Wow. It’s been awhile guys. Obviously I’m writing because I have a lot to say. So here goes. I’m so sick of people saying ‘social media’. I can teach ‘social media’ to someone with a marketing background, but I absolutely cannot teach someone that just happens to LOVE (imagine squeals of passionate delight) social media and ‘uses it personally for everything.’
Don’t get me wrong—we love what social media can do. And at RCM we’re obsessed, let me just say majorly obsessed, with the social web and being in the right place at the right time. But forget the shortcuts people and actually invest in content. People don’t realize that the last thing we do is actually post/tweet/pin something.
Companies want customers immediately (who wouldn’t)—but they are wanting to bypass the work it takes to get true engagement. For an entire month, we learn about our client’s demographic, we collect media kits, we talk to industry associations—all before we recommend which custom FB tabs we should do. And when we do one, the intent is to ALWAYS get the 5 prospects in the sales pipeline rather than 500 retweets about nothing. It’s scary to give up your authentic voice isn’t it? That’s why we do this initial groundwork. We are the opposite of the pre-timed social media tools. I don’t care what industry you’re in, or if you’re taking a B2B approach—people want to feel like you care. And they’re more likely to be honest on social media because it’s accessible. When’s the last time you picked up the phone to make a customer complaint? The companies that aren’t scared of being on social are the ones that are the most authentic. People like that they CARE and want to hear about their experiences. Do you have to cut through a lot of crap? Maybe. Can you execute on marketing campaigns and get real-time feedback and pivot if necessary? YES! No other type of marketing allows you to do this. I love it!
Use the tools that Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube offer, but NOT as a substitute. The ‘pay to play’ model prevents salespeople at companies from truly listening to what their customers want. Everyone in sales is looking for an angle. By turning away from ‘social’ at a grassroots level, the information isn’t even vetted before going to sales—if it ever does.
Look at Zappos. You may not shop there, but if you’re in marketing you do know that they’re known for great customer service. If you check out their social media channels you’ll notice their focus on little gestures results in loyal customers who are happy to spread the word. We’ve build loyalty with our own fans at facebook.com/RockCandyLife and let me tell you—there’s NOTHING more authentic than a customer leaving your company great feedback. People (your prospects) TRUST that. Do they trust paid or sponsored ads? Not so much.
At Rock Candy Media we take the grassroots tack to get you BETTER results and we know the right information to pass onto your sales department. Yes, there are a lot of shiny things out there, but when the focus shifts from building real relationships to ‘paid-for’ relationships, you will lose staying power. And the second you sound inauthentic, a formerly-engaged prospect will disengage in a heartbeat.
As an advocate for social media, please join me in using the term social BUSINESS from now on. And look out for our new Social Business division. I’m stoked!