It was said many times, allow me to say it once more in my introduction blog: Social media is the new buzz around us. Fantastic showcases and instant professionals are praising the great value it represents, which makes most participants of the business world speculate how to utilize it, how to make profit out of it. Honestly, looking at it with the traditional marketing perspective might be wrong.
What do great products do? They sell themselves. Put something extraordinary in a window, something that is needed, and people seeing it will want it. Put the right price on it, and people wanting it will buy it. Put something ordinary in the window, make it shiny, make it look more than it is, put someone next to it telling everyone that “This IS what You need!”, and many of them will believe it and buy it as well.
Though this two cases result in the same, there is one extremely important difference: if you bring it with you and ring in the house of the potential customer, if you offer the ting representing clear value for them, they will want it, but when you start marketing in their face with a medium product, most of them will hate you.
On social media, we are usually not present to buy. We are there to compress time and space, to be virtually with those that we want to be with. I mean, I like Nike, BMW, Dell, etc., I even pressed the holy buttons “Like” and “Follow”, still, when I don´t want to buy, I don´t want them to get back to me. When I want to buy, I will do my research. I will read blogs and comments of course. I will maybe even ask the people, post a question on my wall to know the opinions, to ensure my purchase is the best.
And you know what? The last thing I will do is going (back) to the “window” of the product. I will not go and not let them come to me, until I am sure that they are the right provider; that their product is the available best for the budget I decide. Iam not only a knowledge worker, I am a knowledge customer as well, being pretty much aware of my needs, and being able to gather all the information I need to satisfy them. After trying to get aware of the offers and the market situation, I try to inquire, get more professional info, negotiate, nowadays doing it maybe on social media, but the choice is basically already made.
Sure thing, in the first place I probably noticed the product or service as a result of marketing, be it online or offline... Every business needs “windows” where we can see their offer, the more and the fancier, the better. But traditional marketing is not replaceable by social media. It is an expansion, but it´s has way more developed functionalities.
What I´m saying, is not that brands should not be on social media. But they shall adapt their expectations, because it is not yet proven that social media brings back the investments. However, done cleverly, it results in knowing the audience more than ever before, and it opens the gateway to game-changer information.
What you need to do then? Do what you´ve always done: create, broadcast (there social media can help of course, but unless you have a groundbreaking idea, don´t rely only on this channel), sell and maintain. And there is one ingredient, which is not new, but finally feasible: listen/monitor. Hear, what people are saying! Hear and answer what they are crying about! Listen and thank to those that take their time to mention your product, or you, not matter if it is good or bad, criticism can always be constructive if the listening party wants!
When you have something great, it is enough to sell it to just a few person, and they will tell it. 5 Years ago, they told it to a freind in the bus station and if you were extremely lucky, a new buyer came to you. Today, one man can start something with less effort than ever, which can result in a bigger marketing campaign than you thought. The speed of sound is 340m/sec, but it dies in a tenth of a second. The online data reaches the other end of our planet in a blink and it won´t disappear. It has no limits and it multiplies every second. Word-of-mouth marketing has reached a new level, the things worth mentioning are mentioned, and soon, everyone will know about it. Be the best, and the market will appreciate it, you don´t even have to be there, but that doesn´t mean, you shouldn´t!
Through social media, the boundaries between the sellers and buyers are fading. You can know now what they think and desire. It is really compelling, if you implement the ideas coming from the everyday user, or you realize an opportunity faster because you can see through the eyes of your customers. Creativity, ideas, innovation can come from the online discussions, and you can´t translate this into financial metrics, but if you are not there, you cannot even imagine how much opportunity cost you generate.