A few weeks ago, I spoke at the Minnesota Direct Marketing Association’s (MDMA) Annual Conference. Over this last weekend, I prepared another presentation which I would like to share an overview with you. This current presentation is the direct result of findings from the audience participation at the MDMA conference. It is titled “The Top Ten Reasons Why Your Business Is Not Ready for Social Media…”
10. Oh… we are already doing social sharing and we believe everything we are doing in social is right.
ShoppeSimple Network (SSN) ideas: When you drill deeper into what a prospective client perceives they are doing in social and what they are actually doing you discover they are two completely different things. It gets worse when the client has such arrogance to believe they are doing everything in social correctly. Just last week several prospective clients indicated they were doing social sharing and they were doing what The ShoppeSimple Network was doing. To cut to the chase they were using AddThis, a 3rd party plug-in for their sharing tool. But have you asked yourself why the AddThis widget is free? There are only a few business models which work on the net. Those that are: 1. Pay me now or 2. Pay me later. AddThis falls into the latter.
What do you think AddThis is doing with your data that they are collecting? Are you getting this sharing data from AddThis? What’s going on in the background of AddThis with your data? Whatever they’re doing, it’s without the permission of your consumer. Consumers rely on your brand to protect them. By the way, I am not saying you didn’t agree to their terms of service, but did you fully understand their terms and the ramifications. In most cases, these sharing-tools companies and their widgets sell your sharing data to the highest bidder. Is this what you want your most trusted social consumers to know about your brand? To check out what I am saying, simply open up AddThis’s email-sharing tool and ask yourself what do you think they are doing with your consumer’s email addresses that they are capturing?
I would think that you would want to partner with a Social Management partner like The ShoppeSimple Network where we provide your business with our ShoppeSafe Social Management and Sharing tools and we fully protect your consumer’s data. Bottom line: we simply do not sell your social data or share with anyone.
9. You ask your consumer to “Like” you before you give them access to your Facebook page.
SSN ideas: Didn’t your website analytics tell you that not every first-time buyer wants to be forced to have an account with you? Not every customer wants their personal information including their credit card to be permanently stored on your server. Your analytics do show you that many consumers want to try you out first before storing personal data and then when they feel comfortable it will be their decision to move into a long-term buying relationship with you. Isn’t it appropriate for your consumers to be in control of the “when” and “where” they share their personal information with your business? Shouldn’t this be their choice and not forced upon them? Shouldn’t you be thinking the same thing about Facebook? If you put up your “Like” stop sign on Facebook before the consumer can view your content, what message are you sending to a consumer who wants to engage with you for the first time on Facebook? Less orders and less Facebook Likes.
8. Pushing a product catalog on Facebook follows the same traditional push marketing patterns of the last 25 years. But Push isn’t social, it’s anti-social.
SSN ideas: Investing in social media requires a deep-rooted belief system and a knowledge that you must engage in relevant conversations with your consumers. Conversations come first and then commerce. For instance, you don’t date and jump into “the will you marry me?” on the first date question. So jumping right into selling with your social consumers is abusing your social consumer’s desire to want to have a social relationship with your brand. So, before you jump into pushing a product catalog in front of your consumers on Facebook think, or better yet ask what your consumers want. Do they want the same old marketing from your brand or do they want you to know who they are, what they want to buy from you and where they want their offers delivered?
Now let your consumers self-select the Daily Deals they want, using ShoppeSafe’s Social Management services. For the first time your consumers are in charge of what they want to see from your brand and where they want to see it. Now for the first time your website goes wherever your consumer is.
7. You are not staffed for social media. If social media requires your staff to interact with consumers on a conversational level, are you ready to participate? Engagement and conversation goes well beyond Tweeting or slapping up Facebook wall posts about your latest offer.
SSN ideas: Your brand must be willing to add dedicated and motivated additional staffing who can speak in the normal non-formal conversational voice. Stuffiness and formality is not for social. Also a social community demands moderation to stimulate discussions, respond to comments and create an open, genuine dialog with your consumers. Your brand must be willing to unlock the dialog and not be scared of it.
ShoppeSafe enables you to manage all of your Social voice with just one click of your mouse. Plus, through ShoppeSafe your consumer shares your content simply and easily.Content creation within branded networks, including Facebook and Twitter, requires production time and dollars…so if you don’t have the in-house staff you can easily outsource this work to The ShoppeSimple Network.
6. Social Media cuts across verticals in your organization. In a recent sales meeting, I presented to a national financial institution. In discussing their approach to social, they mentioned that they put together a Facebook “Like” collection campaign. In order to do so, they created a direct mail and email campaign directed to a web-landing page, which then drove Facebook “Likes”. What was fascinating to hear was that it took a year to put this campaign together and over 52 approvals to accomplish. Yes, 52 approvals. How long would this campaign take to execute in your company? Can your company draw from resources across your entire company to respond to customer or PR needs? Are you set up to do this at a moment’s notice? Are you prepared to hear honest and sometimes not so nice comments about your business? And when you do, are you prepared to respond to them quickly? Can you do all of this everyday? That’s a lot of silos to work across. Would you win or lose in your organization?
