I’ve recently been reading a lot about saving money over the holiday season for a client. There are countless survival guides to Black Friday shopping. I personally have only participated in Black Friday one time. I got a few things I wanted at prices way below retail, but it was a beast to tackle.
Over the weekend, (in light of all the tips and guides I’ve been reading) I realized that navigating Black Friday has a lot in common with navigating the social media space. They both require a strategy for success.
Your strategy for navigating the after-Thanksgiving deals includes research to find out where the best deals are, focus on your main goals when creating your route, and proper timing to get the deals you’re after.
Your strategy when navigating the social media space for business purposes involves the same three components.
Find out where your customers and potential customers are in social media. Not all platforms are customer-rich for every business.
Find out what they’re saying about your brand. Is it positive or negative sentiment? Are they asking questions?
Find out what they want from you in terms of your social media presence. Customer service? News and information? Simple interaction?
You can’t be everywhere in social media. One, it’s too big. The manpower it would take to effectively use all platforms is more than your budget allows. Two, your current and potential customers aren’t everywhere. You found out where they are in your research. Focus on them. Be where they are.
Take those most important platforms, and maximize your ROI there. Participate effectively by learning the culture of each platform–Yes, they are different.
Just like you’ll miss the Black Friday deals if you try to shop on Saturday, you’ll lose your customers and miss potential ones if you’re late to the conversation. Unmarketing author, Scott Stratten, has a saying:
If it takes you longer to respond to me in social media than it would for you to walk a hand-written letter over to my house, you’re doing it wrong.
I think I paraphrased a bit, but the message is the same. Being in social media isn’t enough if you’re not participating. And participation isn’t enough if you’re not doing it in a timely manner. People want to know that businesses are listening to them. Want to make an angry customer happy? Many times, all it takes is acknowledging him or her quickly. Failing to do so will have the opposite effect.
Unfortunately, Black Friday has come and gone. You’ll have to use these genius insights for next year’s run. As for social media, people are talking about your brand right now whether you’re there or not. It’s time to get going!
Photo by purpleslog