Ahh the quest to leverage social networks for revenue growth and customer acquisition. Few new technologies have been as promising for marketers in recent years than social media…and few have been as frustrating.
It’s been a bit tough for us to collectively get our minds around—yes, people clearly want to form connections on social networks, and yes, they want to have a relationship with your brand. But no, they probably don’t want the bulk of that relationship to take place in Facebook.
The Incyte Group, an independent research firm, surveyed a broad sample of consumers across age, socio-economic, and geographic groups in the US to gain insight into this very issue. Their research pointed to a gap between the way consumers want to connect with brands online, and the way that brands have been using social networks.
You can learn more about the results in our eBook, The Secret to Monetizing Your Social Strategy, but [**spoiler alert**] the key ingredient to connecting with consumers is relevancy. Yes, it’s important to have a presence everywhere they might want to find you (including Facebook), but the secret to monetizing that relationship is meeting them where they are when they choose to connect with you, and bringing them appropriate information that corresponds with their stage in the customer lifecycle.
That means embedding your customer community in your website, so they can ask specific product questions right next to the item on your eCommerce page; it means ranking well in search, and having a mobile optimized help page. And yes, it means having a presence on all the social networks that you can reasonably manage and are relevant to your brand (does your company make HR software? Pinterest may not be your first priority….).
It also means saving your social spend for things that will provide you with a good return on your investment, like a customer community, which gives you insider access to the questions, preferences, ideas, and praise of your customers. Leave the Facebook ads to those marketers still working it out for themselves.