Makers Mark Learns To Listen To The Social Consumer
First, let’s establish this about marketing: At one time, marketing was more of a one-way street. The industry/merchant/retailer/service provider interrupted the potential buyer to convince them to purchase/use their product.
One-way marketing approaches no longer convince; they annoy. Marketing to your audience today requires an element of relationship building. And it is about interacting with them.
In the case of the company Maker’s Mark, two-way interaction recently meant hearing from their customers and using that input to change the path they were on. Forbes recently reported that the company’s plan to dilute its bourbon received tremendous negative feedback from their customers. Not only did Maker’s Mark listen, they accepted the feedback on their brand and reversed their decision. Alcohol content will stay the same – despite supply problems. And, they apologized.
Remember, it’s about relationship. How did Maker’s Mark reach its customers to offer what Forbes termed a “classy apology”? How did they direct people there? Facebook and Twitter.
On February 17, Maker’s Mark COO and Chairman Emeritus posted a letter to ‘friends’ on Facebook. They wrote: You spoke. We listened. And we’re sincerely sorry we let you down.
You have agonized over setting up your company’s Facebook account, and hopefully have not pulled all of your hair out in the process, but now what? How do you get people to come on over now that you have secured the page? Do you invite all of your personal friends and family members to LIKE the page or do you create flyers to hand out to everyone you know?
Let’s imagine that you are opening a brick and mortar store. There are things you do BEFORE you open the doors.
Here Are 5 Things To Do To Get Started:
My Business Is Here!
1. Create your sign.
Just as if you were opening that brick and mortar storefront, with a nice sign outside to tell people the name of your business, you want to create some Facebook signage. Put a beautiful photo that represents your business (not a logo), as your Facebook Timeline photo (851 x 315 px). Perhaps you have a few photos and you can rotate them each month or season. Now load your logo in the space for the profile picture (180 x 180 px). You may need to resize your logo to get it to fit and not be blurry. If you have no graphic design ability, you can hire a graphic designer to get all of your artwork and logos into social media-sized files for you. (Check out this great post with all of the sizes you may need.)
Come LIKE My Page-I’ll Put Something Up Later
2. Plan your “inventory.”
I would hope if you were opening a store, you would not just grab one or two things you found laying around to place on the shelves, and yet for many people, they throw whatever they can think of that day onto their Facebook page and each day they ask, “What should I post today?” Maybe it will be a sports story today and a recipe or travel tip tomorrow. This is not the purpose of a business page. Create a content calendar that lays out the types of information you want to share. What questions do you get asked most often about your products or services? Write out the top 10 with answers. What promotions will you offer? Do you have events coming up that you are participating in? Are there holidays or important dates that you will talk about? Just like you would need lots of merchandise to fill up a store before it opened, you will need lots of content. Think one or two Facebook posts per day and 5-10 tweets if you are using Twitter to help connect and drive people to your Facebook page. Are you using Pinterest or other sites in your marketing mix? Plan that content as well. If you do this each month, you will not be using last minute FILLER content. (Need a sample content calendar? Here is the one our team has created)
3. Make sure everything looks appealing.
You can’t start inviting people in the day you sign the lease, or the day all of your boxes are delivered. You want your merchandise on the shelves, the art hung on the walls, floors swept and the music playing as you swing those doors open. Perhaps you have lots of photos of products or work you have done. Create a few photo albums on your Facebook page. Fill out the ABOUT section of your page with your website link, address and other important information that potential customers may need. Now go ahead and create 5 or 6 “posts” BEFORE your guests arrive, and don’t write anything like, “Got my new Facebook Page up, now what?” Believe it or not, I have seen this many times on both Facebook and Twitter. Every post should be INTERESTING or HELPFUL to the audience you are serving. Keeping your content focused will help people that happen upon your page to know exactly what you do and whether or not they want to LIKE that page. Unless you are a virtual Pawn Shop, your content should show clearly what your page is all about. If someone has to scroll down six or seven posts to figure out what you do, your “store” needs more FOCUS!
Come LIKE my page! Follow Me, Like Me, Plus Me!
4. Invite the world!
From your page, you can send a message out to your current business mailing list, you can also invite select friends from your personal Facebook page or all of them if you are so inclined. When you are inviting people to join you on your new Facebook page, tell them THE BENEFIT! Don’t just say, “LIKE MY PAGE.” Tell they what they will gain if they do. “I’d love you to join our new Facebook community, where we will share helpful tips for _________.” Keep in mind, it is not about having 1,000 LIKES on your page. It is about having a community of people who find your information helpful and interesting enough that they look to you as a resource and hopefully buy from you or tell others about you. If you provide great content and your products or services are valuable to people, your audience will grow to just the right size!
Don’t forget to connect with us on social media sites!
5. Don’t stop inviting people.
Many people think once they have asked their Facebook friends to join their business page, they are finished inviting. Put your Facebook page URL on your business cards, your marketing materials, in the windows or on the counters of your brick and mortar locations. Put LIKE buttons on your website and blog (and not hidden at the bottom of the page). Make it a regular part of your email marketing to remind people to “Get Social With US.” If you are using Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ or others, be sure to make that a weekly invite as well as putting your Facebook Page URL in your other bios. Remind people that you would love for them to join you on your Facebook page for (tell the benefit). If you speak at a conference or attend an expo somewhere, tell people to join you for helpful information on your Facebook page. If you do any other form of advertising, be sure to mention your social sites in those ads for people to connect. Make it a common practice to let people know you are on these social sites for them to connect with you. Listen to your local news stations. They end with “Follow us on Twitter or Like us on Facebook,” not once, but every single day. Social media is now a permanent part of your marketing mix and as a business owner or marketer, you are ALWAYS marketing!
Let us know how we can help you with your social marketing efforts, and if you get your doors swung open wide, be sure to leave us your page link here in the comments–We’d love to stop by and browse your newly placed merchandise!
Today, Google is putting more and more importance in social signals when determining the ranking of any website. If you want to build an online presence, you definitely need to attend to the social part of your business. Most online businesses now have their own Facebook page, Twitter account, Pinterest page and a lot more. It is extremely hard to manage all those social accounts all at once, that is why most businesses, especially big ones, hire a professsional and experienced Search Engine Optimization service to help them do the job.
How Important Are Social Signals to Your Search Ranking?
Well, Google does take your social signals into account when determining how high your site should rank in search results. If you get a lot of Facebook likes, Twitter tweets, Pinterest shares, or Facebook comments, you will stand a higher chance of ranking high in search results. Plus, each time someone mentions your brand on social networks and includes a link to your site, you will get a backlink, which is very good for your SEO campaign.
How to Increase Your Social Network Involvement
You could start by putting some share buttons on every page of your blog or site. If you don’t already have a blog, you should set up one, since blogging is a great way to interact with your customers and keep them coming back. If you have a Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest account, include a connect button on your official business site so that customers can connect to you.
Fill out your bios on all social sites, including a link back to your website. This is a missed opportunity when left blank or when filled with very little information. On Pinterest, make sure you are adding keywords that help others find your pins, your boards and ultimately, your website!
If you are not sure what you should do to increase your social involvement and need Help with social media management, contact us today and our expert team will help you choose the most appropriate action plan to boost your online presence.