How to make a success of social media marketing
Written by: Lynette Hundermark, of media and technology agency Prezence
When you see a friend get more Likes for their daughter’s eighth birthday party in one day than you have for your business’ Facebook page, it can be disheartening.
But what is the point of getting these likes and attaining these fans? Your friend has an objective: get people to his daughter’s birthday party. You need to be the same with your social media marketing effort.
Ultimately, whether you have six, 60, or 600 follower and fans for your company, if you can’t answer what business objectives these fans and followers are achieving for it, it’s ultimately an exercise in futility.
Facebook, or any other social media marketing effort, may seem simple enough. But the number of brands and businesses failing at it makes it clear that it isn’t.
To achieve success with your social media marketing campaign, you need to wake up and take it seriously just as you would with any other marketing activity.
So let’s take an example. Say that you have 95 fans on your page - while that may seem like an embarrassingly low figure it’s not necessarily so.
Depending on who you are, 95 fans may not be that bad as a starting point. If you’re a small business selling products from home I’d say that’s a great start. But if you’re a major corporate then yes, 95 fans on your page is a cause for serious concern.
Essentially, gauging the success of your social media marketing efforts is as contextual as gauging the success of any other marketing effort.
Having said that, success – however you may gauge it – can only be achieved through hard work and careful consideration.
Just because you’ve taken the time to set-up your Facebook page, it doesn’t mean you will automatically achieve thousands of likes for it.
There’s a more to it than that. To build a strong social media presence for your brand, you need to engage with your audience.
You need to build a relationship with them. Have some fun: share stories, give advice, invite them to interact with each other.
What you need to be engaged in on your social media is fostering a community of like minded people brought together by a shared appreciation of your services or products.
Before doing that, here are a few questions and thoughts to keep in mind.
· What was your aim when you decided to embark on social media marketing?
· Are you looking to create purchase intent online or in-store or are you simply creating an engagement platform for your customers?
· What have you done to make it work?
· What are the objectives behind your social media marketing efforts? For example is it about sharing the latest information about your products and services? Sharing customer reviews?
· Social media marketing success can’t be merely attributed to the number of Likes, followers or Fans you have. Once you have 10,000 then what? You also need to think beyond that as a measurement of success and to think about what you’re trying to achieve in the long-term.
· Whose responsibility is it to manage and maintain your social media presence on an ongoing basis? Consider whether it may be best to outsource it to an external agency or manage it internally. When making this decision, remember that it needs commitment, knowledge of your business, governance policies, content plan and skill. Just about anyone can create a social media presence for your business but its day-to-day management requires real thought.
· Finally, the most important question you need to ask yourself is how does your social media marketing integrate with your overall marketing strategy?
If you can honestly answer and address these questions and notes, social media marketing success won’t be mission impossible for you. There’s no such thing as easy marketing. Put in the effort, and you’ll reap the rewards. Don’t put in the effort, and things will stagnate.
When considered in relation to the entire marketing mix, social media may be new, and social-media marketing even more so, but knowing your customer is in no way new to marketing. At the end of the day that is the one key necessity to achieving social media marketing success.
For more than a decade Prezence, has been creating inspired experiences through new media and technology. Today this leading agency continues to blaze a trail into the future through practical innovation in the apps, mobile, and digital realms. Established in South Africa in 2002 as Prezence Digital, the agency has delivered strategic and immersive digital experiences for leading brands such as Ster-Kinekor, Bidorbuy, Diner’s Club, Standard Bank, Media24.com, and Old Mutual. www.prezence.co.za
Re-defining the economics of CX in the new customer journey
There’s no shortage of customer service channels for the enterprise to select from today. Regardless of the many new metrics that have emerged – such as customer success, or empathy – cost reduction is still a primary driver in selection criteria.
There are many articles dedicated to how companies can turn customer service and customer experience (CX) from a cost to a revenue centre. The problem is, if you stop there and don’t look beyond cost reduction, you’re limiting the scope for CX to become an even bigger economic contributor in the enterprise.
There is every opportunity for customer service and CX to significantly influence the front end of business, particularly amongst direct-to-consumer subscription-based products and services, such as popular streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, as well as sports subscription services like DAZN.
In these products and services and others, there are new customer journeys that may drive business growth and revenue. They start earlier and may last a lifetime, so getting things right at the start of the journey is key so that customers have the best experience from day one.
Not only will this help in making customers less likely to reach out for issues-based support further down the line, but these customers will be much less likely to churn, and much more likely to take up new services as they are offered throughout the lifetime journey.
So, what does the new customer journey look like for these services?
