This wasn’t actually the post I had planned for today. I had a nice post about finding Elance providers outlined and drafted up, but last night I had an interesting conversation with a client about their social media campaign and wanted to share a few thoughts I had.
The Back Story
Without getting into any personal or technical details, the client in question has been developing a software application for some time that will provide a unique tool that is missing from most social networks and mobile devices. I was excited to work with them because I honestly feel that this tool will be very popular if the launch makes a big enough splash.
The problem has been getting the kind of exposure needed to create that splash. We’re talking big splash here because mobile and social media apps need to be big. Word of mouth sells apps – no matter how amazing they are and with a social app, you need users for it to be of any use.
Anyways, we got talking about how to generate buzz from Facebook and Twitter that will help this app take off when it launches. We were throwing ideas back and forth as I furiously took notes, and suddenly I realized something – my client had in his mind that Facebook and Twitter were going to actively sell his app.
He was looking at social media as the marketplace where the app would get more sales and thus become the mega success he needed it to be. Now, a lot of people have different perspectives on this one. Some people feel that social media should be used only to generate rapport between business owner and customer. Others feel it can be used to build brand recognition. Others are starting to push the idea of selling products and services directly through social media (something Facebook is interested in too actually).
I’m in between the second and third. Facebook and Twitter are not designed to sell anything. They are, however, perfectly situated to create a narrative, build trust, and generate word of mouth about a product.
More specifically, they work wonders when you build a relationship between the people creating that product and the people who will use it. That requires a value proposition they can get behind. What do you offer them that will drive interest in the product? In this case, we have been generating blog posts and a Q&A service on social media that drives interest back to the main site where users can get updates on the upcoming software release.
Social media is such a huge factor in how you communicate with your prospects online, but I want you to remember above all else – it’s only one of many tools. Social media will not sell your products single-handedly (not yet anyways), but it can create a relationship between you and your prospects that most major corporations would kill for.