Permission Marketing – 6 Stages To Social Media Success
I’m not going to speak about how great Twitter, Facebook and other sites are and how they represent huge opportunities for businesses to attract and connect to more potential customers. What I want to speak about in this post is HOW you truly connect via social media to those who are looking for your services or those who may require your services or products in the not to distant future.
Many people I see using Twitter and Facebook quite frankly aren’t doing it right. They still see Twitter and Facebook as broadcast mediums such as TV and radio. This does not work anymore!! Wake up! Smell the coffee and while your at it, the roses.
I read a lot. I read a lot of articles, books and blog posts. Some of the time I learn but most often I read the same old hogwash that has been written before.
Being successful with social media is not rocket science. It’s about striking up personal and human relationships with other people. No matter how you try to present it or use over elaborated explanations, at its core, it’s SIMPLE!
I have a friend who is a great salesman. He is a great salesman, not because he is pushy and arrogant, he is a great salesman because people warm to him and he connects with them on a personal level first and not a business level.
People buy from people, not salesmen! Stone Age marketing and selling techniques will not help you any more or at best will have minimal impact.
But lets get down to the nitty gritty. Below you will find my 6 super steps to social media success, or rather, the stages that you MUST go through in order to build a tribe or network of social media followers and evangelists for your business.
At its very essence, advertising is built on frequency. Frequency of the messages you are trying to relay to your potential customers. Social media is no different. If you are using Twitter or Facebook, an update once per day is not frequent enough. Every hour on the other hand, is perfect for creating awareness among your followers and helps you stand out from the crowd. You also need to take into considerations the different time zones. Not all of your followers are on your time.
Awareness can only come after the frequency stage. This is where people start to become used to seeing your name or your brand pop up in their Twitter or Facebook streams, for example if replying to tweets or commenting on Facebook updates.
Familiarity comes after the awareness stage has been enforced over a period of time. Familiarity means that a user as become used to seeing your comments, updates and tweets and has gained a greater understanding of you on a personal level and has possibly started to recognise what you have to offer on a business and marketing level. It may also mean that a person takes an interest in your profile, your interests, where you are from and hopefully view your website, blog or Facebook page.
Social media is all about interaction and engagement. Without the three initial steps, interaction cannot take place or be developed. With social media it is important to interact on a regular basis with as many of your fans and followers as possible. It doesn’t need to be purely business as well, in fact, it’s more beneficial to interact on a personal level for some period of time before even bringing up business in any shape or form.
Users don’t use social media to be blasted with advertising. This whole process is all about “permission marketing” not how many strangers you can pitch in one day.
The interaction stage enables you to create a personal bond and dialogue, just as you would do in the real world. Don’t kill the whole process at this stage by “going in for the kill”. This will drive people away and leave people with a bad impression of you and your business. Dialogue is a two way thing. You speak, you listen, you connect.
This is a crucial stage in the process. Only over time can trust develop. This is where a user believes that you are genuine and has gained enough knowledge over time of who you are and your credibility.
For any marketer (permission marketer anyway) this is the ultimate aim. To build so much credibility and trust that your followers give you permission to market to them. Online, this could be something as simple as signing up to your newsletter. The trust has been earned through stages 1-5 and permission has then been granted on signup. As long as the interaction you then have is anticipated, relevant and personal, that relationship will remain stronger over time.
An offline example could be building word of mouth for your business. You meet a stranger at a party, you introduce yourself, tell them about yourself, you interact. Over time, you may meet that person again, you are now familiar to the other person, you share information, chat some more, divulge more personal information, all the time building trust. Eventually you are then able to speak more about your business and possibly that person may need your services. If not, maybe a friend of theirs may need your services.
All the time, you are building lifetime relationships built on trust and credibility. A win win situation for any marketer.
If you want to learn more about permission marketing, I strongly recommend reading Seth Godin’s book: Permission Marketing.
Image courtesy of Gary Hayes on Flickr