Opportunity waiting for the likes of Netflix & Disney
While consumers may have previously regarded customer service as a way to mitigate the inconveniences in their lives, the customer journey is expanding in scope every day. Today there are many more touchpoints available that put CX in a position to drive revenue.
For one-off purchases, traditional CX deployments have not changed significantly in the past few years. However, if you look at the change in the CX relationships we’re seeing with subscription-based products and services, particularly media-based streaming services, it’s clear that these companies lead what quickly become very multifaceted relationships with their customers. These have serious potential to evolve over time for increased economic benefit.
For any sort of subscription-based business, customer lifetime value is paramount, and the requirement to actively manage a continued positive customer experience is critical.
Every interaction is an opportunity, and every data point is a chance to offer more value. Introductory offers can convert to longtime customers. Longtime customers may take up opportunities to upgrade to more premium products or services. They may also appreciate incentives to invite family and friends to become customers. Consumers who like a particular service, for example, may appreciate a recommendation for another similar or complimentary service.
It all starts with customer interaction, and the customer experience journey becomes an opportunity to strategically affect the user base and resulting revenue - which is a far cry from the limitations of call center cost reduction or churn metrics.
How do companies support the new customer journey?
More and more, customers look at the new customer journey as engaging with brands as part of their lifestyles. Many companies are making brand ambassadors available before the traditional customer journey even starts, which is a marked change from a purely transactional relationship associated with a one-off purchase.
These ambassadors, who are often independent users of products or services, are providing trusted pre-sales advice, and that same trusted advice can also function to nurture the customer journey in a subscription-based relationship. Call it ‘GigCX’ or ‘crowdsourced customer service’ or even ‘peer-to-peer customer service’ - it doesn’t matter.
The key is in providing impartial, trusted advice from real users. Think about it: who would you rather get advice from? Someone who has used a product or service extensively, or someone who has been trained to provide customer service surrounding that product or service?
For services such as streaming media, advice from trusted experts with real product know-how could be invaluable. This may not be limited to technical issues, such as what to do when you can’t access your favourite show, or how to access services across various devices. It could be parents helping other parents who are concerned about how to restrict adult content from child viewers, or simply customers who have similar taste in programming who can comment on the benefits of upgraded or premium products. The point is, these experts are easily available at any touchpoint in the customer lifetime journey, creating more chances to add value.
It’s also about tipping customers from ‘passive’ to ‘promoter’ in the NPS scale. It’s an opportunity to turn neutral customers who may be vulnerable to competitive offerings into loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and referring others, fuelling growth. It may ultimately help drive even further revenue by creating customers that are helping to sell the brand itself.
And, while chatbots and automation may play a key role, they are often not able to handle the more complex support needed in the new customer journey. Conversational AI is rarely as conversational as it claims to be, and in the new customer journey, most companies are finding that a mix of automation and people-centric service is an ideal way to nurture the many new touchpoints created.
It’s no longer about trying to replace human capital with automation: it’s about orchestrating a uniquely personalised CX, and proactively engaging during the customer lifecycle to enhance the experience, and to create more long-term value.
At the moment, we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of the power to affect the economics introduced by the new customer journey. We’ll no doubt see this evolve rapidly particularly amongst streaming companies as they use human-centric connections in CX to support the full potential of customer lifetime value.
About Roger Beadle
Roger Beadle is an entrepreneur and business leader who is reinventing how customer service is delivered via the gig economy. After establishing several businesses in the contact centre industry, Roger co-founded Limitless with Megan Neale in 2016. Limitless is a gig-economy platform that addresses some of the biggest challenges faced by the contact center industry: low pay, high attrition and access to new talent. Previously, Roger and Megan helped to build one of the largest privately-owned outsourced contact center business in Europe, before selling the business to the global conglomerate Hinduja Group. Roger is an outspoken proponent of digital ethics, worker’s rights and the ‘good-gig:’ which encapsulates gig work for incremental pay versus full time work, skilled gig work, no unpaid time/downtime and zero expenses.
Named a Rising Star at Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 program, Limitless is a gig customer service platform, combining crowdsourcing and AI to help global businesses address their biggest customer service challenges – rising costs, increasing attrition, variability in demand and the need for diversity. Brands like Microsoft, Unilever, Daily Mail Group and Postmates are using Limitless’ SmartCrowdTM technology to connect with their most engaged customers, and reward them for providing on-demand customer service that can flex in line with demand. Limitless is one of the world’s first global tech platforms to introduce localised platform terms to protect the rights of its gigging workers. Backed by AlbionVC, Downing Ventures and Unilever Ventures, Limitless is empowering people worldwide to earn money for providing brilliant customer service for the brands they love.