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Social Media Marketing - Communication Goals


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Getting back to basics is the best way to utilizing Web 2.0 in your business, industry and market. You may find that today, there are so many opinions about Web 2.0, that you can easily get whipsawed around. This article uses marketing basics and forms a rational basis for what marketing tactics will work for you.

You will learn in this article how to go about setting your goals for utilizing social media to get the most impact for your business. You may agree with me that social media marketing follows the 80-20 rule. About 80% of the benefits of utilizing social media come from using about 20% of all the web assets and media out there. It is not necessary to use it all. It is good however to be aware of as much of it as possible. But don't go crazy trying to juggle all of it in your communication plans.

Utilize this article and others to follow to put your best foot forward in your market and KNOW that you have done everything that you have set out to do and done it well. Let's get started.

Communication Goals

Going back to marketing 101, you may remember what are called “response hierarchy models. " This is a $5 phrase that basically captures the idea that your customers need to be led through a series of steps before they actually buy anything. There are many models including AIDA (Attention Interest Desire Action) that are popular. AIDA is easy to remember, but does not capture some important intermediate stages. There is another model that is more closely resembles the actual steps that an individual goes through when using the web road to buy stuff.

The model used here is called the Hierarchy-Of-Effects-Model. You may find also that this model makes sense to you. Note that when we speak of product below, it could easily refer to physical product, a service, a personal interest or hobby or a social cause. All of these things require promotion and salesmanship.

Sales Model

This model looks at this series of steps that customers engage in when purchasing a product:

1. Awareness - Customers have a problem, they research the problem, and then become aware of products to solve the problem

2. Knowledge - customer has the information to justify a good and simple understanding of product

3. Like - decide whether they like the product

4. Preference - do your customers show a preference for it

5. Conviction - know that they will buy it

6. Purchase - ultimately buy

Let's take a look at each of these. At this point in your market planning, it is very important to focus on what the goal of each stage.

1. Awareness

Many of the Google searches in your market niche research indicate that people enter the web with a few words that indicate the problem that they are experiencing. If you are new to this market, this will be your best opportunity because they are unfamiliar with legacy providers. Your goal here is to mirror your understanding of their problems, make them understand your solution of the problem in terms of the benefits to them and explain that your solution is the only one like it. Right now, a good suggestion is to make sure you know the public forums where the majority of people go to talk. If you are selling mountain bikes, what sites, blogs, groups, forums do these people go to talk openly? Start listening there, then talk.

2. Knowledge

You know that your product is unique and superior. Your customers may not. Providing them with the facts about your solution only as far as they are pertinent to their needs and demonstrating the product's uniqueness and superiority are what you want to say. Being able to communicate that message in a not-in-your-face and conversational way is most effective. The goal is to have significant engagement (web, blog or sales letter traffic) that follows on media pieces that speaks to knowledge of benefits, features and uniqueness.

3. Liking

The concept of “liking" may seem a bit trite to you, since you may really think it is all about the superiority of your product. However, for internet marketing, having people like and trust you is very important. Since they may never meet you, utilizing the media to get to know you as a person will make a great difference in your marketing success. The goal is to have a favorable impression of all aspects of you and your product.

4. Preference

This goal is a matter of ensuring that your customers prefer your solution to others. Again, this seems very simply minded as a statement. But in open discussions and conversations, what is the tone or attitude of the group (your market)? Are they discussing “the whether" or “the how" of your product. When we say “the whether" we are talking about still at comparison level with something else or are they talking about “the how" or putting the product into practice. These will give you an indication of whether you are achieving goals.

5. Conviction

When the customer has a clear vision of themselves using your product and materially benefiting from the purchase, you have conviction. The goal is to have achieved a state of being in their attitude rather than one of still asking decision questions.

6. Purchase

The customer may be convinced that they will make a purchase, but as you have seen in internet sales letters, many people need to be given conditions that make it right to purchase now. They need to have all the information right in front of them, they need to have inducements for making the decision right now. Some inducement might include money back guarantee, limited time offer, limited availability, trial subscription or purchase. The goal is sales conversion at this point and/or understanding why not.

In Summary

This model is applied different ways in different markets, in different media and varying degrees of familiarity with the market. If you have a group of customers that are very familiar with you and your products, you will zing through this model quickly. If you are new, you will have some front end work to do on this model. Use your instinct to determine where you need to do work now in marketing. You are probably right. This article is a great way of confirming your intuition. More to come.

Frank Dobner Director - Sales & Marketing The Startup Source Twitter: @dobner


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