Grant Leboff, Vistage Speaker and the UK's leading sales and Marketing expert believes we are living in a revolution - the communication revolution. Since broadband was introduced in the UK in March 2000. The web has gone from something that you had to dial into, to something that is always on and available. When the iPhone was announced in January 2007, it enhanced that transformation further by not only becoming something that was always on, but something that was always with us, all the time.
Increasingly, word of mouth is going online.
Through milestones such as those mentioned above, we live in a world that is hyper-connected. Everybody has a channel, we no longer need a publishing deal to get a book read or need a record label contract to get our music heard.
There is still a paradigm in our minds that online marketing is on one side and offline marketing is on the other. They are merging to become one. You cannot ignore this notion, as you'll miss out, your best marketers are your universe of clients, customers and partners around you - those who are engaged with what you do.
The idea of branding is changing because it's now more about managing your reputation rather than image. Everybody is a marketer, they have access to social media platforms to like, dislike, share and write anything about any aspect of your business. You should monitor what people are saying - not only about your business but also your market and industry too. Encourage customers to talk so you can foster your repuatation, as it all leads to that important question; what do people find when they Google your company?
Endorsements? Likes? What's the point of all these things?
The answer is data. Social platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook are looking to progress as search engines. They want this data to know what you like and don't like. This is the idea that search is going social. If you stay logged into Facebook, it has the ability to capture the activity that you're doing online.
If the web is a big jigsaw puzzle, the final piece is mobile. Mobile has changed everything, we can do anything in the moment. Mobile, web and social are becoming one... On one device.
We used to believe the most important thing in marketing was understanding our client base by demography. If your business utiilised television advertising to sell washing powder, one thing was for certain, your customers weren't out buying washing powder, they were sat watching television. Now, it's about timing the message right. Customers are self selecting so it's important to know when they access your content and not who.
If your company is not embracing social media, you will not exist in the future.
You simply just won't be found. Start taking it seriously. If you are on social, then you'll need to measure how effective you are. Or perhaps, how your competition is doing. How does your company compare?
You can use competitor intelligence tools such as SEMrush to find out a range of data, including the keywords that they are optimising their SEO efforts for, where these keywords rank in Google, the volume of traffic each keyword receives and what the CPC (cost per click) of the keywords are if you wanted to buy them. Having data like this can reveal whether you have competitors that you didn't know about!
If you have a blog, then it could be enhanced to become the heart of your social strategy. But is it getting socialised? The blog needs social interaction such as comments, shares and likes, you can use a tool like Social Crawlytics to see where the blog is in making its way across the social landscape. Is it being shared, tweeted and commented on? If not, it could be that the content is not very interesting, it's simply not getting found or there's no call to action at the end of it. Social Crawlytics is the benchmark on how the blog is doing.
When measuring our social success, do not use factors such as number of followers, fans, tweets and posts; these can be manipulated and are not rational measures. Instead, focus on:
- Conversation - If I say something, do you reply? If so, it's engagement!
- Amplification - I trust this content, so I'll share it to my network.
- Applause - I like this content, kudos!
Look at the content you are creating and produce a simple spreadsheet where you list all of the social media platforms your company uses and tally whenever someone comments, shares or favourites your content. Create aggregate percentages for conversation, amplification and applause.
Your business needs to keep track of what's working or and what's not. Every single social media communication you make should have purpose and value which helps continue what you're doing.
If you'd like to learn more about how to effectively use social media for your business, check out the video below.