The New Economy . . . a new marketing and communication paradigm is engulfing your customers and prospects. Your ultimate success is dependent in good measure upon the effectiveness of your Strategic Social Media Plan embracing this new paradigm . . . the tone of your “voice” . . . the consistency of your brand message. . . and how well you create community by making fans out of customers – both your ultimate retail customer and your channel participants.
The cold hard fact is: A traditional website alone, no matter how impressive and informative, will not suffice in this new era. You must integrate Social Media and Social Networking into your marketing mix and public relations efforts. Toward that end, the last two blog posts focused on (1) definitions of Social Media and Social Networking and (2) the key ingredients for Social Media success. Now let’s answer question #3 – the “bottom line” Home Furnishings Executives have asked:
“But what does that really mean? What can Social Media do for me?”
9 Major Impacts On Bottom Line Profits – Effective Social Media Will:
1. Quickly build awareness of your desired online Brand image and web presence in the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketplace, with measurable results, and without the exorbitant cost of traditional image advertising whose effectiveness cannot be accurately measured.
2. Prevent potential image and customer service disasters that can destroy a Brand – by monitoring the online “buzz,” consumer ratings and customer comments . . . so you can respond quickly, pro-actively, engage in damage control, elicit more positive ratings and comments from satisfied customers to outweigh the negative ones (you must ask!), and turn negatives into positives. Word is going to be spreading like wild fire across the internet, so join in the right way, take control of your destiny, and make the virology of the social web work for you, not against you!
3. Increase your website’s organic ranking in the search engines, so people find you when they search for your product categories. Social activity on, involving, citing or linking to your web pages is a critical factor in Google’s new search algorithm!
4. Provide additional, SEO optimized web content that points to your webpages, company and products, so you can claim more than one position on top search results pages – more than one lane on this multi-lane superhighway – to be seen as the “authority” and supplier of choice!
5. Gather market intelligence quickly, at low cost, with higher participation using “Crowd Sourcing” – asking questions on social sites, using online polls and engaging your community (effectively outsourcing the query to them) for faster, more honest answers than you’d ever get with expensive, very limited and unreliable focus groups and poorly-attended, traditional market research surveys. This feedback on your new product development ideas can help you avoid expensive mistakes such as creating products, product features or pricing that consumers won’t buy!
6. Accelerate your time to market with new product lines and innovations by posting on social sites content about it that people will want to share with their like-minded friends, by creating short videos that can go viral, and simply asking your community of fans, followers and subscribers to help spread your message!
7. Increase traffic to your website, showroom and through retail doors for more new and repeat sales, new product introductions, special promotions, events, list building for follow-up communications and relationship building, etc.
8. Gain far faster media attention (broadcast media, print media, bloggers and others online and offline) through your social postings and selective distribution of carefully crafted online press releases and news releases on a consistent basis – generally reaching more people and at far less than a traditional advertising and public relations firm would charge!
9. Network for joint ventures, new channels, highly qualified officers and staff, resources and every other purpose for which you use your regular business association meetings, only you tap into a much larger network, faster, with broader information and opportunities.
How can you place a price tag on all that? You really have everything to gain by becoming better informed about Social Media and how it plays into your overall corporate strategy. We’re here to help!
To your success,Margaret
Linda Carey and Margaret Hampton invite you to sharpen your
Strategic Vision and discover high-impact Social Media Strategies in
the Executive Internet Webinar For Home Furnishings Executives –
See you there!