As a follow up to yesterday’s post regarding our latest webinar Reaching the Social Customer, our speakers have graciously agreed to respond to questions we were not able to get to on the live webinar. We were so overwhelmed by the level of engagement and the sheer popularity of this topic, that we decided to post additional questions that were unanswered during the webinar.
First up, social media thought leader and best-selling author of The Social Customer, Adam Metz weighs in.
Q: If I have a large following on a Linkedin group, how does one monetize it when it is growing by two dozen a week?
Make amazingly relevant content, share it with the group, and give them ways to engage with you across multiple platforms (LinkedIn, blogs, your website, etc.). If the content is good enough, you’ll start to see results, even if the group is growing. Vary your content for the more experienced users with content aimed at “newbies”. Read Jon Miller’s article on seed nurturing too – it’s a good one.
Q: Is social media a big threat to the current online retailers?
To retailers who don’t leverage it to a) acquire, b) make money from and c) retain their customers against their competitors who are doing a, b and c with their customers? Yes.
Q: Facebook I believe is great for B2C marketing. What is your opinion on that, I feel LinkedIn is more appropriate for B2B marketing.
Talk to your customers about this. Find out if they are (1) seeing or (2) engaging with B2B content on Facebook. You could also try the same marketing campaign on both networks, and simply A/B the test results.
Q: How would you target Facebook users for a high end retailer that would like to reach a local market?
Well, my first question is: Why Only Facebook? Do a quick technographic study and find out where your prospective customers “live” on the social web. Facebook might not be the only place. For just the Facebook targeting, I’d use specific cities AND certain affinities (i.e. Oakland and “is a fan” of BMW) or (San Francisco and “is a fan” of high-end restaurant Boulevard). You may need to create a lot of ads to target properly, but the psychographic profile you end up with could be highly accurate and lucrative.
Q: Would you say that social media is better used to reach new consumers or maintain existing relationships with consumers?
I’ve never seen specific statistics on which use case is more appropriate, but here’s how you can find out, specifically for your customer base. Do a statistically relevant technographic study on your prospect base (at least 1k) and your customer base (again, at least 1k). If the adoption of social technologies is uneven, you’ll know which way to shift your strategy – to “more social” or “less social” for each group.
Q: I believe that in this particular atmosphere, the collaboration between marketing and customer service is not only valuable but totally essential to any productive, positive and mutually beneficial brand reputation management campaign. As a social media response specialist, the two areas are separate but co-habitual. What say you on how to give each department the appropriate channel of pursuit to make the CRM experience the best?
It’s really pretty simple. Customer service and marketing need to work together to design the social customer service workflows, because the channel is inextricably tied to both departments. They could nail this in a 2-day offsite, and construct it over a week or two. A piece of enterprise social software will be mandatory to do this properly.
Q: Our product is very narrow in scope so talking about it generally to the social public is not really relevant. How do we use social media when our discussions wouldn’t be normally tweeted to others?
Find the “watering hole” where people talk about your specific niche (i.e. gluten-free baby food, pacemakers, horseshoes), and engage those users, on that platform. If that “watering hole” does not yet exist, build it. You don’t necessarily have to brand it heavily.
Adam Metz is the VP of Business Development at Metz Consulting the social concept. Metz’s Social Customer Community, at http://metz.customerhub.net offers a no-cost 9-hour training course on social customer relationship management.
Metz has consulted with nearly 100 companies on how to acquire, manage, monetize and retain customers from the social web. His first book, There Is No Secret Sauce, has sold or downloaded over 3000 copies, and is currently in its third printing. Metz’s second book, The Social Customer, was released on 9/16/11 and has hit #1 on the Amazon marketing charts.
Stay tuned later today as we post more answers to your questions from our own Jon Miller, Co-founder and VP of Marketing at Marketo .