I’ve been thinking a lot about how to talk to businesses and get them on board with really going out there and using to social media tools as well as traditional online tools to interact with there community. And its tough because I think a lot of people want to be able to see results of their actions in easily quantifiable chunks, or more specifically in dollars and cents.
But I think social media doesn’t work that way (at least not from the outset). And I’m trying to plug in and get some opinions as to what other SM ‘Experts’ or businesses use as Currency when determining the effectiveness of a certain campaign, tool, or series of interactions.
Obviously the amount of followers on Twitter is not the end all be all (in fact I’d argue that its one of the lesser important numbers to go by out of the gate). But is there a perfect Following to Follwer ratio that we should shoot for? Just shooting from the hip here, but I think in terms of Twitter at least, the Re-Tweet is a big one. It shows that you’re participating, and most importantly BEING USEFUL by putting out content that people are digging.
Is that enough? Or does it need to translate into pageviews and clickthroughs? There’s so many ways to measure your online impact that are more important that clicks to your website and I think that’s the challenge of marketing social media services. Making it tangible.
But isnt’ SM interaction just as valid as the way you treat a customer when they hire you or come into your store? When you’re in person, its all about the customer. You want them to have a kick-ass experience with your business from start to finish (or at least you SHOULD). Even if they’re coming in with a complaint. What’s the best thing you can do? Fix it fast, fix it right. So that being said, why wouldn’t it be advantagious for you to interact with your customers in that way online – engaging, talking, and LISTENING? At the end of the day, its only a different tool.
Lots of people think of SM as a ‘marketing tool’ and while it can be that, I think maybe it should start as being a customer relationship tool. Leave marketing out of it to start. If your business’ SM goals have to do with marketing you need a community to market to. And once you generate the community, its vitally important that any marketing be Permission Marketing.
But at the end of the day… If your service or product sucks, you lose.
So a question to you all out there. If you participate in SM marketing or customer managment, what is your CURRENCY? How do you define success, and are you taking a short term or long term strategy in building community? Would love to hear your thoughts.