Are you using social media to build your knowledge network and ultimately increase your value proposition? Tweeting, “LIKEing”, +1ing have all become the norm, and it’s critical to your marketing strategy how you use social media services to build your knowledge network.
You should know who and what to follow to get critical information related to your industry.
Customers are sharing their knowledge and experiences, good and bad, but you have to determine what you would need to do to be part of the knowledge networks of others and how you would build your network. The “What” is the knowledge that one person share with others, and the “How” is the social media services you use. You need to determine which one or combination of services you want to use – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google Plus, for example.
What does it mean to be part of this knowledge network? It’s like a community. It means none of us (you and I and everyone else alone) is as smart as all of us. As you build your network and reaching out into your community, you’ll gain more credibility for your business. You all become stronger together. It’s time to dive in and be a part of the global community.
Know your industry. Read everything, talk to everyone and be everywhere. Social media has become a hub of information; there’s no hoarding it. It spreads all over the world at lightning speed. New ideas, opportunities, information, and everything in between are abundant and available instantly as you share with all of your tweeps, friends, and circles.
When people see a great tweet, they re-tweet it, share it with their Facebook friends, and +1 it to their Google Plus network. It’s like having a water cooler conversation with the world.
How do you know which information to monitor and trend? You have to rely heavily on your industry knowledge and current fad. Understand the competitive intricacies of a creative campaign and how they fit into your strategic online presence.
Know your customer and your market. They say, “Everyone’s a critic.” Be aware of what’s happening around you, what’s overused and overhyped, what’s fresh and trendy. It’s about spotting the trends that seem likely to grow in importance so that you and your business can survive in a competitive market. This means know your customers, both existing and prospective, by listening through their written words.
“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
Like hearing, reading what someone said isn’t enough; you must process the information and understand their message. Assess the emotion, not just the words. Decipher the feelings behind the words to create a better understanding. Understand their frame of reference. Overall, take time to absorb what you’ve read, analyze it, and then respond.
Listen to your customer. “Listen” to their tone of voice. Unlike face-to-face interaction, you can’t look into their eyes, hear their tone of voice, or watch their body language. You can, however, ascertain their tone through their written words, expressions, and even emoticons. There’s passion and heart in those words. Remember that the emotion you read in their posting may be completely at odds with the content. Since many people do not state their emotions explicitly within such content, you will need to respond to the implicit emotional tone. Beware of your own personal biases and seek to understand their position. Think about the message being conveyed and respond only in terms that are appropriate to that context. Really “listen” in order to gain meaning from their words. Take their words, process them, interpret them, and evaluate what they’re saying. Effectively hearing your customers requires a genuine willingness and an open-mind to “hear” what’s being said. Missed opportunities and perpetuated problems occur where there’s an absence of listening or hearing.
Overall, your page should tell your followers that what they have to say matters. It creates a sense of confidence that their feedback matters, their feelings are acknowledged, and their advice is considered. Your page should be like a sounding board. When they feel that they are understood at an emotional level, that’s the ah-ha moment when they feel they are truly understood. This in turn will maintain, if not increase, your intended brand image.
Engage your customer. Your page on a social network communicates your brand image. Your content should get people to open up. It’s your opportunity to ignite or reignite their enthusiasm for using your products or services. To keep your customers engaged, you need to provide real time personalized information to them. Before long, you’ll see the tremendous growth of opportunities to create awareness simply by getting the word out and seeing how it spread.
Act accordingly. Respond to their feedback and comments with the ability and willingness to deal with negative emotions constructively. When it comes to communication, be a master of diplomacy. Gauge their emotions as best you can. Use that discovery to represent your domain with the latest and greatest solutions available. It’s not an overnight process. Over time, you will build trust and loyalty.
Know your competitors. Part of your knowledge network goes beyond just your business. It should not only include learning about the business you are in, but also that of your competitors’. It means liking the company page that you’re partnering with to be in the know how and foster relationships, and liking the company to know what’s hot and what’ not. It means browsing around – check out your competitions. You want your competitions to vanish into the ethers, and what better way to outsmart them and potentially steal their followers than to look around and be in the know how? See their campaigns, their promotions, and their online visibility. By knowing and monitoring your competitions, you’ll establish your competitive advantage.
Share your Knowledge. There’s energy in collaborating that creates opportunities to share knowledge with your target audience. There are tools that are a one stop social media services shop. Hootsuite allows you to see your feeds from Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and publish your post to all three. Tweetdeck allows you to manage your Twitter and Facebook feeds. You get recognized for what you share and what you post, and ultimately, your brand will stand out.
The Bottomline. What do all of these mean to you? Knowledge is empowering. It empowers you to remain focused, make informed decisions, and be marketable in today’s social media frenzy.
I’d like to hear your thoughts. Does this article resonate with you?