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Tom Marin

Building Brands

By Tom Marin

About Tom

Tom Marin is the managing partner of and provides corporate and brand strategy to organizations of all sizes. He has an extensive background in the graphic arts, printing, publishing and media industries. Marin is an accredited member of the national and international chapters of the Business Marketing Assn., is a (CBC) certified business communicator and a past marketing chair of the Chicago chapter.


Just How Social Are Your Social Media Efforts?

While discussing the company’s financial outlook last week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “Over the next five years, we expect four or five billion people to have smartphones. That is more than twice as many people as have computers today.”

That sounds incredible on its face value, but it’s easy to see its veracity. Consider that it’s not uncommon to find high school and college students using their smartphones and tablets with far more regularity (time logged) than their notebook computers…or, gasp, desktop computers!

This is not a trend. This is reality. Socializing within a digital community is becoming more prevalent than going outside your home and meeting and talking with someone in person. Many would argue the pros and cons of this (topic for another blog sometime), but that misses the strategic point:

You are either going to get smart with these trends or become a memory that fades over time.

So what are you doing at your company to leverage this gigantic sea change? Hopefully, you’re investing very heavily in improving your mobile marketing communications. And just as importantly, hopefully your company is demonstrating that it can market effectively to your customers and prospective customers with an outstanding mobile social experience.

One way to draw some quick conclusions regarding your effectiveness is to measure your company’s engagement factor. This is the number of daily average users as a percentage of your total monthly average users. Over a 12-month trend line, you should have an ever-increasing number of “qualified candidates” that have found your social media interactions useful on several levels:
  • Highly relevant to their personal/professional life.
  • Extremely valuable in helping to move their careers forward.
  • Increasing recency, meaning they are engaging with less time between each “engagement.”

So what can you do to help ensure this healthy set of interactions? Be more social!

Here are two suggestions of how to become more engaged, and to encourage others to do the same:

1) Personalize your communications.

This will probably strike you as counter-intuitive to this post. However, sending a hand-written thank you when one of your customers posts a comment on your blog site is one of the more social things you could do. Your customer will fall off his or her chair upon seeing that you took the time to write, “I appreciated your recent post on our blog.”

2) Look for occasions to compliment customers, prospective customers and strategic partners.

You’re following many companies that you feel an affinity toward. When one accomplishes something significant in your market, comment in several ways to show your appreciation—such as posting a comment on the company’s blog; retweeting the news release; mentioning the news in your next blog post; and posting the information on your Facebook and/or Linkedin page. Also consider asking the company to write a blog that you’ll post on your website with comments.

The bottom-line is, the more you engage your customers and prospective customers—as well as those that support your strategic initiatives—the more you will encourage engagement and increase your ability to make a point, take a stand, announce a new product or service, and increase your market presence. And that is what strategic marketing is supposed to be all about. It starts with being social.

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