Principle 5 – Nurture Social Relationships With Real People
Principle 5 works in cooperation with Principle 6 – Have a “Six Step Engagement Strategy”. This is because the objective of developing our LKT relationships is to produce a results. Since we are using social media marketing for business, this result is to produce revenue which is used to sustain the business.
The Social Marketing Theorem
Whether a business or social casual communication exchange occurs face-to-face, on the phone or electronically over the internet or wireless device, an Opinion Leader wants to communicate in a way to attract connections, followers and new business. This dialog and conversation can be nicely described around the Social Marketing Theorem.
The Social Marketing Theorem (SMT) is presented in the formula:
(MKT + WOM + WOW) x L + K + T = R
The left side of the SMT equal sign is divided into two parts, the left part, the communications medium and the right part, the objective of the dialog / conversation. The two parts working together effectively will produce our desired Result, which for business purposes will ultimately lead to conversions and sales.
The formula breakdown description…
MKT = Traditional Marketing (as we have come to know and love)
WOM = Word-of-mouth (face-to-face, seminars, workshops, speaking engagements)
WOW = Word-of-web (websites, social sites)
L = Like (even Love)
K = Know
T = Trust
R = Produces the Results / Referrals / Revenue we desire
So, when starting off with a new relationship, we are looking to create dialog, whether by WOM or WOW, that will first get people to Like us. Like is the first step in the LKT process of the Liking, Knowing and Trusting process. All things being equal, when someone likes us, it makes a relationship together easier and gives the other person a reason to want to Know us. As we continue to apply our Social Marketing Theorem to nurture the relationship further, their knowing what we do professionally will lead to our acquiring their Trust which is a prerequisite to our earning the right of being a recipient of their business.
What are some things we can do to start people liking us? One way is by turning to the radio station that everyone wants to listen to, W-IIFM or the What’s In It For Me station. Yes, especially when in business discussions, people like to know where the conversation is going and to what degree they will gain benefit. So start by focusing the attention on them. Here are some examples:
Ask their opinion
Ask them questions about themselves
Give them a testimonial or recommendation
Pass them a business referral
What about the n component of the theorem, to the power or degree to which it is performed?
The Importance of Word-of-Mouth (WOM)
The n power of word-of-mouth WOMn can clearly be seen through the organization BNI – “the largest business networking organization in the world. BNI operating through local chapters, offer their members the opportunity to share ideas, contacts and most importantly, business referrals“. The BNI Mission Statement: reads “To help members increase their business through a structured, positive and professional word-of-mouth program that enables them to develop long-term, meaningful relationships with quality business professionals. When business professionals have a well structured word-of-mouth, face-to-face, belly-to-belly network, the effects of Social Media Marketing, WOW word-of-web, is accelerated.
Here is another advantage of WOMn vs WOW. What if we wanted to use taste, touch or smell as part of unique message? This can not be facilitated electronically. If taste, touch or smell is a key point of difference of our product brand, then Social Media Marketing will be in want to convey these senses through to our network. This points to a key advantage of person-to-person contact.
Where Word-of-Web (WOW) Shines and WOM falls
The strength around Word-of-Web (WOW) is apparent when we consider where word-of-mouth can fall apart. This is particularly true when we want our message to be repeated, transferred and accurately duplicated.
Many of us have heard of the story of quietly passing a brief message through a group of people. The fun occurs when the last person in the repeated chain states what they heard. It is amazing how different the message is from start to finish.
People are challenged when it comes to exactly repeating what they heard. Another similar situation occurs when multiple people relate what they saw in a car accident. So many of the details, though the same, are related differently. Both of these examples highlight the inherent challenge with people and word-of-mouth communications. This is overcome when we consider how a message is distributed electronically.
The advantages of electronic, or WOW communications are apparent when we realize the EXACT intended message can be sent immediately, accurately and repeatedly, over and over again WITHOUT losing any important key components of the intended message.
Using Video As a Relationship Intermediary between WOM and WOW
To greatly expand ones marketing reach it is impossible for one person to be face-to-face, in many places at the same time. Implementing professionally produced website videos is the answer get the real person right in view of LOTS of people. The video that is effectively produced will accelerate the Liking, Knowing, Trusting process. The video does this where simple text or blogs fall short.
The Telephone as a Relationship Tool
Telephone conversations are an important aspect of relationship building and an integral part of WOMn. At times you need to pick up the phone and talk to the other party in the conversation. Sending emails or texting back and forth are shallow at best for developing relationships. According to an article written by Kathy Pabst Robshaw about telephones (read article The Original Social Media) states:
“business is still conducted between people; therefore, you need to be able to talk to your customers, and your customers need to be able to talk to you. Status updates, tweets, search engine results, texts, or e-mails will never replace the value of the human voice.”
So as we develop relationships through our LKT process voice contact with others can play an important role. Especially with those we have identified in Principle 2 – Build Your Relationships by Design as key network influencers.
Proper Word Choice
It is very important that we learn how to develop excellent word choice. Our right choice of words, both verbal and written, will be of great assistance as we nurture social relationships. Bob Nicoll states:
“There is power in the clarity of your articulation. TM” In his latest book release of Remember The Ice, Bob states we should, “enhance every single relationship and every single experience you have. Spoken communication is just the beginning.. Why is it so important to pay attention to word choice? It’s important because as a society, we have slipped into lazy habits that confuse or undermine the things that come out of our mouths. As a society, we are getting more and more frustrated by our lack of ability to understand and to make ourselves understood. Poor word choice is a serious obstacle to clear communication and diminishes your personal power.”
We recommend you read Bob’s blog.
Follow Up Social Marketing Research Articles and Blogs to Come
Liking, Knowing and Trusting
- It has become quite popular to start the process with KLT – Knowing, Liking and Trusting.
- But Liking is the first important step. Why
- Things we can do to get people to Like us
- Getting through the Knowing and Trusting using face-to-face and online tools
- How answering questions helps with the Like, Know, Trust process
- Creating ways to have fun. Makes a difference & can change behavior. (see the Fun Theory)
- What is Relevance in Marketing Communications, why is this important and how do we craft our communications with Relevance in mind?
- Why can picking up the telephone to talk to someone be better than an email communication?
- Why is everyone tuned into the station WII-FM?
- Act like a “Social Dignitary” and improve the quality of conversations in the conversion process.
- How being an Open Networker can aid bridging the gaps between social communities.
- How being an Organic Networker helps with the LKT – Acquaintance, Friend process.
Engagement and Community Interaction
- The purpose and benefits of using polls, surveys, feeback forms, discussions and forums.
- How many people in a community does it take to establish and effective Private Social Community?
The Importance of Word-of-Mouth in Social Media Marketing
- What are some ways to get in front of people physically (WOM) and how to maximize this exposure to extend the effectiveness of our network?
Other Important Topics To Be Presented
- How do I present myself as professional but at the same time be seen as personable – a real person?
- What can happen if one’s social profile is so casual as to damage one professional image? How to prevent this problem.
- How does both WOW and WOM build social capital?
- What is Social Proof?
Contact Ed Woods for further information on this topic.
Links to the Seven Principles of Social Marketing 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7