen
    Author of Suspense/Romance
    “Conquer All Obstacles”
    http://www.joconquerall.com

    Author Jo-Anne Vandermeulen
    “Premium Promotional Tips for Writers”
    http://vandermeulen.laurusbooks.com/

    Jo-Anne Vandermeulen
    Owner and Marketeer of
    *Premium Promotional Services*
    http://www.premiumpromotions.biz

  4. Varsha Peshavaria

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for a great article and insights. These economic times call for leaner, more flexible organisations with fewer marketing budgets. This is where social media provides huge opportunities and something particularly small businesses can really capitalise on for example what and how Gary Vaynerchuk has changed his business.

    Varsha

  5. Very well put Steve, its always the single’s and double’s that one takes that counts in the long run. More over social media is to know people and make yourself known. When we provide value the profit follows. It does not happen overnight.
    Thanks for the article.

  6. 2 AWESOME articles I came across this week, supports Social Steve’s article:

    The Hardest Things to Teach Your Clients About Social Media Marketing | 10e20 http://bit.ly/C4Sw5

    PromotionWorld : How to Get in with Social Influencers to Build Links http://bit.ly/8ZmYN6

    Enjoy!

    Jo-Anne Vandermeulen
    Owner and Marketeer of
    *Premium Promotional Services*
    http://www.premiumpromotions.biz

  7. Having something to say which touches your target audience when they are ready to hear it is a winning combination. And yes it does take time to develop, well giving it time to develop will deliver a more promising situation than raising false expectations.

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