The social media frontier of today holds the opportunity to develop contact strategies for Facebook and Twitter with similar precision and discipline that direct marketers have brought to a science over the years. If you are a brand that markets directly to your customers, consider the opportunity to build a social network contact strategy.
Here are 4 tips to consider:
- Understand the roles of Facebook and Twitter and how they work best to complement each other. Many brands make the mistake of thinking the two networks fulfill the same purpose and simply use Facebook to populate their Twitter streams to conserve time. The reality is that Twitter offers some valuable benefits over Facebook in its ability for the brand to communicate directly with customers. Twitter is a 1:1 customer and prospect engagement tool while Facebook is a powerful community manager. The two channels require very different strategies to leverage their power most effectively.
- Enhance your database with social network data so that you understand which customers are on which networks. Follow the process through to flag which customers like you on Facebook and/or follow you on Twitter. For those who dont, reach out to follow and begin to engage with them on Twitter. Send an email asking the Facebook users to become a fan with a compelling reason why they should. Keep in mind that the culture of social media is very different than traditional direct marketing channels. People want to be recognized. If your key competitor is recognizing your customers in the social channels and you are not, you are giving your customer one more reason why they should choose your competitor over you.
- Segment these populations in your marketing database so that you can acknowledge the social relationship at every touch point as well as measure the lifetime value influence of the social relationship. Just like top customers should be approached in a different way than prospects, Facebook fans and Twitter followers deserve recognition for being viral ambassadors of your brand. Expand your email and postal list segmentation to hold the capability to deliver messages or offers that are unique to fans or followers.
- Keep track of customers and prospects that are engaging with you on Twitter and Facebook. Like the disciplined email marketer who collects opens, clicks and conversions at the customer level to design a future email campaign that maximizes results, social media marketers in todays new frontier should strive to capture and manage social engagement data. This intelligence will provide the framework for creating a plan that defines which customers should be touched socially and when.
Susan Hanshaw is the Founder and CEO of Inner Architect a direct marketing firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her focus is the integration of social media with direct marketing.