Marketing is changing, Social Media is seeing to that.
The internet has changed, and is still changing, the way we market goods, services and even ourselves. This fast-paced roller-coaster of an information machine is an excellent medium through which to promote and market whatever you are selling, but you have to keep up with it.
The public is hungry for information. If they hear about a product, they want to research it from multiple angles. Take a book, for example. Here’s what I do if I hear of a new book that’s just been released:
- The first thing I do is see if anyone I know is saying anything about the book – for me, personal recommendation is the number one factor in making a purchase.
- Next, I look up the author. Who are they? What have they written previously? What do they stand for? I can find this information almost instantly and it will affect whether or not I buy their book.
- Lastly I will look at reviews of the book on Amazon.com and by doing a google search. I’ll discount immediately anything that looks professionally written and home in on what seem like reviews from real people, people like me.
The information I gather before making a purchase would have been impossible to gather just ten years ago. Maybe not even five years ago.
Getting the right information about your product out onto the internet is essential for sales – but here comes the catch: The internet is evolving again. The days when people just wanted information are disappearing fast. Increasingly, we are entering the day of information and interaction.
Going back to the book I heard of that’s just been released, I don’t just want to find out who the author is any more, I want to contact them, to interact with them. My questions now are:
- Do they have a blog?
- Do they twitter?
- Are they on facebook?
- Will they respond to me?
The answers to these questions will have a direct effect on whether or not I buy their book. No longer is it good enough for me to look at someones picture on a book cover, I want personal interaction.
I was reminded of the power of personal interaction tonight.
One of the people I follow on Twitter (@tremendousnews) decided to try to contact the actress Alyssa Milano through Twitter. His strategy was basically to harass and confuse her with an array of messages until she gave in and either blocked him or responded.
It seemed a futile mission but, just 6 hours after beginning his crazy plan, he sent out a tweet saying that Miss Milano had sent him a direct message.
I had heard of Alyssa Milano but had no idea who she was, all I knew is that she was somewhat famous. I couldn’t believe that she had actually sent a message to @tremendousnews so I sent her a message myself asking whether or not he was telling the truth. It took her less than 60 seconds to respond to me and confirm that she had put him out of his (and our) misery.
Over the course of the next 15 minutes, Miss Milano sent me two more messages in response to things I said, to the point that it felt like we had had a conversation.
Alyssa Milano has over 100,000 twitter followers, yet she took a few seconds to respond to me personally – and that has given me a very positive opinion of her.
It was that easy for her to take me from having no idea who she was to thinking very positively about her – and the same principal can work for you too.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling coffee or cars, bakeware or books, mice or movies – it doesn’t take much work at all to interact with your potential buyers and change their opinion of you for the better.
People want interaction, they want to feel part of a community. If that community happens to be the community of people who buy your personalized purses then so be it. If you create that sense of community by being willing to take the time to respond and react to your customers, your community will grow and your sales will grow with it.
That’s the power of social media marketing today.