Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Reaching your customers by joining them

The first posts I ever left here over 18 months ago were part of a series entitled Marketing With Your Community. The idea was simple; Your marketing is more effective and you better serve your community of customers if you join them. This was also the theme of my chapter in The Age of Conversation, I talked about how Willie Davidson conducts market research every weekend, by hitting the open road and joining the community of Harley riders.

Businesses that want to use social media and sites successfully cannot ignore the rules set in place by the community. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, podcasts, these sites and tools are here for us to communicate with each other. They aren't here for your company to sell more stuff.

Now that's not to say that you can't use these sites and tools to sell stuff, because you can. But your efforts will be far more fruitful if you use social media as your customers do.

The best way to reach customers on social sites such as Facebook, is to join them.

And as luck would have it, that's the exact topic of my latest premium article for Marketing Profs entitled 'How to Reach Facebook's Millions of Users in Nine Easy Steps'(The article is premium, but you can sign up for a 2-day trial and read it for free!). I wanted to write this as a roadmap for companies that want to develop a presence on Facebook, but that aren't sure how to get started. The best way to approach Facebook is that it's a community, and what you get back from a community depends greatly on the value you contribute. The heart of this article walks companies through the steps necessary to become good community members, members that create and share value with the community.

Which is how businesses can get value from social media and sites, by creating value for their customers using the same tools they are, in the ways that they are.

UPDATE: My latest DF post, How to Make BIG Money on Facebook!

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Anonymous said...

Mack - I just began reading "How to Reach Facebook's..." and I had to stop and commend you on Step 1 - While these sites are far from marketing-free, social networking sites like Facebook & MySpace offer a sort of "safety zone" - the allusion of a private environment where members can control what kind of information they receive and who they receive it from. As marketers, it is essential to respect these boundaries as a "code," or risk a fast removal from Friend lists everywhere!

Mack Collier said...

Thanks Maggi, that's exactly why I made that Step 1, because if a business only cares about selling to (ie taking) from the Facebook users, they need to stop before they even start, because they are wasting everyone's time. I wanted to make the point up front that if they are SERIOUS about entering Facebook, they have to do it on the community's terms, not their's.