When formulating a social media marketing plan, many marketers make the same mistake. They create campaigns whose success is predicated on users behaving in ways that they themselves would never engage. By asking yourself if the actions you are seeking are actually actions you would perform, marketers can avoid creating campaigns that are doomed to fail.
Social Media Marketing: Not All About “Likes”
Mashable.com recently published an article asking those in social media marketing to think about how they actually use Facebook. And, their point is spot on:
“Think about how you use Facebook. You don’t go out and “Like” random pages for businesses you don’t already use or plan to use (with the exception of some inspirational brands). We usually like things on Facebook that we like and use in the real world.
Your Next Best Customer Is Connected to Your Current Customers
This is the real value of Facebook as it pertains to business growth and acquiring new customers. It isn’t about getting strangers to like you, it’s about getting exposure with the friends of your fans. These are the best prospects for you, and you already have a foot in the door because one of their friends, someone who they trust and respect, has already made the choice to do business with you.”
Word of mouth advertising is and always has been our most trusted form of referral. The concept of friendship implies a common ground and similarity in which the relationship is rooted. When you see interactions between businesses and those you trust, it gives that company a natural advantage over their competition. This relationship is exactly what social media marketing should embrace:
“Many businesses think of Facebook as the place to get new customers, and it certainly can be. But the most effective way to get those new customers is through word-of-mouth (or the online version, which perhaps should be called word-of-keyboard?).
Many businesses want to reach new audiences on Facebook, but they just aren’t sure how. The answer is simple: through your existing fans. Here are some of the ways that you can use your current customers to generate awareness with their friends:
- Encourage interactions with content to build awareness
- Run contests or trivia where your fans reveal interesting things about their personality
- Ask customers to post photos on your Facebook
- Feature customers on your Facebook
- Provide incentives for sharing
- Build contests for sharing and social spread, not to maximize entries
- Create an extraordinary visual experience that customers want to share
- Build mass momentum with events
So forget about “Like” campaigns that do no more than generate numbers. Build a social media marketing plan that seeks to engage your current customer base, then watch their friends come running.