This image((1)) came to me via a photographer friend of my wife. This is clever in a charming way to think of social media though I definitely part company with the description of Google +.
I found this graphic from Social Strand Media that does a better job of describing a wider range of social media.
Once you get beyond the simplicity of the presentation and get over the simplifications, or, in some cases, errors in characterization of social media, these reveal an interesting opportunity to shape a strategy that is particular to your business. Keep in mind that the social media sites mentioned here are really just the tip of a vast universe of niche specialty social media sites. If you are a winery, there are social media sites where oenophiles hang out. Does your business involve native species of perennial flowers in the upper midwest? There are social websites for virtually every slice of interests. If you can’t find one that suits you, start one yourself. Open source social website software like BuddyPress is simple to set up. Web marketing is not necessarily big budget, just long on thinking and involvement.
So, the web marketing challenge here is to identify your customer base(s) and get involved with them. Keep in mind you need to drop the old pushy sales and marketing approaches and get engaged to share your knowledge and enthusiasms. Web marketing is engagement and sharing not pushing messages. Sales will follow.
Turns out that this image has “gone viral” on the Web. Nevertheless, its source is in fact a Web marketing firm, Three Ships Media. The story of how and why they created this social media chart is here [↩]
A client told me a story today that illustrates a principle that every business owner or manager needs to embrace and act on.
Unhappy prospects or customers are an opportunity to display your real value and win a fan for life.
Here is the story from the owner of a start up yoga studio in New York City.
A neighborhood person began to say negative things about the studio on Twitter. Challenges about the pricing being too high and a lack of community involvement in the new studio. A PR person working with the studio’s owner responded and engaged the disgruntled neighborhood person. This lead to the owner becoming engaged and an exchange of emails that clarified the concerns and the facts of what the studio was really doing. The neighborhood person also received feedback from others about the competitive pricing for yoga in NYC. All of this lead to an invitation from the owner for the neighborhood person to come by for tea and attend a Saturday evening potluck party at the studio. Continue reading →
In his posting The Five P’s of Social Media–Where Do You Start? on the Fast Company site, Lon Safko writes about where to get started in social media that: “The Five P’s are; Profiles, Propagate, Produce, Participate, and Progress”. His discussion is worth a review.((1))
I might add a preface to to these “Five P’s” that is a fundamental precursor to success in web social media (as well as all other marketing).
Focus on your customers, clients, and prospects first – what is your value to them?
Focus on your customers, clients, and prospects first. What is it that they are interested in? What is the value they desire from you? What language do they use to talk and think about the problems you might solve for them? Use the proven tools of FABing to keep your focus on what your customers are actually interested in. Don’t fill up your web space with content that they are not interested in and which is not presented in their language.
FAB refers to Features and Benefits (some say Features, Advantages, and Benefits). This is a simple, powerful axiom of marketing (and sales) that proves elusive even to seasoned practitioners. Simply put: Customers buy Benefits not Features. Features are the physical, functional attributes of a product or service. Benefits are the values, as perceived by the customer, of using a product or service. Continue reading →