Social media marketing is still unfamiliar ground for many companies, and while some dabble and others drown, for most, finding success remains elusive. While time, talent, and content remain primary barriers, I think that these would be overcome if the true value of social media were better understood.
As marketers, we help our clients tell their stories and discover what their target audiences and clients are interested in. When we create great content that attracts new visitors and convert some of those visitors to clients, then what?
You need to WOW them. There are few companies that focus on the wow quotient, even though the concept has been around for sometime. Tom Peters wrote The Pursuit of WOW in 1994. Only a few companies understood the meaning and value of disruptive positioning and took risks to make their mark.
One example is Zappos. When Tony Hsieh decided to become more than just an investor and take an active leadership role, things began to change. He defied conventions and blazed a new trail, which you can read about in his book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.
There are other examples of entrepreneurial genius where leaders took massive risks, faced failures, and forged on to overcome the odds and became recognized worldwide. The common denominator in these stories is the wow quotient. While Zappos went above and beyond in service, Apple took the direction of product perfection (and I would argue that it is far from perfect) and appealed to an emerging group of outliers who would not only become rabid fans but would do so for generations.
Wow is still a rare enough experience that it becomes a huge differentiator and creates epic level loyalty, fandom, and often times viral stories online. With social media and the online connectivity in play today, outrageous customer service is something to talk about just as readily as sharing a frustrating or poor experience.
Listening to a recent Gary Vaynerchuk keynote he mentioned that his winelibrary.com business has a Thank You Department. His staff is trained to research the customer online and discover what interests them, and then find meaningful ways to thank them. They don’t ask for reorders or try to upsell, they just find ways to say thank you.
As entrepreneurs, you have to focus on a lot of things in your business, including the quality and delivery of your products and services. But the miss I most often see is not leveraging your existing customers to become the most powerful sales force on the planet.
Creative ads, cool contests, informational blogs, great videos, amazing websites, and more are ground zero. These are investments where you measure traffic, shares, likes, engagement, and conversion—but have you left some opportunities on the table?
If you wow me, I will talk about it and probably share it online with my communities, which number in the hundreds—maybe thousands—of potential leads. This is a personal endorsement and a recommendation. Taking a recommendation from a friend or family member is far more likely then clicking on a banner ad.
Today, with almost everyone being super-connected online, a suspect is more inclined to start a search for goods, services, and even employees through their connections. They may completely forgo the old (Oh my, this is old already?) Google search.
If you are planning on being in business for the next few years, then I suggest taking two very big steps:
1. Re-evaluate your products and services as well as your organization to see where you have opportunities to wow the pants off customers enough that they’ll want to brag about it online.
2. Get your social media on steroids. Find ways to begin to deliver value, be helpful, connect, relate, and support communities, and pay extra attention with whom you connect.