Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Going online is now an important part of most people’s daily lives.
A key task for the future will be to stimulate genuine interest in your content, because fresh, positive feedback provides vital evidence of your site’s increasing popularity and demonstrable relevance.
This is customer-centred rather than marketer-centred. It’s about attraction rather than promotion. Pull gently rather than push aggressively.
It’s about creating new communities of like-minded people, one stating their needs, the other satisfying them.
A win-win solution.
A million miles from the North American SLAB model of the 1950s: Sit, Listen, Absorb, Buy.
Building your Profile
Chances are, if you look closely (but discreetly) at your ‘best’ customers, in terms of socio-economics or psychographics, you will have a good idea what your best prospects are looking like, too.
Who is their peer group? Who is their cohort group?
Are there celebrities they like? Celebrities they ‘hate’?
Who do they ‘rate’?
How significant are geo-demographics?
What other sites do they typically use or regularly visit?
How best can we raise your profile? Make your brand more desirable?
Expand your circle of influence? Make you more famous or more popular?
Or more exclusive, if that would suit your purpose better?
Remember those who deliberately chose to adopt a low profile – like Rolls Royce years ago and Marks & Spencer?
The game has changed!
Shareable and Viral Content
Once it might have been conversations around the village pump.
Then around the office coffee machine. Or in the bar after work.
Now, good news travels fastest in cyberspace. And bad news, likewise.
Remember the old “2CK” TV commercials that always featured two actresses playing housewives, mouthing marketing-department-inspired praise for household products?
At least, the principle was sound: we trust our friends to pass on good advice.
It’s something the Internet has taken to a new level. Without financial incentive, people appoint themselves as ‘Brand Champions’ making recommendations by word-of-mouth or online.
Typically by sharing video clips, still images or even articles online.
(Remember how dull life used to be before YouTube?)
If you had to pay TV airtime costs for a brilliant viral video, you would be looking at feature film sums. Frightening eh?
Yet if for relatively low cost, you produce a clever, funny or cute video idea, it can be delivered to literally millions of screens, at absolutely no additional cost to you.
The original Susan Boyle clip on You Tube is a case in point. It helped her realise a dream.
Not to mention selling shed-loads of albums.
If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.
“How long is a piece of string?”
“How many beans make five?”
“Paint me the smell of a sunset!”
“Low tar – with middle tar taste!”
“All the puddings I can eat – without getting fat!”
Many things are easy to say but impossible to do. So the metrics you choose are mighty important.
Given the right metrics, we now have the technology to measure the efficiency of the most sophisticated online activity.
In Social campaigns, for example: we can compare and contrast the cost-efficiency of referral traffic. We can attribute conversion rates directly to different channels.
We can measure quality and relevance of content. We can track changes in community size, up, down or static.
We can even measure consumer moods – from levels of engagement to a change in sentiment.
We can measure it.
And together, we can manage it.
Convergence of Social and Search
The old rules are changing!
Time was when increasing numbers of inbound links were all anyone needed to improve their position in the rankings.
Obviously, this allowed the site owner to distort the true picture by manipulating the inbound activity.
But today’s search engines have got wise to that.
They have integrated more sophisticated social signal analysis into their ranking algorithm.
At Qumin, we anticipate an increasing convergence of top social networks and search, in order to boost brand ranking and sustain brand authority.
Important now, a lively on-the-record dialogue with Facebook, Twitter and Google will become increasingly essential.