Part of what a lot of companies are looking for in the social media space is to be able to integrate social media into their existing marketing efforts. Before this can happen the company really needs to understand what their current marketing efforts. I know this sounds intuitive but a lot of marketing is a “black box” for organizations and marketing “just is”. I’m working with a client on socializing their existing marketing and integrating social media into their existing marketing efforts. I thought I would create 2 off the cuff examples of how companies can “socialize” their current marketing:
Customer makes a purchase and at check-out receives a thank you email for purchasing from the company. Sometimes this can be followed with a discount for a future purchase or a reminder to purchase something else in the future.
Customer makes a purchase and upon checkout is asked to join the company facebook fan page to receive special offers, promotions, sneak peak items, etc. In addition an email is sent to the customer with a link to the company twitter page should the customer have any questions or concerns with the product. The option to “tweet” the purchase is also given.
Visit to a website
Someone visits a site and is presented with standard information about a product or service. If the visitor wants to ask a question or get more information about a product/service they are directed to a contact page where they can get in touch with a receptionist or someone at the company via phone/email. The visitor is completely disconnected from any/all interaction directly with the company. The visitor comes to the website and leaves…faceless and lost.
Visitor comes to the website to find new and fresh content that is updated almost on a daily basis (thus the visitor has a reason to return). The visitor has the option of commenting directly on most of the content that is shared on the site and can subscribe to and share the content. In addition the visitor has the option to build a relationship with the company via social media channels such as twitter, facebook, and linkedin. The visitor comes to the site and is now able to connect directly with the company to either purchase a product or get information for a purchase at a later time. The visitor is retained instead of lost.
These are just two examples that I could think of off the top of my head at 1 am but I’m hoping that you understand what I’m getting at here. Most marketing is about one way broadcasting. Companies need to examine all of their marketing and client touch points to see how these one way broadcast messages can be transformed into relationship building conversations. There are a lot of wasted opportunities to build valuable relationships and communities with companies’ clients and prospects. The next time you visit a company site or receive any type of marketing information think about how it can be socialized or made interactive. How can a company build a relationship with you and bring you in to be a part of their community?