While watching a rerun of The Dukes of Hazzard, a popular ’70′s tv show, I noticed the use of CB radios were everywhere. A way to find out if others were on the “network” was asking the question, “Do you have your ears on?” That question made me think of how many ears marketers need, to know what their customers are thinking and what they want.
According to Gary Vaynerchuk, a social media guru, marketers tend to speak and not listen to their customers. I was actually thinking about this topic when I read this short interview with him. So we are back to the basics of marketing. LISTEN. Marketing is listening to members and prospects of their community.
A little less talk, and a lot more listening
While you ponder what aspects of your marketing plan addresses the two very important, but linked questions above, let me throw out another thought. Social Media is FREE, except that it takes time. So what I want marketers to think about is how can you maximize your programs to include FREE in them?
- Does that mean you need a company profile on Linked In? Yes, you want to have others–vendors, potential and former employees be able to find you.
- Does that mean every Press Release you write goes on your website? You bet your sweet bippy it does, it is an easy way to increase your search engine rankings and keep your website fresh.
- Does that mean you set up a Facebook site for your business? Probably. Or at least you should see if you competitors are there. Your business is not exempt from social media platforms.
- Does it mean you monitor certain hashtags/search terms on Twitter? Yes, you need to know those industry thought leaders and what they are saying.
When was the last time you Google-d your business? If it has been a year or more, go out there again and see what, if anything has changed. While your customers might be prospects, get a social media presence so decision makers can check you out. Trust me, they are Google-ing you, reviewing message boards and checking out other online avenues already. It makes sense to control some part of the conversation. Start listening to what others are saying. Take the initiative to get at the top of the Search Engine Optimization list by listening and responding.
Mandatory marketing prep work
Just like getting yourself looking good before you go out, you control the first impression and the beginning of the conversation with your prospects. Don‘t forget to listen and address the issues that come up on your social media platform. As you listen, your audience will help you create a community. The do-ing of marketing gets the most results, but that first step is listening.
Is there a more critical step in marketing than listening?
Let me know how you took the first step and “got your ears on” with social media. If you want to get into social media, spend your summer learning the platforms on a personal level and listening. If you don’t know how, contact us at VI and we’ll help hold your hand to help you cup your ear.