How SoMe Can Boost Retention, Sales and Referrals for Mailers
Of course, the emerging marketing channel of social media can significantly aid those three Rs — alongside a strong direct mail program. Today, more small and medium-sized businesses are discovering that a good mix of social media (a Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn customer group, etc.) provide a ready-made context for continuing a conversation with a customer over time, listening to the customer and testing new ideas with the customer.
Furthermore, this vital channel creates an interchange between customers that includes the business itself. Rather than getting talked "about," you can be also talked "with." When customers listen to other customers, the sum total becomes greater than the individual parts, and even newer and bigger insights are drawn from the soup that brews therein.
But does SoMe invite some uncertainty into the mix, too? Many observers today consider social media to be the final answer to all small and medium-sized business marketing plans. Indeed, there are more and more examples of small businesses with a good and solid product and niche that are cultivating their ultra-local neighborhood marketplaces by nothing other than free social media Facebook pages and Twitter "tweets" to their current customer base.
Marian Salzmann of Euro RSCG Worldwide Public Relations in Atlanta points out the dichotomy of social media making it a smaller world and meshing cultures and languages from around the world, but still thriving even faster in ultra-local neighborhood markets where the momentum of a small business can catch on even faster with local customers. She, however, warns of the threat of "SoMe bullies." These "bullies," empowered by social media tools, can mount an attack against a small business's (perceived) mistakes and unfortunate business decisions.
SoMe bullies can magnify an error or oversight on your part and quickly spray paint a stain on your brand's image and panache. Let's face it, we all make mistakes, and we all work with employees and team members who also have "bad days." The problem is that SoMe bullies can create a lasting injury, making such a "day" last a thousand years!