. . . for your New or Small Business
from SV SCORE 7/13 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
Why SM? In a world where Social Media marketing gains power by the minute, earning “social currency” for your local business is critical to success. In short, Social Currency is what your business earns when customers & prospects share information about you via social media. That might be a recommendation, review, blog post, tweet, photo, video or just a thought. Whatever it is helps put your name and your “brand” (better have one?) in front of potential buyers. The point is that they are sharing something about you, and that it’s (almost) like money in the bank. It helps you develop a unique identity for your business, yourself or your brand + creates more opportunities to interact with customers & prospects, then develop the all-important relationships that lead to repeat customers & referrals.
The Social Six is in-Value-able !!! Earning social currency for your business is one of the most important “value-building” marketing moves you can make today. And it doesn’t have to cost you money. A large brand management & consulting company, recently conducted a study to identify how the most successful businesses are building social currency. The study identified 6 crucial factors that determine social media “currency-building success – the “Social Six:”
#1: Affiliation: What your business does in social media helps people feel like they are part of a “community” of some kind.
#2: Ideas: You provide valuable “info” that people can share with others.
#3: Utility: Your social media initiatives help people get more “value” from what you offer.
#4: Conversation: Your approach gets people “talking” about your business or brand.
#5: Identity: Your efforts help people “express” part of themselves to others through whatever products, services or brands you offer.
#6: Advocacy: You motivate customers & prospects to speak positively about your business + recommend it to others.
More is better. The more of the “social six” you accomplish, the more social currency you earn, to drive & grow your business. To earn it, you may find yourself inter-acting with customers in new ways. For example, granting customers access to special information or inside knowledge is a powerful way to connect. And once you do, you’ve essentially gained permission to interact further with those customers or prospects. Remember that earning social currency is not an end in itself – you can’t use it to make a payroll. But it’s currency that will buy you more customers and loyalty.
To Start earning Social Currency, develop a Social Currency strategy for your specific type of business. Consider which of the “Social six” might work best for your type of customers. For example, a Services provider might concentrate on providing valuable tips that people can share, while a Product producer might share photos & videos of current or new products. It’s usually not one single factor that earns a business Social Currency, but a combination of factors in both the online & offline worlds. Research findings make another crucial point: “Social Currency can be managed.
Take Charge. Don’t buy into the trendy notion that customers are totally in charge. The facts show that people embrace businesses that help them solve the problems & challenges of daily life. That’s where you want to be. What customers want, is for you to provide meaningful solutions to those needs. Using social media to demonstrate your ability to do that, is a fantastic way to earn social currency. Look for ways to use social media to specifically give “value” to your customers (ie, better, faster, cheaper). If you can create a single strong Vision and concentrate your efforts there, so much, the better. Then share that Vision in different social media settings, such as Facebook, Google+ & Twitter. But choose carefully, since your choices need to be the Social Networks where your customers tend to congregate, not necessarily where you like to go yourself.
Comments: Any other Ideas of how to build Social Currency?