Surround-Sound Social Business is the next major online marketing opportunity enabling you to grow your business in time for the holiday even if you already locked down your site.
“Social Time” is Ticking …Tick…Tock…
You can’t wait any longer to move your business into social! Here’s why…
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The recession alarm bells were ringing across the globe Thursday 9/22/2011, spooking investors and economists alike. With the Federal Reserve warning Wednesday 9/21/2011 that the U.S. economy is facing “significant downside risks,” and stocks and commodity prices falling around the world, it is clear there are ample reasons for worry.” Next up a 390+ point loss on the Dow.
So as your consumer’s 401K’s value continues to melt away for the foreseeable future (similar to what we saw in the consumer sector in 2008) what is your Plan B for your business when consumers get jittery and spend cautiously for the Holidays?
We all know what the 2008 business climate felt like for business. We all went through it. In fact for many of us we are still feeling the effects of it. Again, history repeats itself so what did your business do in 2008? Did you cut marketing and or advertising spending? Last week, we learned through my blog post that in tough economic times GE does the exact opposite. They invest in marketing and advertising. And last week IBM advertised it was investing in Social Business. Do you believe these companies have it wrong? Or do they know something we don’t?
With the fact that Facebook has 750 Million users and each user spends an average of 7 hours a month on Facebook it is clear that consumers are spending less time on your site. Add in the additional 100 Million Twitter users and their Tweeting patterns and then ask yourself how can my business think about deferring social plans any longer?
What is ironic to me is you don’t have to look very far to see the answers to these questions. You just have to look at your first social program (EMAIL) and your ECOMMERCE CHANNEL and the success you have had in both. Ask yourself, if you could turn back the clock, would you have pulled these triggers sooner? It is clear (like email and ecommerce websites), the social superhighway will monetize itself for every business and it will happen quickly over the next 1-3 years. This is exactly what happened with email, with ecommerce websites and PPC. And it will happen here too. In fact, with ShoppeSimple Surround-Sound Social Business our clients are monetizing social and mobile TODAY.
Plus, did you know Amazon in its recent investor call reported it’s already raking in over a Billion $’s in sales annually through mobile (3% of their entire business)? So how can you not be using social and mobile as the “new” revenue channel to protect your business for Holiday 2011?!?!
The challenge is not when… but how?
Last week, I gave you ideas on how I would build a Facebook Channel. This week, I will conclude the post with eight more ideas that you can use in your Social Business right away. My hope is that these call outs will assist your strategy, development and execution of your Social Business. It is also my hope that helping you build a Social Business Channel will offset economic weaknesses and give your business a new incremental revenue stream in time for the Holidays.
At ShoppeSimple we are standing by ready to assist your business. And we can get you going in less than 2 weeks without touching any of your IT resources or needing to add any lines of code to your website.
Enjoy these ideas and, like anything social, please share your comments with me at email@example.com or leave a comment on my blog post.
“Key” Social Business things to do…
1. Deploy a Surround-Sound Social Business Strategy: This is all about socializing all of your current digital assets (for off/online channels) to create relevant conversations on your social pages; online places where your consumers are hanging out and already in conversation with their friends.
For example, have you socialized your . . . ?
- Website (you have over 90% defection)
- Emails (less than 10% clickthroughs)
- Abandoned Shopping Carts (over 70% abandonment)
- PPC/SEO (integrated social sharing tools and social landing pages that deliver better social results)
- Affiliate Marketing (Affiliates can sell for you on social like they have been doing in your traditional Affiliate program for years. Ask me about our ShoppeFans program on Facebook)
The point is that it’s just not about social channels but leveraging all of your digital assets and going horizontal across your organization with social connections to your consumers. The key to Surround-Sound Social Business is “Word of Mouth” which drives consumer activity back to your website to close a sale.
2. Why are you putting your Social Icons in the Footer? Ask your boss if you can put your email capture at the bottom of your homepage on your site and see what she/he says? The answer should be obvious. Are you #$XY& crazy!!. Email (and email capture) is your online marketing golden goose. For the last 15 years email capture best practices has shown that it should be done in the header of both your website and email. Since 1995, I have been capturing emails and asking consumers to “like” my website by giving me their email address at every online channel touch point. Every single one!
Using ShoppeSimple Social Business solutions we help you not only put your email capture back in the header but with Surround-Sound Social Business we nest all of the Social Icons in the header of your branded landing page that we build for you. This landing page matches your branding and maximizes the opportunity to monetize Social and Mobile across all of your ecommerce channels with socially enabled landing pages. We do not need your IT department to accomplish any of this. We do it all for you without IT involvement.
3. Stop Wasting Time Capturing The Wrong Likes: Stop employing desperate strategies like Sweeps, contests with flashy prizes in order to generate hoards of fans. They often attract fans that don’t really care about your business and don’t become good customers anyway. Frankly, you can be more imaginative than that. These are in-effective, worn-out customer acquisition strategies that don’t fit in the new Social Business space.
