Throughout the past few years, more and more businesses have been developing social media pages. What was once viewed as an “extra” feature is now being considered a vital business function. Despite this transition, companies are often unclear on how to measure profitability of social media sites. Profitability is the bottom line goal of any business. We all need to generate money to develop, maintain, and grow in the marketplace. So why are more businesses investing money in their social media campaigns when there are no direct results in its value?
Peter Drucker, who is recognized as an influential thinker on management and marketing theories, is quoted as saying “the aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself”. Social media outlets essentially are providing businesses the opportunity to have open communication with customers at any time of the day. To pass up on this information is like ignoring the needs and wants of a customer and expecting to sell them a product. This information can be used to leverage your brand over competition and to build your relationships with your customers.
If you have a moment, take time to look at what Starbucks has done with their social media campaigns and its efforts to stay connected to their customers. With over 20 million fans on Facebook and nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter, it is clear to say that they are in constant communication with a lot of people.
Now what? There are a few strategies implemented by Starbucks in effort to generate products and services that best meet the needs of these “potential” customer base
1. Twitter engagement:
- Answer customer questions
- Retweet what people say about the brand
- provide content to keep the customer interested: videos, blog posts, and photos
- invite fans to events
- allow fans to engage and voice opinions
- upload videos of commercials
- provide informational videos: brand history
Starbucks uses social media strategies that produce the most valuable results for their company. There are countless ways to maintain engagement of customers through social media. At the same time, they are creating products and services that “fit the customer and sells itself”. Open discussion allows for ultimate aim of marketing, according to Drucker, to be achieved. Customers do recognize and appreciate this! People love to engage, contribute, and let their voices be heard!!!
Social media builds brand exposure and equity while you continue to improve the ability to satisfy the specific needs and wants of your customer. Although this may not considered a direct profit boosting scheme, it is invaluable for your company’s success. You can also cut costs of running focus groups; which also helps a business’ bottom line.
Starbucks recognizes the importance of their presence in the world of social media. It is my belief that all things considered, if you aren’t sold on the idea yet, maybe it’s time for a second look.
Is your business ready to start the conversation?