Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Social Media Page can beat SME's corporate web site.

Social Media Page can beat SME's corporate web site.
Businesses these days need to build their corporate web sites. However, building and maintaining web site for SME can be a huge challenge. Building a web site can be relatively simple but to build an effective web site for brand building, lead generating and customer serving is not easy. It needs to be built with SEO optimized structure and an easy content updating system and all that technical stuff that most companies don't know how to do. And that's not the end. After building a corporate web site we need to promote it (traffic generation) and maintain it with engaging content.  It's actually a very demanding operation for SME. 

However, Social Media like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn offer company to setup their company page which can easily outperform their company web site in terms of Brand Building, Promotion, Lead Generation and Customer Service. If a page that does all these well, it would most likely means that the company is doing it's CRM right! Another side benefit of a social media page is the "common interface" of all pages, which release the need to have fancy web design. While this may not be an advantage for big corporation but it sure helps release the burden for SME to spend extra investment on complex Web Design.

Anyway, this is how I think most company should setup and run their social media page:
  • Build up brand image : select the right kind of information from internet that help defines your brand's personality and characters and post them on your social media page. It's actually better than you keep on hard selling how you "define" your brand personality.
  • Maintain your brand awareness : As your fans keep on liking and sharing your stuff, your logo (the logo of your page) will keep on showing up on the social media network. People get reminded of your brand all the time.
  • Lead Generation : this is an obvious point. Post product update on your page in a way that attracts people liking and sharing it. If you have a large group of followers and if you are able to post good engaging "product" content, it's a very good promotion channel. And of course, you can always buy advertising service to advertise your product on social media. It's not different from buying banner ad or SEM but you get to target your audience more preciously.
  • Customer Service : It's much easier to post a question than to go through IVRS or to find company email to send a question or even complain about your product or services. Company gets to listen to more customer opinion. And it is also a very cost effective channel to response to complains and, in the process of doing so, demonstrate to other prospect that you care about customer service. Pretty cool.
  • CRM : Of course, if you do all of the above properly, you get very good customer satisfaction (assuming you have good product), it's really the good start of an effective CRM campaign. Of course CRM is a lot more and deeper than setting up social media page but this is a good starting point. At the least, once you have earned the trust of your fans, you can ask questions and do survey to learn more about your customers.
One very important point, which I should have mentioned at the very beginning, is to Listen First! We have to listen to the comments of your customers on Social Media sites before you start doing your social media page. When we post stuff on the page, we want to make sure that it serve a purpose, which is usually to answer unsatisfied customer needs or amplify what existing customers like. So search and listen what people are saying about your brand and products give you more insight on how to engage your customers on internet first before you just dive into building a page otherwise your marketing team will be caught in surprise and does not know how to response quickly.