By Keith Ferrazzi, Author of Never Eat Alone and Tahl Raz
(The following article is excerpted from Success Secrets of The Social Media Marketing Superstars, by Mitch Meyerson)
In today’s virtual world, you don’t need a Twitter strategy or a Facebook strategy or even a Google strategy. You need a Relationship Strategy that leverages all aspects of social media.
Relationships: they are the ultimate source of advantage, the new heavyweight champion of the marketing ring.
Social media, however, is the champ’s head trainer. There’s never been a better tool for relationship building. Social media allows for two-way conversations with an entire market, a reality that would have made the innovative Madison Avenue ad men in the 1950s fall off their Eames sofas.
But you shouldn’t try approaching social media without a deep understanding of the relationship-centric reality of Web 2.0 – the reality of the ever-increasing importance of foundational mindsets like generosity, transparency, and candor. If you rush or go in without information, what you’ll get is an all-too-common experience nicely captured by Google’s Analytics Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik:
Social media [can be] like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody knows how. When it’s finally done, there is surprise it’s not better.”
Luckily, through knowledge, practice and commitment, social media can be exciting, engaging, pleasurable and successful for any business.
Smart innovators are learning that the model is no longer CRM (Customer Relationship Management) but rather CMR (Customer Managed Relationships).
The sales and marketing funnel isn’t linear and it’s not a funnel.
It’s more like concentric circles of awareness, interaction, engagement, participation, conversation, affinity, awareness, community, and trust. A funnel would imply passive consumption, but that’s no longer how things work. Today’s consumer behavior has changed to active participation. I post a question to my Facebook page, asking what people think about the Kindle, then double check it against comments on Amazon, and follow those comments to someone’s Twitter account…and on and on.
A brand is no longer what the company says it is.
It’s what their customers say it is. Companies still need to influence their brand, though. How do you do that? Not by interrupting your customers with brand-making promises, delivered as advertisements. You influence a brand by encouraging people associated with that brand – forging direct relationships, relationships built on action and experience and…CARING. That’s right, your next sales seminar is likely to be more Oprah than your traditional hard-charging Joe Salesguy.
To be meaningful, or memorable, these relationships must engage, enable, and empower.
Memorable is an action, specifically a one-to-one action, and so really it is an interaction. Which brings us back to the beginning: Today’s consumer influence is built on a platform of one-to-one relationships.
Keith Ferrazzi, Author of Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back and Tahl Raz