Many entrepreneurs want to jump on exactly this bandwagon. The expectations are gigantic: With the smallest of investments, millions of people can be addressed, new customer groups can be opened up and profitable business relationships can be established at the push of a button. At least that is the theory that is only too happy to be spread by special marketing agencies. Unfortunately, the reality often looks different. In the many conversations that I have had with executives and entrepreneurs as part of my consultations, disappointment with social media has often broken through.
But where does this euphoria come from that turns even conservative entrepreneurs into Internet-savvy Twitterers? This often has nothing to do with enthusiasm for technology. The primary reason for this development lies rather in the increasingly obvious weaknesses of cold calling(Cold calling is the first approach to a potential customer who has not previously done business with them.) While a few phone calls used to be enough to win new customers for your products and services, the success rates today in many cases no longer justify investments in this form of acquisition. The situation is similar with direct mail and faxes, for example. The advertising that is omnipresent in our everyday life has led to sensory overload among private end consumers, entrepreneurs, and those responsible, which is reflected in growing disinterest and now and then even open rejection.
The reasons for the failure within social networks and media are hidden in these conventional marketing methods. Many of those responsible are trying to become active in the networks with long-serving procedures. Offensive advertising and meaningless marketing phrases lead to rejection here in particular. Unlike in the offline world, users who are bothered in this way are not content with simply tossing a letter in the wastepaper basket, they let their dislike run wild. It is not uncommon for a chain reaction to set in motion and the company in question is suddenly faced with a virtual mob. In technical jargon, such a phenomenon is referred to as a “shitstorm”.
The idea behind social media marketing is quite easy to understand and can be summed up in one word: dialogue. In traditional marketing, prospects can only vote with their feet. You buy the advertised product or you don’t buy it. In the age of Web 2.0, however, that is no longer enough for many consumers and business customers. They want to have a say, make suggestions, and be involved in product development. There are many successful examples of such a dialogue, but unfortunately, there are also counter-examples.
Many companies make the mistake of continuing to communicate very one-sidedly. Instead of interacting with potential prospects and customers at eye level, they are often presented with advertising material from conventional marketing. Failure is inevitable because of course effective customer loyalty cannot be achieved in this way.
In the age of e-mail and Skype, communication has become a very fast-paced endeavor. A few decades ago, if you had days or at least several hours to reply to a letter, today a response is expected within minutes. One can see this critically, but in any case, you should behave accordingly within social networks.
Inquiries of any kind should not remain unanswered in your mailbox for longer than 48 hours. From time to time it can even make sense not to react to an older message at all than to react very late. The latest posts in your profile should also be as recent as possible. Dusty information that is several weeks old does not necessarily arouse interest in the viewer, but it does arouse distrust.