Let me share a little secret with you. You know that social media campaign that your competitor just launched? The one that keeps popping into your customers’ inboxes and social media feeds? The one that has you scrambling to play catch up? Well here is the secret – the intern didn’t do it and neither did the company CEO. No, really. That insightful blog post, the ingenious timing and motivating call to action, the one that got even you to almost press the share button on your Facebook page – they didn’t do that in house. It was written by an advertising and marketing company. The same folks who produce the best advertising, the best billboards, the best print campaigns, and the best brands also produce the best social media content. In the same manner that you went out of your way to hire the best bookkeeper you could find, they went out of their way to hire the best social media expert they could find. And they are kicking your butt.
So what do you do? First you should understand exactly what a social media campaign is. It is building relationships over time backed by a game plan to maintain those relationships. Effective social media is not just posting every other day, tweeting a few times a week and then counting Followers and Likes. Instead, it is publishing engaging useful content on a consistent basis combined with excellent customer service and expertise in your particular industry. What does it get you? More sales. Over time, the cumulative effect of meeting and perhaps exceeding the expectations of your readers, your customers and even your vendors will have them talking. Word gets around.
So is it that simple? Do you just hire someone, give them access to your Facebook account and set them free? Not quite. Think of it like this. In the same way it would be unwise to have nothing more than a New York Times strategy it would be unwise to have a nothing more than a Facebook strategy. Your social presence needs to be a cohesive, integral part of your overall business plan along with your website, brick and mortar, company advertising, marketing and public relations. All of these reflect your company’s philosophy and unique value. To be successful, your social media voice must combine a deep knowledge of your business and offer valuable content delivered with the appropriate tone and an art for persuasion through beautiful creative and branding.
So the secret is out of the bag. Great social media brands don’t just happen. They are created through careful and deliberate planning by experts. Sort of like what your bookkeeper does. If you understand that kind of thing.
For 25 years, Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico has provided high quality seafood to restaurants and retailers. When they decided to offer their products online to home consumers, they chose Studio Hill Design to create the new company brand.
We coined the name NetFish, along with the tagline “Catch the Tastiest Fish Online.” A cyber bitmapped fish image was developed as the logo, and applied to packaging, a market booth, t-shirts and trucks.
Impressions count and people talk. People want to talk about new exciting things and a huge part of getting people to talk about you is walking the walk.
If your website has not been overhauled since 2008, there is nothing to talk about. It is that simple. In order to generate buzz you need to create it. Hardly a day goes by that you do not head out your front door without thinking about the kind of impression you are going to make. This is exactly how you should be thinking about your business.
If you fail to define, refine and manage your brand, like it or not, the world will do it for you.
But don’t limit this way of thinking to just your website. This concept applies to all of your social channels and your brand’s public persona. This includes your logo, your collateral, your social media and your branding. You need to be regularly evaluating your customers’ expectations and their experiences associated with your company. Are they finding the value and the meaning behind your products or services that you intend for them to see? Or are they seeing something else? Are they seeing something good or something bad? Helpful or neutral? And how can you get them back on track if they have mistranslated your brand?
Once you identify areas where your brand has gotten off track, you can take steps to shift all channels into alignment. You can strengthen your brand message and educate your customers about the value you have to offer. After all, this isn’t 2008 anymore and at some point, every cobbler needs a new pair of shoes. How do yours look? Do you need a polish or a new pair?
Visual content demands attention and people love it. Here are three quick tips to inject visuals into your social personality.
- Use Photos – use photos to engage your audience, show your personal side, let them know how you see the world.
- Use Video – with video, you can educate your customers about your product or service and let them get to know you even better.
- Use Infographics – infographics allow you to tell a more interesting story with your data beyond just facts and numbers.
Are you using visuals to share you message? If you are not, you should be.
In case you hadn’t noticed, it is just about holiday time. Hopefully, you have already begun to implement a marketing strategy for this busy time of year. It is your opportunity to see your bottom line to go from red to black. In this this tight economy, it is more important than ever that you get your word out there early and with a clear goal; to continue to serve your current client base with the quality they have come to expect from your services and to acquire new clients for the coming year. Here are three simple steps to get you started.
- Create an email and/or mailer offering winter a promotion to all your customers.
- Send follow up letters for unaccepted proposals. Find all the proposals that you created in the last 6 months that were not accepted and re-market the proposal offering a winter discount for the work to be done during the month of January.
- Reactivate old clients. Find all the customers in your database that haven’t requested services in a year or more and send them a winter special.
The holiday season is a great time to reach out without some of the awkward peskiness that can occur at other times of the year.
But you need to start now!
And remember, step up your customer service. You can really stand out during this potentially stressful time of year by providing a quick and understanding response time.
If you need more ideas, call us. It’s that simple.