I was speaking with Melanie Attia, product marketing manager of email marketing company, Campaigner, last week about the two types of email marketers. There are those who simply sign up for an email newsletter service and dutifully send out a newsletter to their customers. They don’t really LISTEN to customers, but just blast them.
There is another type of email marketer (the kind who reads Marketing Sherpa and ClickZ) who takes the time to dive deep into email marketing and think about great subject lines.
Social media is the same way. There are those who just send communication messages to their customers and then there are those that are really using social media to listen to customers and have conversations with them.
Charles Nicholls, founder and chief strategy officer of SeeWhy writes that “What’s missing of course is a real integration between the web channel and social media. Most websites proudly sport ‘Follow us’ banners, but lack both an integrated strategy and the physical integration between the two domains.
Facebook, Twitter and MySpace all have API’s which allow ecommerce sites to integrate social media customers into their ecommerce experience. What this means in practice is that you can begin to link fan membership with behavioral data: frequency and recency of visit, and purchases. Your customers can log into to your site using their social network credentials, and (in the near-future) pay and checkout with any other form of registration required, making the purchase process dramatically easier.”
What does this mean for your business?
If you want to experience the full power of social media and how it can be a boost of productivity for you, you need to do two things:
First develop a strategy of social media engagement. Put it on paper, Just like the business plan of your business.
Then work with a programmer or someone else who can help you do the technical work from having Facebook, Twitter, email and web site not integrated and not leveraged.
Charles continues to write:
According to Forrester, 64 percent of marketers use social marketing as part of their strategy, but the majority simply use it for broadcast messaging. Take a look at the Safeway wall on Facebook, and you’ll see what I mean. At least Safeway is responding to customer comments (even if in a very defensive way), which is more than I can say for most sites today.
Defensive customer service and broadcast communications are frankly just a stop gap, primarily because online marketers are still figuring out how to engage without opening the floodgates.
It’s not immediately obvious how to engage with individual fans, but the starting point can be found in tighter integration between websites and brand pages on social media sites.
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