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Why Social Media Doesn’t Matter Anymore!

Guest post by Joel Norton: Why Social Media Doesn’t Matter Anymore!

Joel Norton an expert in Direct Marketing with over 20 years of experience has joined Integrati Marketing this week to talk about Social Media. Joel runs BoostHQ.com.au a great Marketing Agency which provides training about how to benefit from Social Media for Small Medium Business.

The hype about social media continues to echo but the fact is, it really does not matter anymore.

The idea behind the hype, measurement and rush to claim guru status revolved around the tools and the platforms, all of which were new, but none of which were the point.

The reason social media doesn’t matter anymore is that it really doesn’t exist beyond a label. The truth is that ‘social media’ is simply a bunch of tools. What does matter is the ability to increase interaction and to build even deeper relationships with our customers, and the opportunity to build trust with potential prospects. Once we drop the ‘social media’ label, we’re left with 4 key factors that do matter.

Prospect Engagement

If we’ve learned one thing over the last year or two, it’s that prospects are drawn to the ability to interact with the companies, brands and messages that they choose to absorb.

Marketing and sales need to incorporate this ability to ‘interact’ in order to even get an invitation into the prospect’s decision-making world. Any opportunity we have to start a conversation and start the process of building trust should be grabbed with both hands.

Customer Experience

It’s more important than ever to ensure that we deliver exceptional customer service and we keep our existing customers loyal. These new channels provide a great opportunity to keep our customers at the centre of our business and strengthen our relationship.

It also provides increased opportunity for our advocates – our customers who love us – to promote our products and services on our behalf. If being found by prospects is the new form of lead generation awareness, then trust is the new form of lead conversion. Trust happens rapidly when customers have an experience worth talking about, and a remarkable customer experience is the most effective form of lead generation.

Collaboration

The Internet has enabled a world where we can work in conjunction with prospects, customers, suppliers, mentors, advisors and staff to improve our existing products and services, as well as develop new ones.

Community sourcing is a practice that underpins all product, service and business development activities.

Fusion

Another powerful lesson gained over the last few years is that offline activity is enhanced, rather than replaced, by online activity.

The careful fusion of hi-touch business building that’s done face to face, with hi-tech business building that enables more frequent, personalised contact and communication is the secret to delivering the most advanced customer experience.

The tools you use will differ depending on your business and your marketing strategy.

Here are my 5 Top Tips on how to develop effective interaction in marketing using social media tools:

1. Listening is the Best Way to Develop a Strategy

As with all marketing, you should always define your strategy before you dive into tactics and execution, and social media is no different. Developing a ‘Listening Station’ is the best form of market research, and allows you to develop an appropriate social media strategy that you can align with your broader business objectives.

2. Optimise your Brand Assets

Once you’ve developed your strategy, you need to claim your digital real estate by setting up profiles on the appropriate search and social networks. You need to control and optimise your digital assets such as profiles, pages, photos, audio and video to ensure you have a consistent message.

3. Content as Lead Generation

People go to search engines on a daily basis looking for answers. Businesses who publish relevant content frequently via their blog are more likely to be found during these searches. It’s about changing your approach from ‘hunting’ to ‘being found’. The content also demonstrates your expertise, and starts the process of building trust with your prospects.

4. Networking Hasn’t Really Changed

People network to expand their contacts, meet new prospects and potential employees, catch-up with customers and conduct research. Social networks provide the same opportunity just in a slightly different style of engagement, and can greatly enhance your traditional approach to networking.

5. A System is the Solution

Managing your social media assets, online networking and creating a regular stream of content can be daunting. It’s critical that you utilise dashboards, and you integrate and amplify your content on the different platforms and networks. Most importantly, you must develop a system to ‘manage the beast’ effectively.

Let’s stop measuring adoption of social media and go to work on simply measuring effective interaction in marketing.

About Joel Norton:

Joel is Chief Strategy Officer of Boost Marketing, a specialist small business marketing coach. He is an accomplished marketing professional with 22 years experience, and is passionate about delivering strategic, practical marketing solutions that help small business to be more profitable. Joel distributes Weekly Marketing Tips which you can subscribe to at www.BoostHQ.com.au, or you can follow him on Twitter @BoostHQ

Integrati Marketing Consulting works with Joel and BoostHQ with various engagements for Social Media strategy reviews and implementations for businesses looking to improve their customer dialogue programmes.

  • Hi Joel, great post thank you.

    We have had a few of our readers asking us for some more information about Social Media and their marketing.

    But we also have had a few questions about how you look so young, can you give some of your anti-aging secrets as well as Social Media advice?

  • I know, I get asked that regularly – it's just that you can't see the 'salt & pepper' in the photo! Well, actually, it happens in-person as well. In fact I was at a networking function on Tuesday night, and one person was convinced I was lying, so I ended up showing them my drivers licence to prove my age!

    Truth is I started working at Cartwright Williams, a specialist direct marketing agency in December 1988, a month after completing my HSC, and I've been in marketing ever since, which makes 2010 my 22nd year in the business.

    Happy to respond to any specific queries regarding social media – just let me know.

    Cheers, Joel