Social Networking Lessons of 2011

#1 Lesson: The best way to reach new customers is through existing customers.

  • WOM is cheaper than advertising
  • Customer retention is cheaper than acquisition or win-back
  • Loyal customers are more likely to engage

Action: Connect with current customers instead of focusing your social media efforts on new business.

#2 Lesson: Social media works best for small businesses.

  • Customers prefer real people over impersonal brands
  • Authenticity trumps automation

Action: Step away from the corporate image and be more approachable by personalizing responses to questions, comments, complaints, and compliments.

#3 Lesson: Consumer opinions matter.

  • Each individual has the means to reach thousands of potential customers
  • People trust people more than they trust brands

Action: Diffuse negative situations quickly, while encouraging positive comments.

#4 Lesson: The best results are achieved through analysis and revision.

  • Social media is still about trial and error
  • Measure success over time using several intervals
  • Build on what has worked in the past

Action: Don’t be afraid to experiment, but be sure to measure the impact, adjust when needed, and repeat successful tactics.


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