SSN ideas:For real-time social initiatives to succeed, you need an advocate within your organization that is a key decision maker, a social stakeholder. He/she needs to drive the social programs through the organization. He/she needs to end the clutter over getting 52 approvals to move one social program into the market. In fact, social is all about frequency of contact and driving unique multiple content, 365 days a year to your social consumer. Can you do that? Do you want to do that?
5. Real-time means, like-NOW. Social media requires real-time responses that cannot be forecasted. Traditional marketers are used to classic marketing where programs are delivered and then results are tabulated. That just doesn’t work for social where programs are designed to be viral and spread in real time. So how does your business track a viral program? How do you use Google Analytics to do that? If you have a smashing success on your hands then congratulations; you now have an even worse situation. You’ll need people, more hardware, more analysis, more internal meetings, more funds. Well – do you think this can get any worse? Guess again. You’ll now need to do battle with. . .(see #4 below).
SSN ideas: You need trained moderators who can speak in a genuine voice on the brand. They need to feel comfortable, free from “Big Brother” concerns. They’ll need to come off as genuine, since they are speaking to a highly desirable segment of your brand consumer. And it’s okay to post, “I don’t know but I will find out.” Simply have a conversation with the customer.
To help you further understand your social analytics use ShoppeStats where you can track your social interactions at a deep level.
4. Procurement will freak. “You need extra funds approved for what social project by when?
Have you heard…”Aren’t Facebook and Twitter free?”
Chances are if you must expand scope to build on timely conversations your procurement department (tag teaming with legal) may not be in sync with you to accelerate this process. Plan accordingly, whatever that means. Watch out for legal and governance issues. Do you hear or fear that your social wheels are coming off your tracks?
SSN ideas: Pick up the phone and speak to the CEO for this one. Remember the Facebook and Twitter ad models are in their infancy. If you think they will be free 3 years from now, I have some swamp land to sell you. Do you really want to build your whole social model on these platforms without future knowledge of where the ROI will be?
3. Click to Purchase. Retailers are happiest when they are selling things. Have you had a hard time justifying all the social media budget requests and/or worse, cash outlays without any perceived or tracked success of social commerce revenue?
SSN ideas: Don’t get hooked into believing you need to create transactions at the social platform level. This is the lock-in Facebook and Twitter want you to believe their consumers want. At The ShoppeSimple Network we believe in just the opposite. And we have the years of experience being on the net to have seen what lock-in can do to a business. Using the ShoppeSafe social marketing services, your consumers are driven back to your website where they purchase. This way your consumers are your customers, not Facebook, Twitter or worse other major players that do behind the scenes deals with these players. Also we don’t believe that your customer should be leaving their credit card info on social media platforms today. Why? Because of its newness and the lack of consumer data protection. Your customers feel comfortable buying from you within your buying environs. It’s as simple as that.
2. Social Management. Would you say no to a social commerce program if you could increase your average order dollars, lift your conversion percentages, raise your frequency of ordering and greatly increase the exposure of your brand?
SSN ideas:Well, if you are hesitating contacting ShoppeSafe until now then perhaps for the above reasons you are not ready to move into social. But if you have been reading my blogs we have proven the above metrics for client after client. In fact, we have not lost a client since March 2010 and we are adding new clients weekly. So why are you waiting? Still hesitating to contact us? Why don’t you simply run a test with us to prove it to yourself? Check out The ShoppeSimpleNetwork to learn more about what we do and then give us call to set up a presentation.
1. Sustaining Social Customer Relationship Management. It costs you a ton of money to acquire a new customer. But what is your plan to put yourself in front of this customer in the future and how frequently?
SSN ideas: At The ShoppeSimple Network we have built a powerful Daily Deal engine, which puts your Daily Deals in front of your consumers who have given you permission to engage with them, 365 days a year. You also get to set the pricing. We are not interested in taking a piece of your product margin like the other daily deal sites do. Plus, there are no implementation fees and you just pay an affordable monthly subscription fee.
Your consumers have requested your deals and then they socialize them to their trusted friends and family. This starts the viral social stream, which brings you more new business. It all starts by having your consumer “Push The Button”. Your branded Push The Button goes on every contact point (website, email, Facebook and mobile) …everywhere consumers turn, they Push The Button to get your great offers. The result: social commerce!
Here is what we know: with all the chatter across the digital spectrum your customers will come back to you if you’re truly helpful and your business is providing a social value exchange. So, what does 2011 hold for social media? Well, the great part is that the industry can pretend to know, but it really doesn’t because social is truly in the hands of the people – your consumers. Bottom line is you must listen carefully and respond quickly. Your consumers will appreciate it and your brand will reap the rewards.
At The ShoppeSimple Network we are here to lend you our expertise, marketing services and our ShoppeSafe Sustaining Social CRM and social management tools. All you have to do to learn more is set up a presentation with us on how to get into a trial program. We are also not here to replace your social media program but to simply enhance it with our plug-in tools. To learn how we can help your social commerce program grow email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-349-2740
PS. Check out our June Webinar “Your Social Toast is Burning“