Savvy marketing means understanding how social networking platforms can aid your efforts, but it also means using video, mobile applications and social customer relationship management (CRM) to drive your marketing as well. Every potential area of customer interaction - from a website landing page to a Twitter feed or a Facebook account - is a place to influence the conversation about business.
"It's no longer enough to just have a website," says Luanne Tierney, vice president of worldwide channels marketing at Cisco. "It's about having a conversation with your customer."
"The worst thing you can do on social networks is sell," says David Nour, founder and managing partner of The Nour Group and a specialist in business and social networking relationships. "The best thing you can do is listen, engage and influence."
"You know what it takes to get into social media? A pulse," Nour says. "You know what it takes to succeed? A strategy." Nour offers five steps for building meaningful social networking relationships, with the caveat that "nothing will replace that three dimensional engagement" of interacting face-to-face, business person-to-customer.
First, he said, identify relevant stakeholders through LinkedIn and other tools. Then find where those stakeholders are getting their insights, followed by engaging those sources of insight with your unique pitch. Finally, deliver the best experience you can - removing things that don't "wow" - and attempt to influence best practices in the marketing community.
"Your knowledge of switches will get you to about here," Nour says, holding his hand up about half-way.
"But your ability to engage and influence others, on- and off-line, often without authority, is what is going to set you apart.
You are a in a value-based relationship business." As customers become more and more educated and sophisticated, doing more research on potential suppliers online, engaging both customers directly and key influencers of those customers becomes more crucial to Nour's social sales cycle.
1. Like me.
2. Know me.
3. Trust me.
4. Pay me.
"People who circumvent that process, online or offline, shoot themselves in the foot," he says.
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Issue: 315 | May 2013
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