I recently attended a social communications conference with an interesting mix of speakers from consumer focused companies to high-tech through and through. What they had in common was this: To attract new consumers, and B2B customers you need to utilize some form of social communication. As always target market is a key component to what you do, what you say and how you do it. According to Laura Fink from American Express OPEN: The number one need of small businesses is getting customers and social media can help them get them.
Key Insights I took away from this conference:
1) Mobile Social media such as “tips” put on Fourquare or Twitter can help associate a company with neighborhoods, food, and shopping expertise – extending it’s identity as a real estate firm (Corcoran) or it’s identity in a host of industries – tech, shopping, trend spotter.
2) Current application market is inefficient and can be much improved (attributed to Jim Shilale of Moco) There was consensus that current mobile apps do not perform the same way on every Smartphone. I-phones seem to have more consistency with apps. Android market can use better organization with lists, kinds of apps and performance. HTML5 which is being developed now with the hopes of having it solve the challenges and make a better usability experience.
3) Using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, can help you and your business. Many professionals separate professional profiles from personal. Some combine them depending on their needs and professions. Facebooks new features make it easier to display messages to certain audiences and therefore you can tailor one message for different audiences.
4) Even in the most restrictive of industries, pharma and financial for instance, you can cultivate certain messages and make them immediate especially in times of crisis, new product introduction, and major corporate announcements. Mobile enables instant messaging and it can easily be followed up with a formal announcement in print, on-line, that is more in detail. Once that is done, broadcast a link so those who are interested can follow up.
5) Lastly, as I’ve stated before, social media is communication. Take the same care as you would with a press release or formal announcement from one of the executives in your company. Someone needs to monitor outgoing as well as incoming messages to make sure they are accurate and in-line with corporate messaging policies.
It’s easy to correct misinformation if you know it is being broadcast to certain audiences. Social media isn’t all things to all people or companies, but can certainly enhance your presence, news following ability, and identity and branding with your consumer or BtoB customer base.
More to come…