Broadcasting into the Social Universe
Part One in this series started describing the social media universe in smaller, bite-sized chunks. Creating content is a relatively simple step and most businesses can use intellectual capital, they already possess to create content. Because this step can’t happen without new content, the one thing I didn’t mention yesterday is that businesses must create a constant stream of content. At least 3 times per week, new posts, reviews, information, product reviews, promotions, etc should appear on your company website. Once a business master’s this process, the step two is broadcasting.
Broadcasting involves taking your content and spreading it across the Internet via social media tools. Your social media information stream creates what we call inbound marketing attraction. Those interested in your message, product and expertise find your business, and come to you.
When the Internet started, online portals tried to bring companies together into centralized locations, like online yellow pages, or the ill-fated iMall.com. Very few of these survived. They discovered the online world changed so quickly, that they couldn’t create an up-to-date reference source. Google, Facebook, and search engines have now created the up to date reference point, allowing individuals to connect and publish onto the web with ever-increasing speeds. At the same time, these information giants don’t try to centralize the location of the websites. Rather these information repositories centralize where you can go to search for what is important to you.
Therefore, a business’ task is to use broadcasting tools that take new content and spread it across the social media universe in ways that feed the ravenous Google-monster. Imagine the broadcasting process like a large funnel. The tools are web based. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are the anchors, and most broadcasting tools communicate and interact with these giants. The info-graphic below illustrates the process.
After you’ve created content and broadcast it, you gain friends and followers, and these prospects begin to listen, and build the desire to interact with you. Broadcasting tools include:
- Hootsuite & Tweetdeck social media managers.
- RSS feeds
- Connectedness between Facebook, Twitter and Linked In
- Yahoo Pipes
- Many, Many more. The key is finding the applications that simplify the process to leverage your effort.
Before the Internet, businesses engaged this same process. For decades, sales trainers have taught about the sales funnel. The process included:
- Building relationships
- Engage prospects,
- Selling products that meet customer’s needs
The inbound marketing, Internet based, social media process is the same process. The only difference is the tools. On the other end of the purchasing transaction, the buyer has also changed. Today’s internet buyer enjoys a level of anonymity. He can visit your virtual storefront, check out your prices, compare you to competition across the street or around the world, and move toward a buying decision without contacting anyone.
When a business demonstrates expertise via a social media presence, and the free flow of professional information, they break down the anonymity, and move the prospect toward becoming a customer. The potential for immediate, personal contact puts the social media-engaged business light years ahead of their competition.