Why Is Social Media So Powerful?
Traditional product and service advertising in all its forms; classified, direct mail, email marketing, and general static (billboards, newspaper and magazines) or dynamic as on TV or cinema advertising, have all suffered from the same problem. The problem that Social Media is now addressing!
As an advertiser, your copy, your slogan, your offer is designed to generate, interest, desire and a question from your potential customer; the most common one being, “How will it make my life better”, in the not so distant past the consumers interest and desire has been left hanging. If you’ve been able to generate sufficient interest to make them “go to the store”, later, or “get on the phone”, later, or look up the details of your offer, later, then you might score a sale. There’s always been a gap of time between the initial advertising implant and the customer’s actions. To combat this, it’s been necessary for advertisers to go into overkill, with extreme copy and saturation to keep the customer sufficiently informed and interested until they can get to the sales point or interface. This gap of time is where 90% of advertisers have lost their potential customers.
Social media marketing or as Seth Goldin puts it. “permission marketing” addresses this ‘gap’ problem, in a very particular way. Social media adds the ability to engage the customer in real time, e.g. the commuter reads your ad on the subway, they can immediately get on their iPhone and ask you a specific question, you can answer them in real time, if your answers are compelling and exciting enough, chances are your going to have sale before that person gets off the train.
Not only that, but with the advances in drop shipping and delivery, what ever they bought from you may be waiting for them in the letterbox when they get home from work, their excitement can last the whole day. They will be discussing their purchase with work colleagues, chances are you will also get spill over just from the fact the purchase was informative and hassle free.
Through the use of social media, not only can the customer get 1st hand information directly from you, they can also speak to their friends, about your product.
If someone likes your product or service they will tell or recommend it to 16 other people, however if they don’t like it they will tell up to 45, that was in the past, when word of mouth was restricted to face to face or telephone conversations, now with the advent of Facebook, Twitter and the plethora of other social media networks, one person can tell hundreds (immediately) how good or bad your product really is.
To illustrate the importance of the personal connection in business let me tell you a story. Many years ago I was making Television commercials for a living, being the producer and account executive entailed lots of meetings with the clients, to continually get a grasp on what they wanted to achieve from their ad and who they were trying to sell to etc.
What I found was that most of those meetings, generally started off with the latest details and updates on the ad and campaign, but after a short time, they’d start talking about other issues, like the latest gossip from within their particular industry or personal issues like their family, their health and so on. So from being an advertising consultant when I’d walk into their office, within minutes sometimes I would become a pseudo psychologist listening to their woes, and quite often offering some of my own home spun advice. In reality the issues we had to discuss with the client, could have been done on the phone or via fax, but it was the personal engagement that gave me the edge, over the larger depersonalised companies.
Once you know something about a persons personal life, you’ve become a friend of sorts, being there and listening instilled a kind of trust, they felt, (rightly or wrongly) I wasn’t just there for the money, I was a sympathetic ear, they could off load to. Listening is a pivotal sales skill. The basic rules of advertising still apply, but with the use of social media the advertiser can apply a human touch to the whole process, they don’t have to be on the “hard sell” all the time. Because as an advertiser your trying to create a lifelong customer, not a one off customer.