If you don’t look at what people are doing online, listen to what they say, talk to them and touch them, you will not be able to read their digital footprints, smell the digital signals they send out and ultimately go beyond simple social media connections to build valuable relationships and communities.
In social media marketing you need to have an integrated marketing approach, using all your channels and social media ‘voices’ and of course you also need to listen.
Besides those omni-channel, multi-channel or cross-channel marketing ‘voices’ and ‘ears’ you need stories.
In business, we call them “sales collateral”, “content”, “messages”, “ads”, “white papers”, “tweets”, “blog posts”, etc.
They offer no value to your business if they don’t offer value to the people you want to connect with. And they certainly have no value if you simply shout (or should I say broadcast)?
From content to stories and conversations
Content is key in social media marketing. Not the content as such but the perceived value of it. When content is perceived as valuable, it gets shared.
It becomes a story. It is the start of word-of-mouth. In word-of-mouth there are two important words: word and mouth. Language and voice.
It also becomes a conversation.
In a world where people are increasingly going online to “talk”, to find information for all the steps in their relationship with a business (what marketers call “the customer life cycle” and the “buying cycle”), it’s important to have stories. The online world is very much a peer-to-peer world and good stories have the potential to travel around the world in just a few minutes.
Of course, media are also key in interactive and social media marketing. Not the media as such (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, etc.), but how they can become voices to talk to people and ears to listen to people.
When you bring people in the centre of marketing (which is finally happening, marketers call it “customer-centricity“, “engagement”, etc.), all you need are stories and these “channels”.
And yes, we all need love as well.
What do you think?