Are your customers using the same social media as you?
This was the topic of conversation I had at a CIM course on marketing trends last week. Of course the speakers were stressing how important it was to get into social networking, in order for our businesses not to get left behind, but one particular lady next to me was not convinced.
I asked her what she meant. She replied saying she worked for a chemical business, full of scientists and technicians. She could not see her colleagues using Facebook, for example, as a means for marketing, as she did not think that was where their clients were. She also couldn’t see them using Twitter, as they did not have the time for ‘gossiping’.
My initial reaction was to defend social networking, but then I stopped and thought about it. Maybe she had a point. Were the ideal clients for this company to be found on Facebook? If they were, they probably had profiles to keep tabs on their travelling children, or to organise their social lives. Not everybody thinks ‘business’ when using Facebook.
And Twitter: excellent for brand awareness, PR and marketing research, for keeping an eye on your competitors or following what your colleagues’ activities, to provide top tips and raise your expertise, to interact with prospects and expand the audience for your blog posts – maybe her concept of ‘gossiping’ could evolve here into something more useful, if she had the inclination.
But what she did agree with was the power of LinkedIn. A professional social networking site full of charted chemical engineers and other like-minded scientists, somewhere to expand your expertise, ask and answer questions, respond to discussions in associated groups, feed your blog posts and share other valuable resources, each profile assimulating a CV and therefore excellent for recruitment or finding suitable colleagues to work with. That is where her company’s clients were.
So my question is: in which social networking sites do your clients or customers hang out? And having done the research, fully concentrate on those examples and don’t waste time with irrelevant sources. Doing something well in a concentrated form is better than half-hearted attempts spread thinly across the board. It makes it much easier to track, receive feedback, work out the return on investment and assess the value of further projects in that media.