You just have to look at the new f8 interface just launching on Facebook this week where Mr. Zuckerberg is reducing the importance of Likes and increasing the importance of branded published content. So with f8 launching and changing the way Facebook consumer’s home pages look and feel, where does your business stand with its marketing messaging into Facebook? How do you quickly become a publisher of relevant content to integrate with Facebook?
For years, it has been my vision to help merchants distribute content and conversations. And this is exactly what ShoppeSimple does but we also up the value-add by enabling consumers to self-select the content they want to see and determine when and where they want to see it anywhere online. This is our patent-pending technology. So we applaud Facebook for moving to a content distribution model. ShoppeSimple is totally aligned with Facebook’s content distribution mentality.
Instead of thinking now about aggregating Likes, focus on creating an interactive Facebook presence that includes delivery of valuable content, engagement and conversation. Then your Likes will actually care about you and come to you naturally and holistically. They will also buy from you!
4. Distribute the Right Content: Going down memory lane…just like you did when you began to capture emails on your website in the mid-90’s, you asked your consumer to “Like” you by having them give you their email address. Your consumer traded their email address for unique, compelling and exclusive content.
Not surprisingly, our research shows that when you distribute unique, relevant content on Facebook you won’t have to worry about aggregating the number of Fans because at the end of the day it’s not the quantity of Fans you have but the quality that counts. How they respond and convert into dollars is what will matter most going forward.
5. It’s Not About You, Baby: Stop posting content that is overly promotional and talks too much about how super-awesome your products/services are. Stop Auto-Posting too. This is not a benefit to your consumer and does not generally come across as genuine. Determine what benefits your consumers are interested in and deliver them on Facebook. Find out what your fans care to hear about from you, and what makes them want to have conversations with you on Facebook.
We emphatically support that content should drive the consumer back to your website for the completion of a transaction. Privacy, security and credit card protections are already in place here and the shopping experience is totally under the control of the merchant as well.
Last week, a merchant described his vision around Facebook this way . . . “Don’t think for a moment that in the future there won’t be a Facebook “TAX” on traffic, orders and just about anything they can attach revenue to.” We agree. We have always moved traffic from Facebook, Twitter, Google and Mobile back to your website to capture a transaction for this very reason.
Similarly, be careful about the frequency at which you’re posting content to the Facebook Wall. There’s no definitive guideline about how much is too much on Facebook, but a general guideline is just a few, high quality posts a day makes sense. We are recommending no more than 3-5 posts a day on average. That said, feel free to comment and react to others’ posts on your Wall freely. Again, focus on quality content that generates new conversations and the monetary results will come.
6. Social Response Management: Efficient Social Response Management is key to anything done in social. Just like the call activity you have in your call center . . . would your Telco Ops Manager purposely leave people on hold or not pick up the order or service call? Make sure your Ops people see this channel as much more than an orphan and are willing to support your social connections.
But you may be thinking…how do we put Social Response Management fixed expenses ahead of unknown social order activity? How do we get started when I can’t build a new call center to support my business or add seats to the existing call center in time for the Holidays? Again, think of this opportunity in the same way as you do your call center during peak periods and cover your consumer’s Facebook posts, Chats, Tweets and any in bound calls from social through a Social Response Management overflow facility. Your brand and social channels need to be supported and protected in this emerging marketing channel. The ShoppeSimple program fully integrates this capability for you as part of our program.
7. Take a Horizontal Approach to Social: After first establishing a social strategy for content, conversation and engagement, make sure all of the organizational energy extends this approach horizontally across your organization. Do not establish your social program as its own revenue center (vertical). Social needs to be integrated horizontally across all channels. Don’t get caught up once again in the turf battles or silos between tradition online and emerging social. End them now!
Continue to drive social throughout your business by first allowing your staff to manage posting and conversations with your consumer. Doing so is a good thing as it leads to brand credibility. Once you’ve locked down your social strategy, let your social teams engage with your consumer. Let them be your consumer advocates. Let them be your social service agents. In some circles, I hear some claim that centralized control makes sense in social. But, I don’t think so. To me it sets up a huge conflict with what social is all about…. engagement and conversation…so open up and “get real” with your consumer.
8. Track your Social Business progress: Make sure you have social tracking in place that can track and measure how your social program is working including what kind of money it’s driving to your business. Analytics and measurement is key ingredient to any successful online channel and it is no different in Social Business. Make sure you make time every day to check in so you can monitor the level of engagement and conversations going on in your Social Business program. You will develop a more timely view of the sentiment for your brand in the marketplace. ShoppeSimple provides all your analytics, tracking and measurement in a convenient Analytics and Measurement Dashboard.
Finally the last word… from the Wall Street Journal… “For a World Where Facebook Is the New Internet”
“Facebook itself, sees content as a way to bring people to the site and keep them there, interacting with each other, buying stuff and getting served ads. At its conference for developers this week 9/19/2011, called F8, Facebook is expected to unveil a new media-sharing platform built for that purpose.” If you think 750 Million people don’t have clout, stay tuned. Your business depends on it.
My hope is you take these ideas and use them for your Social Business. ShoppeSimple would love to help you by delivering a complete turn-key Social Business program for you in less than 10 days. And we can do it completely without touching your website.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Just give me a call at 612-349-2740 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get into a discussion.