Social media is emerging and developing at a very fast pace. But SMM is a supplement and not a substitute. You cannot take it as a career opportunity but you can surely use it as a tool to boost your career. It is, in short, having an interaction. Have an interaction with your consumers because at the end of the day it’s all about benefiting your consumer and earning profit. It’s about having a dialogue rather than having a monologue. And what could be a better option than our Social Media. The most powerful tool at present. To put this in the shortest possible manner; it’s a three step process :
- Improving lifestyle of the consumers
Know your direction. Be sure where you want to go. Then be clear with your objective. Target your audience. Do not lose your focus. And then the most important step of all... to improve the lifestyle of your consumer. Always remember 'Consumer is GOD'. It’s all about His benefit. If your product or service is not good then this hits you bad very badly. So be very sure of your product and the service that you are rendering.
But remember don't try to be everything to everyone. You'll end up being nothing to no one. Choose your segment. Choose your people.
Segment --> Position --> Attack!
And as I have already mentioned earlier, Social Media is a supplement and not a substitute. Integrate it with other media vehicles. Conventional media is equally important. Maintain a balance. Be responsive. As i said earlier, have a dialogue instead of a monologue. Be consistence. Interact with your consumers. But in all this process do not lose sight of the product. Read your consumers regularly. Remember...the need of the consumer is your need.
Having said that, one of the questions that arise is why does one use Social Media?
Ask yourself. The answer lies within you. Why do 'You' use Social Media?
- To keep in touch with your loved ones.
- To make new friends and know people.
- Peer pressure - if your friends are using it then it becomes mandatory for us also to be a part of it.
- To get validation.
- Displaying. Humans have this tendency to 'show off'. They want others to know what they can do.
- Creativity - again human tendency to 'show off' their talent to the world.
These are some of the reasons I got, which led me to the other question : How should one do it? The answer to this question is clear. One can do this through :
- Wikis (Wikipedia)
- Rating and Reviews
- Social networking Sites (Facebook, twitter, etc...)
- Forums and Message boards.
These are your tools. This is what Social Media is all about. Now all depends on how you use these tools for your benefit. Remember, it’s all about consumers. Earn the trust of your consumers and you will earn profit. It’s a give and take process. You give your consumers what they want and they will give you what you want!
Consumers trust consumers. 78% consumers trust peer recommendations. 14% trust advertisements. Humans have this tendency to share. They like sharing. So create sharable stuff. Remember, your brand is what your consumer says it is.
Social Media is very important in today's time and it will be the most powerful tool in the coming years. A famous person has said, "By the time there is a case study in your specific industry, it is going to be way too late for you to catch up."
It is a slow process but the results are very powerful. As they say, 'slow and steady wins the race'. It’s exactly the same. To be successful in this field, follow these simple steps:
- Choose your people. Choose your segment. Know your Consumers.
- Be very clear with your goal. What is your main purpose? Have a clear target in your mind.
- Then plan a strategy to influence your consumers.
- And then the most important of all is The process. As I mentioned earlier, the process is slow but the results are powerful.
- Be consistent. Commit. It’s not about shopping...it’s about conversation.
You have to learn to listen before you talk. It’s about creating 'show-able' content. Your users are also your content distributors. It’s not a campaign. It’s a process that will eventually evolve into a culture. It is a part of Integrated Marketing. It has to align with your other communication channels. Once you start, there is no going back. Be patient. Take baby steps. Be consistent.
It’s like lighting up a forest with a match stick. And as Baba Ranchoddas says “Pursue excellence, and success will follow, pants down.”