Need to do more in 2011 with fewer marketing dollars? Time to shift some of your money to social. When you do, keep this mantra in mind: Be Generous.
Provide real value. Focus on what’s in it for your customers and you won’t go wrong. Here’s how.
Be easy to find.
Got a website or blog? Great. But why spend money trying to make your customers come to you when you can be where they are. Are they on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter? Are they addicted to their smartphone? Or do they spend their time at LinkedIn or reading industry blogs? Follow their lead to develop a social presence that makes it clear you have a lot in common.
Don’t “set it and forget it”. Monitor your social presence. Reply to comments. Answer questions. Give advice. Take part in conversations. Above all, be helpful. Build relationships by giving your customers the support and information they need, not by pushing your products and services.
Be an early responder.
You can avoid PR crises by admitting goof ups early on. If you notice negative comments or complaints, address them right away. Then make it right as quickly as is humanly possible. Reward customers who help you do better.
You’d be surprised how many of your competitors fail to demonstrate that they appreciate their customers’ business. Look for every opportunity to say thank you and to pass on savings, partner offers, free samples, coupons and advice.
Always be “on”.
Be there for your customers whenever they need you instead of being there only when you have something to sell. If you’re “always on”, chances are that when they’re ready to buy, they’ll think of you first.
Being generous is good business.
What will you gain by being generous? You’ll earn your customers’ trust – the kind of trust that makes them want to seek you out time and time again. The kind of trust you can't buy and that lets you stop funding “Launch and Leave” campaigns.
Which means you can do more with less marketing dollars and have a record new year.