Business Magazine

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Posted on the 07 August 2012 by Maria Snyder @MariaConsulting

Who’s the fairest of them all? It was a huge question and it came with big answers didn’t it? Mirror customer relationships on your targeted audience and you hit the mark.

Are your business customers on social media? Are they searching for your business online? If you answer yes to either of these, you need a social media plan and goals because it will help your customer find you.

Here is where you begin with social media, we don’t get online for quite a while [after the photo]:

Your audience is on social media. Figure out where they are. If you are seeking college students, they’re on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare. Seeking professionals employed or otherwise, look seriously at Linked In. Seeking the Mom crowd, look at Facebook and Pinterest.  If you sell pretty stuff, look at Pinterest and Instagram. If you’re something in between or don’t know, Google Plus fits everybody. Why? Because it’s Google and I get into that later.

You now need to listen, watch and observe your customer audience. Your observations occur in face to face conversations, in phone consultations or simply watching customers in your place of business. Ask questions of your customers, do they use social networks? What is their favorite network?  Are they using smart phones? Customers using smart phones probably are actively engaged on one or more social network. What networks are your employees on? Simple and easy to figure out, do an anonymous survey of customers and employees.

Have an executive brainstorming meeting. The brainstorm can happen in fifteen minutes or longer. Decide where you found your customer online and what your customer needs [hopefully they need you].  You need to develop a perspective of fulfilling your customers need. Think in terms of YOU not I because if you start talking in the first person, you will be selling, slimy and loose the attention of your customer. Your customer matters and needs you and your product or service. This social thing is about them not I. Clear? The conceptual idea should be evolving, a plan is emerging.

Where are we so far? We found our audience, we’ve studied them, listened and asked questions. We’ve brainstormed and focused on the audience who needs you. A considerable amount of time has passed. You still haven’t actually activated your social account yet, with me?

Here is the actionable part of a plan. I call this phase the three D’s.  Dedicate time to post, share, link, comment and engage customers. Designate the people, owner or person to take care of it for you. Demonstrate your willingness to respond to criticism  and accept suggestion because you will get it. There are many scheduling applications such as online calendars that can text, beep or alert you to the timing of posts, shares, links, comments and engaging activities. Encourage the use of Google alerts to monitor when your business name or product/service appears online.

Find your competitors social profiles and lurk, listen and see what they’re doing. It’s ok to take notes. Once you go live, yes we will follow them, circle them and even like their page (as a clicking process). We may even say hello in a comment. [Ninja trick that will get some awareness out there] We still have a lot to do before going live.

During the brainstorming sessions, many ideas evolved. You developed a conceptual idea about who you will be online didn’t you? In any new event with a business, there needs to be a build up of excitement. This is where you start telling your customers about your new [secret] without telling them about the [secret]. Name the [secret] your big secret, the big shh, the new and exciting [secret] don’t tell anyone about a Google Plus page or social media page, keep it secret. They already have the idea because you planted a seed during your observation phase when you asked questions. Mystery sparks curiosity and curiosity sparks desire. You need and want curiosity and desire.

Seth Godin’s blog post titled Long-term Manipulation Is Extremely Difficult makes a great point about easy and difficult. It applies to our strategic social media process:

In the short run, it’s easy.

It’s easy to fool someone or lie to them or give them what they think they want. It’s easy to write a great block of copy, to sell on credit, to grab the attention of the mob.

Not so easy: to build mutually profitable long-term relationships that lead to satisfaction, trust and work worth doing.

Lincoln was right about fooling people, but along the way we often forget that while trickery is easy, the longer path of keeping your promises is far more satisfying and stable.


We’re working on the not so easy part. To build mutually profitable long-term relationships that lead to satisfaction, trust and work worth doing. That build takes time. How much time and effort depends on you.

There ain't no mountain high enough
 Fernando Rodríguez via Compfight

Our profile isn’t live yet. The plans are evolving and we’re getting closer. Continue on to the next page for further reading.

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