One size fits all is the sign of an out of date mentality which delivers sub-standard products and services nit really suitable to the job at hand. This sweeping statement cuts across very front, whether you’re getting a facelift across the border in Mexico as part of the medical tourism phenomenon, or getting some SEO done on your website by some student who’s read the latest book on it and hopes to make some quick cash.
In every case the primary motive is to save cash in getting something done and the results, usually, show that you have got what you paid for. It’s no different to using a social network to update potential clients through a Facebook fan page, a Facebook group or a Twitter profile. Companies which do that, also have in place an email campaign which goes out in their regular eNewsletter and, because they have not invested sufficiently in understanding the difference, they usually send out the same message which goes in one, in the other.
Job done, right? Yes, if you also think that the iambic pentameter is a great form of content to write a company report in. What goes perfectly in poetry and drama is ill-suited for a corporate document meant to impress potential investors. The niceties in difference across platforms are also observed in the social network reach which is why at Web Direct Studio we spend up to 15 man-hours a week carrying out pure research in the ways that online social network communication is taking place.
Over the last twelve months, for instance, the regular message or update you could send from a Facebook page to its fans has changed in terms of the impact it has had. There are many reasons for that not least the fact that people, these days, tend to spend a large part of their day online and this means that what they tend to respond more to is chunk-sized pieces of information akin to Twitter’s microblogging.
Facebook, which spends a lot of money on researching and understanding online behavior, was amongst the first to grasp this which is why they changed the profile of their fan pages to be more like normal Facebook profiles. They realized that, in order for them to work, there have to be ways of sending regular updates which appear in most people’s News feed stream. The interaction through the Wall function also makes it possible to create a direct stream of interactivity between a company and those accessing its services which, when handled properly, can create a powerful means of communication with the customer.
What does this mean for Social Networking Marketing Plans?
If you are using social networking as part of your online marketing plan it means that unless you have a separate, interlinked strategy and different content for your eNewsletter campaign, Facebook update to fans, regular wall posts and Twitter you are then missing out on a huge opportunity to actually get where you want in terms of reaching your target audience and meaningfully connecting with them.
In Facebook, the only way for users to see an update you have sent is for them to go to their inbox and then click on the updates tab. A general rule of the Internet is the more times someone has to click their mouse and load a new page, the fewer people will actually complete an action.
This affects both the times and days when you should send updates. Mondays, for instance, are considered inappropriate because everyone gets back to work and the start of the week and hardly anyone has time to spend reading fan page updates. Small chunks of information, scripted so that they deliver direct value to those who read them, is the best way to gain interaction and create an impact. A successful outreach campaign employing Facebook and Twitter requires a constant presence in different formats and a response.
This means that your company’s outreach campaign needs to have a human face and a personality. Something which helps those who interact to successfully engage with, and like. The key to success is adaptation. As a company looking to successfully market its presence you need a scripted approach to how you present yourself, what you say and how often you say it plus how you respond when a response is required.
Today’s web-savvy customers are connected on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. This means that a company’s message needs to be crafted around these platforms rather than the other way around. Each medium requires a different approach. One size fits all was never a good idea when buying shoes, for example, and it is just as bad when it comes to your corporate social networking outreach campaign.