The Ears, Eyes and Mouth of Social Media

There is so much discussion about the role of social media in marketing. I’d like to offer my perspective on how to best leverage three platforms. Simply put, Facebook is the ears, Twitter is the mouth and Linkedin is the brain.  

Facebook: THE LISTENING CORNER I like to think of Facebook as a place for brands to primarily listen and perhaps ask a few questions. It isn’t a sales environment, but it is a great place to watch and observe people who care about your category and possibly your brand. Consumers will tell you important stuff that you need to know if you shut up and listen. Don’t try and sell.

Of course it is a great place to share photos and videos but you need to be careful not to push yourself like a local TV ad. Personalize what you show; be authentic but just don't go to close the sale. You are trying to build relationships. 

If you are quiet, consumers will self-identify themselves as interested in fishing, wine or bowling. It is a great chance to observe how consumers behave and the language they use to talk about your brands. I like to think of it like a focus group you stumble upon where the subject is your product or service category. What do they say, how do they say it and what is the role a category/brand or product in their lives?  Facebook is like the ears of a brand. Shhh! Consumers behaving in their natural habitat. Be very quiet. 

Twitter:  A PLACE TO ASK A QUESTION: Twitter is also a listening opportunity for brands but because of its 140 character limits, it allows you to provide short bits of information. So you get to sit in a crowded room filled with people talking about things of interest to you and occasionally you get to throw a sentence or two into the mix. 

I like to use it to pose a question that stimulates discussion and/or links to a blog. So twitter is a great way to pose a thought provoking question. How would Steve Jobs get into the wine business? What if your t-shirt could take your temperature?  What if your foam insulation could sense moisture in the ceiling? 

The fact that you can search key words/brands/categories means that for people interested in very specific categories (hand crafted sweaters, custom designed cakes, homemade apple sauce)  you can find people who are talking about your those products. If you haven't used the search function, it is really the great asset of Twitter. Do you know who is talking about your product? Have you ever searched for your brand name on Twitter? 

Linkedin: THE PLACE TO CONNECT:  I have been a Linkedin user since its first year. To me, it is an incredibly powerful B2B tool to help you understand some background about someone you want to reach. You can build highly targeted data bases of people who you want to connect to try and meet, set up appointments or to learn a little something about their background. Its Intel central- and is rich with many ways of learning about important buyers or influencers within your value chain. 

Several years ago, I used Linkedin to help me identify 50 people who had influence over the growth of the business I worked on and they became my target list of people I wanted to follow. (I used Google Alerts and other means to track their online activities). I found out when/where they were speaking to industry groups and got opportunities to meet them through this insight. I saw articles they wrote and found out clues to things on their mind.  All of the info helped guide some of our marketing outreach programs and proved quite effective and getting us to the right people.

Linkedin is also rich in very targeted groups interested in specific topics- commercial photographers, sticky branding or wine bloggers. Participating in those group conversations, offering insights or questions, answer requests for help and more makes it worth your time as you learn more about a targeted audience. 

Ears, eyes and mouth.  Social media can be a set of powerful tools if you use them wisely, learn to share and use your inside voice. 

Labels: , , , ,