Well I can feel some darts being thrown my way by the social media enthusiasts. I think it’s never the right approach to push something as a solution without really understanding the problem. So, in that context, Social Media is not the solution. Let’s work to understand the business problem and then determine the solution.
The Buyer’s Journey
In the past we know consumers spoke to friends and colleagues before they made a significant purchase. The same thing happens today, it just happens on a larger scale. A girlfriend of mine often asks questions of her friends via a post on her Facebook wall “Does anyone know a plumber? The hot water system has died!”. She reaches into her trusted network of friends and someone generally comes back with a tip.
Imagine for a moment you were a plumber, you had a friend post a message on Facebook just like my girlfriend above. In that case, social media is the answer. However the key is you have to be on social media and you have “listen” in order to understand how you can solve the problem the customer has.
Are you in a position to Engage?
Word of mouth has always been a holy grail for organisations. We know today, more so than any other time in history (probably because of the mountains of research done to confirm it) that people trust a recommendation from friends more than they do an ad i.e. banner, billboard, TV or print. Click Here to read a research report from Oracle Corporation.
What’s the problem you solve better than your competitors?
If you spend some time understanding what your products or services do better than any of your competitors, you can then build a profile of your ideal client. Once you have that profile in place it will help you understand which channel is the best to reach your ideal client.
Is Social Media the Solution?
Well, it may be the solution. As long as you understand your business problem as well as the problem your prospects and customers have, you can now make an informed decision about the most appropriate channel to market. No point Tweeting about how cool you are if your Ideal Client appears to spend no time on Twitter.
Understand your buyer, build a profile and target them with relevant and clear messages. Then you may just discover that Social Media is in fact the solution or at least part of the solution to your business problems.