Social media is changing marketing completely! It’s going to turn around how businesses grow. We all keep hearing this, but how many of us have really utilized social media in a game changing way? What most of us do, is create our business’ social media profile, attract everyone within our reach to join or subscribe, and then keep posting updates that would get us most ‘likes’ or ‘shares’. But let us stop right here and analyze. Is it sufficient to just generate ‘likes’ and ‘shares’? What is the value of these ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ if they don’t convert into real sales or even motivate our target customers to contemplate buying more from us?
Now my friend, you are asking the right questions! What can social media really do for your business? Imagine this scenario – you are ‘Style’ retail chain spread across 5 cities. Jack, who is also subscribed to your social media profile, tweets – “Shoppin @ Axis mall!!”. You have a store in Axis mall, but what do you do? Nothing!
Now let me suggest what you can do. You immediately message Jack about the current offers on jeans at your store in Axis mall. Why and how? Your IT will send Jack’s tweet to your database in real time. There it will identify if Jack, the Tweeter has made any previous purchases from any of your stores. Say, your system tells you he has purchased jeans in the past, you then check for any existing offers on jeans or similar products, and then simply message him to go check out the fabulous offer on jeans at Style in Axis mall!
In all probability, Jack would definitely walk into your store and at least browse if not purchase something! What more could happen? If Jack really likes the offer, he might not just stop at making a purchase, he might actually advertise and promote for you when he tweets again – “Gr8 news guys! Awesumm offer on jeans@ Style @ Axis mall. I just bot 2!”. This might trigger off a chain reaction among Jack’s friends and other contacts, many of whom will react similarly – buy and pass on the good news!
So this is the level of impact that social media can create for your business. But for this, you need to integrate social media with your CRM and use this for data analytics across various business functions.
Deriving Maximum Advantage
Social media as we know comprises elements like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, video chats, mobile, wireless technology and more! Further, it is a constantly changing universe with newer players coming up daily and newer technologies supporting them. So it is important for us not to lose track of what we want to derive from integrating social media with our CRM, whether we are integrating with Facebook today or something newer tomorrow.
Pick up insights about the aggregate trend relevant to your product – you can definitely use social media information at an aggregate level to identify the basic trends about your product and market. For e.g., whether people are ‘liking’ or not liking a new packaging, logo, flavor or any other feature introduced by you or your competitor.
Pin-point individuals and create specific campaigns or experiences for them – this is exactly the kind of impact we discussed in the above ‘Jack, the Tweeter’ example. Further, you should also try to identify key opinion leaders and send them targeted campaigns to induce trial and influence others by word of mouth.
Interact better with your customers and provide better customer service – you are already using social media as a platform to interact better with your clients. You just need to keep your eyes and ears open to any issues people are discussing online and try to address and resolve them at the earliest.
In a nutshell, if you are not using social media to help decide, design, sell or protect your brand, you are not utilizing its true worth! In my opinion, you should keep the greater picture in mind rather than just focusing on daily ‘likes’ and ‘shares’. After all, it is a people’s media – and it can become what you make of it!
– Research Optimus