There’s no denying it…starting a social media campaign from scratch is daunting.
As part of a company, you want to find a way to build your brand and attract new prospects. Social media is a new, increasingly widespread way to create a community around your corporate identity.
But, how do you navigate all those channels? How do you find interesting ways to interact with users on every platform? How can you create enough branded content to draw and hold the interest of a new generation of web-savvy consumers?
How do you find your social media voice?
I’ve spent the past four to five years working in and around content creation for the web and social media. I remember making my first Facebook page, editing my first YouTube video and breaking 100 followers on my Twitter account.
I think what’s resonated most throughout all my social engagement is how exciting it is; knowing your messages are reaching people and realizing users are interacting with the content you share.
This sense of novelty and excitement is the engine behind social media as a tool for successful online marketing.
Howard Schultz, now-CEO of Starbucks, famously credits social media for pulling the coffee giant out of dire straits.
In 2007, Starbucks’ stock dropped 42 percent. It didn’t look good.
He used the web and interactive digital media to drive a complete overhaul of the company’s image and branding. Because of that initiative, Starbucks has raked in over $10 billion in revenue and employs around 150, 000 people.
In an article posted on MyNorthwest.com dated 2010, Schultz is quoted. “(…) Trust isn’t something you build through traditional marketing. You do that through integrating social and digital media. It is a science, as well as an art, to understand how to do this in a way that is authentic and genuine, and not just marketing.”
That, in my opinion, is one of the most ringing endorsements for finding your social media voice in order to run a successful program. Utilizing social networking for your business is cost-effective and wide reaching.
In 2013, Palmer Marketing is committed to increasing our social media footprint, digging down to find a real identity on the social web and becoming an example and a resource for clients, new and old, as they venture into social media as a marketing tool.
Here are some tenets of our newly resolved commitment to social media. They’re centered upon three key platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
1. We are going to drive engagement on Facebook by making it personal.
Not everyone wants a presence on the social web. That’s totally fine. Nothing wrong with wanting to keep your personal life out of the public eye. But, as a Social Media Coordinator, I’ve committed to integrating my social profile into the ones I manage. I’ve reached out to my network via Facebook and garnered more attention for Palmer’s page. The most successful social media platforms are the ones with the most company involvement. When everyone engages, shares, likes and posts, it creates an undeniable buzz. This will be a key element in finding our identity on the social web—making it apparent that real people are driving engagement.
2. We’re going to use LinkedIn to network with other business professionals and share important industry information.
LinkedIn is an endless font of industry news, networking opportunities and sales leads. We will use this platform, in the right measure, to position ourselves as a resource for people and businesses within our network.
3. We are going to engage more via Twitter and we’re going to sound like human beings when we do it.
Twitter has a user-ship of over 500 million. This comprises a wealth of interest groups. Twitter offers tools for targeting people, discovering what they’re talking about and joining the conversations. We’re hoping to see a lot more engagement, attract a larger audience, and build our brand. As with our Facebook engagement, we’re going to humanize our Twitter feed—ensure our voice is well received and we’re approachable.
As we continue to experiment with and grow our presence on social networks over the next few months, I’m really hoping to create our social media voice. I’m excited to engage our existing community on the social web and attract some new members. We want to act as a resource for social networking knowledge; we’re going forward recognizing that it’s a little unnerving to start building a social media campaign from the ground up, but with a voice, some consistency, commitment and lots of interaction, social media is a powerful marketing tool.
Sometimes you learn lessons late in life and that certainly applies to my understanding of the sales person’s role. I bought out my partner over 3 years ago. He did a great job looking after our existing accounts but he and I didn’t see eye to eye on our need to add new clients. It was the old farmer/hunter sales scenario and it’s a discussion I still hear tossed about frequently throughout the industry.
Buying out my partner, the recession and hiring a younger “high-polish” sales person all came at the same time. Like many who entered into a position of top line responsibility during the recent recession, it was a tough time to start a new venture.
It was interesting how people reacted to a change in the guard. Most of our existing customers preferred my old partner calling on them and found the new guy a bit too slick. But, he was a hunter and the new opportunities he created with like individuals were a good match… they thought highly of him. We gave it a year, he got an opportunity back in the finance world he came from and we called it a day. I recouped maybe 25% of what I spent on the exercise but I also learned much from the experience. The number one thing…the role confidence plays in the sales process.
Times were tough, we put more weight on our online marketing and it worked, so we passed that on to our smaller clients. Many of our big clients disappeared during the recession, they had to stop the bleeding and they chose to cut advertising.
We saw immediate results from the more enhanced web efforts and entered into social media a bit, including blogging. Our sales approach was more technical in nature and we took a team of 3 individuals with diverse skill sets and backgrounds and that got the job done…or so we thought.
We opened up Montreal earlier this year and have a very capable representative calling on the industry. We followed up with another account manager in Toronto this summer. Why you might add?
The web gives us as many new sales opportunities as we can handle but I found that we were running too lean to properly stay in touch with the clients we had. We would do our best on each client’s project but then we would lose touch if there were no pending additional needs. Recently, we discovered that we missed additional opportunities as a result of our “sales silence”. This isn’t just bad for us, it’s bad for our clients as the continuity of their marketing can get off track in a hurry.
The lesson learned once again… it’s not A or B, it’s A and B. You need to farm and hunt for a balanced sales diet and there is equal value to both.
Lee’s quote for the day
We had our new Yellow Pages delivered this morning. Hooray! Apparently 550 million of them were delivered in the USA as recently as last year.
The half dozen copies we received, weighing in at 30 lbs, will go directly into our recycle bin. Last fall there were hundreds
delivered to the mail room at our 25 story condo in Toronto. I never saw anyone pick them up and I believe the majority were recycled as well.
So what’s the scoop? Advertising is still being sold aggressively and the book still appears to be pretty thick. I can understand bars, restaurants and the local payphone using them to a point but don’t most people have cell phones with internet access?
Yellow Pages can post big circulation numbers but actual usage? I still occasionally use the online version but I can’t remember the last time I cracked open the actual book. How about you? Is the horse dead or is it just not running at a full gallop? By the way, did you know the reason they are yellow? A hundred years ago the printer ran out of white paper. How’s that for innovation?
As the internet and web continue to revolutionize how we communicate what lies ahead for the good old Yellow Pages. Does anybody out there use them as a reference? If you are still advertising in them can you trace business to it? Love to hear your thoughts.
Lee’s Quote for the Day
“Probably the biggest factor keeping the yellow pages alive is the fear of change and hanging on to the philosophy of “We’ve always done it that way”. It’s sad to see an icon disappear but I guess we will all share a time where we need to quietly ride off into the sunset.”