In a recent issue from MIT SLOAN Management Review, David Kiron interviewed Hannah Grove of State Street, a Boston-based financial service company dating back to 1792, about its social media strategies. Her responses from Wall Street can be a great addition to any rural business on Main street.
Integrating social media into the marketing mix might be easy, but doing it effectively (and profitably) can be very complex. In the article, Grove stated, “Turning an organization into a social business – one that knows how to use new forms of collaborative communication via social media – is a challenge.” However, her financial company has successfully made the transition into a social company that uses Facebook and other platforms to increase their ROI and develop relationships with stakeholders.
She offered the following advice for marketers looking to integrate social media into the marketing mix.
You should focus your social marketing on the following:
1. Adding Value
Your business’ Facebook page is not for marketing yourself or your products to customers. Doing this makes you no different than the radio, TV, or all the other businesses that use Facebook unsuccessfully. Social media needs to add value to your customers. Value is a vague term for marketing, but consider how your Facebook page can solve a problem, entertain, or help customers overcome challenges.
2. Snack-sized information
If you are a small business operator, chances are you have some common questions that people ask you over the phone or over the counter. These questions may not only be annoying, but they can also drain every ounce of your “spare” time.
If only there was a way you could educate these customers?
Many successful companies are using Facebook or other social media to offer what Grove called “Snackable content”. In other words, businesses will take complex topics that might be stumbling blocks to their customers and break them into easy-to-consume posts or videos. Grove mentioned, “Packaging a story that if you only had five minutes, you can at least get the top-line headlines…that’s where social can really be extraordinary value”
If you have a website, consider posting this information on a blog and then sharing that content on social media. This will not only help inform current customers, but it can help future customers find you through a search engine.
Social media is probably the most data-intensive marketing platform of all time. You have an enormous amount of data at your fingertips that not only tell you how aggregates of consumers encounter your brand but you can also understand them on an individual basis.
You can start to learn how to track these results with our free Facebook Analytics course.
4. Cultural communication
Social media excels at communicating your company’s values and culture to your potential customers. Since many customers prefer to shop at places that they feel a shared connection with, this could be a key relationship marketing decision for your small business.
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MITSLOAN Management Review article by David Kiron