Social Media is where Websites were at in the early nineties. Having a website was the “hot” thing for every business who wanted to keep current with the latest and greatest technology. Everyone knew that they had to have a website, but then they started to think about what makes a good website, or a profitable website. Right now everyone knows that you have to do social media, but how do you “do social media” in a way that effectively produces great ROI, and with so many businesses out there doing this how do you make your business stand out in a crowd?
Here’s a quick guide for the hottest trends and some basic tips on how you can make your latest social campaign stand out in a crowd:
Social Scanning. With all the smartphones currently in the hand of young and old there are many new activities for consumers to participate in that allow them to use their hot new hand held device. One of the most popular trends right now is Social Scanning. Social Scanning uses technology like a QR code that allows a smartphone user to scan the QR code and be directed to any custom created content. We recommend implementing this incredibly simple tool to ride the smartphone wave and use it to get creative and integrate into your social media campaigns in a variety of ways. The possibilities are literally endless as far as where you can put these QR codes and where you direct the smartphone user once they scan your code, and the innovative technology will help you stand out. Innovate and stand out in a crowd by using this technology to give you an edge.
Questions! Well formed questions can do wonders for your activity and engagement on your various platforms. There are lots of great ways to put this theory into practice right now in social networks. MySpace has a new questions and curators format, Facebook has rolled out Facebook Questions, Twitter has always been a great way to shoot a question out to a ton of followers, and one platform, Quora, is entirely focused on questions. Remember to ask questions that would relate to your target audience. People love to voice their opinion, so get them talking. All of the activity on your profiles will really start to turn some heads. This is also a great way to ask some very pointed questions to get a pulse on how your business is meeting expectations and other vitals related to customer opinion that’s quick, easy, and free.
Realize that Social Media is DIFFERENT! This is not another traditional marketing medium to pump out your self involved one way monologues. Socialize on your Social Media! Social media is your chance to engage at ground level with your customers. LISTEN to your audience. If you google “Stand out in a crowd” many of the top results are about being a person that stands out in a crowd, and much of the advice is to be honest, and to really listen, pay attention, and give value to others, instead of just driving home your agenda. Show them that you care. This is not just another media for you to shout at people. People are on Social Media to socialize, and the same rules apply here as in face to face conversations and social circles. Do not become yet another signal in the Traditional Media noise Torrent. So many companies think that they are being progressive by simply taking their marketing messages and transitioning them directly over to social media. This will quickly earn you a spot on a spam list, and you lose your opportunity forever to engage that user. If you engage like this with your audience you will stand out in a crowd.
Leverage Mobile Technology to create loyalty and brand awareness using Geolocation platforms. Are you a coffee shop, a restaurant, or any other type of business that relies on foot traffic in your stores to survive? Since the beginning of marketing there has never been such powerful tools available to reward people in a cost effective way just for simply visiting one of your locations. These tools are Foursquare, Facebook places, Yelp, Gowalla, and many others. Pick one of these tools and create some great customer incentive programs . This is the new loyalty program. There is an inevitable convergence of social media with traditional loyalty programs, and we’re already seeing it happen. Whoever does it best will certainly stand out in a crowd.
Focus on Social Capital. When we consult with businesses looking to create a successful Social networking marketing plan, no matter what platform you are approaching, it is always important to keep in mind Social Capital. Social Capital is what drives all social phenomenon to become viral. This is the currency of social media:
- The taboo
- The unusual
- The outrageous
- The hilarious
- The remarkable
- The secret
- Functions – meets needs
- Finances – affects wallet
- Freedom – convenience, time, confidence
- Feelings – self-image and pleasure
- Future – affects life and security
A good viral campaign is so unique, it will always stand out in a crowd. Make sure you have at least one element from the above list in every post.