When I see how companies use social media, one of the biggest things I see them doing is pushing offers and contests. Sure, that’s part of marketing. But that’s like saying that the only show on television is The Price is Right. There are plenty of other ways to engage your audience, and to me, the real meat is in seeing beyond offers and into other ways to engage.
Take a look at BMW USA’s Facebook page, especially the Wall. They’re empowering enthusiasm. Some of these people probably don’t even own a BMW – yet. But they’ve found a place to bask in the cult of BMW for a while, and I bet they’re thrilled.
Want to know an example of a great Twitter community? Mack Collier runs a weekly chat at 9PM ET on Sunday nights called #blogchat. If you ever have the opportunity to watch it live, it’s a blur of useful information and camaraderie. If I were a community manager at a company, I’d look to emulate something like what Mack has done. It would be a very beneficial experience compared to just making offers.
Tell Stories and Entertain
If you’re Hubspot, you just keep making more and more content to keep your audience entertained. Every production has a bit of humor, a bit of useful advice, and a bit of message reinforcement. You tell stories over and over that get your primary points across. You make sure people understand the context of the tools you’re pitching, so that they understand why they should care in the first place. There’s no one better at keeping their customers immersed in context-reinforcing content than Hubspot. You could study them and emulate them and the improvements would be obvious and fairly quick, provided you got the intent correct.
Mick Galuski runs Toy Soldier Games downstairs from my office. It sells comics and all kinds of game products and accessories. Many of these games can cost the average customer around $200 (my estimate because I’m too lazy to walk downstairs and ask Mick of that’s right). The way the games work is that you have to buy products and accessories to tell specific stories. Mick does a great job of helping parents and their kids get into the storylines. He helps people find budget methods to get into certain games. He also works hard to show people age-specific entry points to gaming, knowing that a gamer becomes a customer for life if they’re cultivated nicely.
By offering serving suggestions, Mick goes well beyond offers in his marketing efforts.
Look Beyond Offers
Your buyers want much more than discounts. They want to express themselves, they want relationships, they want context, and they serving suggestions, just to name a few. What are you doing to bring them beyond offers? How do you see the various platforms of social business helping or hindering those efforts?