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Improve your pace in the marketing race – with Social Media’s embrace

It’s well known that the best and most reliable form of effective marketing is “Word of Mouth.” A person is more inclined to buy/use a certainWord of mouth product that has been referred by somebody they know. It’s also known that marketers have zero control over word of mouth marketing, but thanks to the advent of social media, this is not true anymore. Brands can have an online presence on various social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. where real people can Like, Follow or Subscribe to their brands and show their friends, followers and connections what they use and prefer, giving an indirect word of mouth.

This is just one of the benefits of having your brand present on social networking sites. Another big advantage of being in the social realm is the interaction with your clients. We’re getting lazier (or smarter!), and we would prefer to have things in the fastest, most convenient way possible. With the advances in technologies and everyone having BlackBerries, Androids, Windows and iPhones, people are getting used to doing everything with the touch of a finger using the same tool. The point is that you and I would rather have everything in one place than having it at a hundred different places. For the same reason, it’s easier for a customer to give feedback to a company using a tool that he uses (already) to connect with his family and friends, rather than filling out a feedback form on the company’s website. It’s also a great way to inform people about the latest news and reviews about the brand’s products, share offers and deals, or engage in a general conversation about the brand or the industry.

A lot of companies are embracing social media consistently. And if you’re reading this but you continue to shy away from the social web, there couldn’t have been a better time for you to get started. NOW is the time. It’s quite possible that your clients are already on the social web and are using the F-FACTOR to their advantage. The F-factor, as coined by trendwatching.com, refers to Friends, Fans & Followers and how they can greatly influence consumers’ purchasing decisions in ever-more sophisticated ways. If you’re still not convinced, here are a few stats that would, or rather should, surprise you:

  • There are over 500 million active users spending over 700 billion minutes a month on Facebook. (Source: Facebook, April 2011)
  • Every month, more than 250 million people engage with Facebook across more than 2.5 million external websites, demonstrating that the impact is beyond Facebook – and can be a good source of increased traffic on your website. (Source: Facebook, April 2011)
  • The average user clicks the ‘Like’ button 9 times each month. (Facebook, 2010)
  • Three quarters of Facebook users have ‘Liked’ a brand. (Source: AdAge/ Ipsos, February 2011)
  • Juicy Couture found that their product purchase conversion rate increased by 160% after installing social sharing features (Source: CreateTheGroup, February 2011)
  • Incipio Technologies, a gadget accessory retailer, found that referrals from Facebook had a conversion rate that doubled their previous average (Source: Business Insider, March 2011)

Social Media Bandwagon

Hopefully, you’re now convinced that having a social presence for your brand is nothing less than mandatory, but you should keep in mind that it’s also important to make that presence effective. There are a few bottlenecks that you may come across when you’re first introduced to the social web, or may be currently facing, or even struggling with, if you already have a presence on the social realm. We, at Domus Inc. have helped our various clients through consultation and implementation of several strategies and ideas to achieve a breakthrough in their social media campaigns. Here are a few things that you may need help with:

Getting Friends, Followers & Fans

Remember the F-FACTOR that I just mentioned. Well, in order to get the full benefits of the F-Factor, you have to get a good amount of the ‘F’, i.e. Friends, Followers and Fans. Once you have created a final draft of your brand page on a social networking site, it would be a good idea to send out an email to your company’s current distribution lists highlighting a few benefits (announcing exclusive offers would be even better) that you may be offering on the social platforms. Including the social media icons on your website’s home page is a no brainer – if you’re on the sites, tell people about that! Some other strategies such as sweepstakes, giveaways, and special deals can lure more fans, while things like Facebook ads, Google ads, etc. directing viewers to your social pages can garner a decent number of fans and followers. Domus Inc., has helped one of its clients in the luxury kitchen appliances industry to increase its fans nearly tenfold through specially designed social media campaigns.

Interacting with your followers, and getting them to interact with you

Getting fans and followers is one thing, and getting them to interact and give feedback is another. A social networking page that has interesting, relevant and engaging content is more successful than the one that is just there for the brand to have a presence on the site. Ideally, the social page should be one of your company’s primary sources to inform followers/fans about new developments such as product launches, events, special deals etc. It’s also a good idea to engage in dialogue with fans and followers on events/occasions close to them such as the holiday season, the super bowl etc. This creates a fun experience and more personal experience for the users. It’s also a good idea to respond to user feedback and questions from time to time so that they have a feeling that their social interaction is not going unheard. Domus Inc. maintains social content for some of its clients and has had excellent results in terms of user interaction and responding to feedback.

Getting the fans to get you more fans

Your fans promoting your brandNow that you have a good enough active fan base, it is time to spread the word of mouth. Usually interesting and interactive content is a good source to get new fans from existing fans since most social networking sites are designed to publish all the interaction of a user on to their profiles, which, in turn, their connections see, and (ideally) notice your brand’s presence. Running occasional competitions and referral awards to your current fan base can prove to be a good resource for adding to your own social media “popularity.”

Keeping an eye on the competition

You should not be surprised to find your brand’s competitors on the same social networking site as you are on. Chances are that they are already there and engaging with potential customers while you read this blog post. Social networking sites are a good tool to monitor the latest and greatest activities of your competitors while giving you an opportunity to deliver something better. Engaging in dialogue on a common platform is also suggestion. For example, a company making mp3 players should interact with users on a page related to music, where other mp3 companies may also share their posts. This will mark your presence on the platform and will put your brand in a potential customer’s line of vision.

So, are you ready to embrace Social Media and use its pace to get ahead in the marketing race?

Getting on the social web is a necessity and soon enough, every person who is on a social networking site should expect to see their favorite brand on their favorite site. And, as any marketer knows, it’s not a good practice to disappoint a customer or a potential customer, and not give him what he would expect.

I think it’s a good idea to have some expert consultation and advice if you are new to social networking sites or are struggling to achieve desired results. We, at Domus Inc. are Social Media experts, and our various clients are benefiting from our experience and expertise. If you would like Domus to help you in building your business on the Social Realm, please feel free to contact our CEO directly at betty.tuppeny@domusinc.com or by calling 215-772-2805.

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