Social media marketing is complex yet simple to understand. Before you begin a social media marketing campaign it is important that you clearly understand the level of commitment that is required. It is a long-term commitment that may not show any quantifiable results for as long as a year. And even then there is no promise of success. There are literally hundreds of components to consider but fortunately, you don’t need to incorporate them all. In this article, we want to discuss how the name you select can keep you hidden in a forest of redwoods or have you standing on the mountains of Tibet. Choosing the right branding strategy, consistent interaction, and the quality of your customer service are all ingredients for a successful digital marketing campaign.
What’s in a name?
You only have 8 seconds to impress me and if you fail, I’m outta here and on to greener Google pastures. What’s in a name anyway? A lot more than you think. The name you select should distinguish itself above all others especially from names that market similar goods or services. Some names are so generic that they are easily confused with comparable names found in the Google index. Once you select a name for your business, there is no turning back. It will be used for your domain name, social network profile, and will be forever associated with your brand. Whether your online presence reflects a well-established brick and mortar or your strategy is the promotion of an online business or service, you want your name to reflect prestige, integrity, excellence, and trustworthiness. The name you choose for your online business is as important to your success as the goods or services you offer.
Aspire to be the Cadillac of names. Your name should spark an immediate interest that excites your target market to examine your website – or whatever social media channels you use – to view what is offered. You want your name to stand out. Do not base your name on short-lived trends that eventually render themselves irrelevant, ineffective, quickly fading away into forgotten oblivion. You want your name so unique that it is impossible to copy. Many times, competitors attempt to hijack a name or a form of it thinking they can coax customers and prospects to follow them. Excuse the obvious cliché but they are like “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” You want your name so unique that if a competitor used a strategy to steal your customers away from you that it would be obvious and damage the brand of anyone too lazy to do their own work. Ideally, you want your name easy to remember and pronounce in any language or geographic region where you plan to do business.
Don’t select a name that is safe, universally appealing or in the form of an acronym. There is only one HP, only one AT&T, and only one CVS. Chances are that Doctors on Duty might be mistaken for the Department of Defense if it suddenly began to use the acronym, DoD.
What is your branding strategy?
It is fundamental to an effective social media marketing strategy that your domain name is easy enough to remember but unique enough to set your brand apart from others. Cream always rises to the top. It is crucial that your brand is easy to recognize and easy to share. If success is not immediate, do not become tempted to adapt your strategy for short-term results. This will only create confusion and a lack of trust in consumers at large. You should trust your plan and confidently commit to it for at least 1-year. Update your plan annually but remain focused on your target. Trust and credibility do not emerge after one sale. True conversions come through repeated sales and positive feedback. Repeated sales come through cultivating and nurturing relationships. Trust is gained by updating and corroborating expertise. You are your brand and your brand is you. You represent what your organization will do for its customers. It is an intangible asset that is difficult to quantify or put into words but it needs to deliver every single time. Consistent integrity is monumental to your brand. Your brand becomes your reputation. How is that achieved?
Active listening and ongoing conversation with customers and prospects build relationships and at the same time help promote your branding strategy. Consistent participation in whatever social media channels you incorporate into your campaign is essential for establishing trust throughout the conversion process. Avoid flagrant self-promotion and hard-sell techniques that only serve prospects to move on to sites that don’t place undue pressure with the purpose of a lead conversion. People need to know they are more than a number in your marketing strategy. Knowledge of your target market is crucial to your branding success. Your story should explain your identity, what you represent, and what type of goods or services you offer. What one thing makes your brand unique? Who is your target market? According to the Pew Research Center, Facebook is still King of Social Media. With 72% of all internet users checking in on a daily basis, Facebook continues to be a substantial resource for digital marketers. But how do you locate your specific target market? For example, if you want to know how many people on Facebook are interested in snow skiing, you can use the Facebook Ads Manager.
With little change in most social media channels, it is curious that “while there were no changes in overall usership on any site when comparing data from the fall of 2014 and the spring of 2015, a few social media platforms did see an increase in user engagement. The proportion of daily users on Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn increased significantly from 2014.” (Pew Research Center) The increase in user participation is expanding the way to greater marketing opportunities through social media platforms.
Quality: Why you do it better than anyone else?
Building substantial, positive relationships generally improve business processes. Consistency is the key that unlocks doors that create long-term relationships where early detection can correct customer problems and complaints. Feedback on your goods and services allow collaboration with your customers on new designs and address any possible changes or improvements on existing items. People need to know they matter and that you are listening to what they say. Tech support is an option where social media marketers post do-it-yourself videos to YouTube creating yet another channel to gain your target market.
Before the internet and the social media marketing revolution, if someone had a bad customer service experience, they would share it with 11 other people who would each share it with 5 others. This would give 67 people a bad impression of the company in question. The customer may even write a letter of complaint. Now those letters are posted on the internet for everyone to read. According to Zendesk, 95% of those who have had a bad customer service experience will share that news with others. 54% of those will share that experience with at least 5 other people.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com says, “If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”
You are only as good as your last customer service interaction whether it was to address a complaint or complete a financial transaction. It is so easy to slip into a fog of obsolescence while trying to maintain your social media presence. Social media marketing is not for everyone. It is not for the weak or fainthearted. If you don’t have the time to manage a social media strategy, it is not for you. Even businesses that do not have an online presence are subject to social media interaction. All you need to do is take a cursory look at Yelp.com where you will find thousands of positive and negative comments regarding a wide variety of businesses. You can’t be expected to make prospects and customers happy 100% of the time but if you are marketing online through social media channels, you damn well better try!