In my previous post, I addressed how TRUST impacts your decision on where you do business. This post I will address how “familiarity” is one of the first steps in building trust.
Introducing your business to your Buyers (i.e., prospects) for years has been based on traditional advertising tactics and strategies.
Traditional advertising is based on reach and frequency, getting your message out to your target market as often as possible and as to as many people as possible. It is designed to plant the “seed” of your brand into the minds of your Buyers so they will remember your company brand when they are in the market to buy. It is to make your company’s brand and products and services “familiar” to the Buyer, long before they are in the market to buy.
For years the traditional model of advertising dominated the marketing world. The Buyers would be receptive to the advertising messages which have increased in frequency and intensity. There are many more channels and ways to send messages that today the average person can get bombarded with more than 2,000 advertising messages each day.That is a model that is becoming less effective in this age of social media and the Internet.
One million households disconnected from cable and Satellite TV in 2011. Some I am sure, due to the economy and a way to save money. Others, those users in their 20s and 30s, like my sons, have done so, because they get their entertainment and news through their high-speed Internet service. Last year on average more than 25% of the households in the U.S. no longer have a land-line phone. I am part of that percentage. I dropped my land-line phone years ago in favor of VOIP and cellular service. having a land-line phone was just needless duplication of services and expense.. People have dropped newspapers and magazine subscriptions by the millions. Many times you can get the same information online for FREE or nominal fees. Bottom line, we are becoming a more disconnected market in the traditional ways.
Remember traditional advertising “pushes” your message to the Buyer when he or she is NOT in the market to BUY. Your Buyers today are going online to solve business problems and make purchase decisions. You need to get found in a Google Search in order to even be part of the process. When the Buyer is IN the market to BUY, are you getting found?
SEO is important to Getting Found on Google
Getting “found” in a Google search is the first step in your sales process today; a need to improve your SEO or Search Engine Optimization. SEO is a topic for another time. Let’s take for granted that you are found on a Google Search. What happens? Your Buyer checks out your business on the website and other social channels you may be active. He or she will look at reviews to form an opinion of your business. The Buyer’s research will go as deep as necessary depending upon the amount of the “pain” and the level of investment required to solve the problem or make a purchase decision.
Remember the first time you bought something on line from a business you never heard of before? What did you do? You checked the business out as much as possible to ease the fear you will be sharing your credit card information with someone you don’t know.
Now most every business today has a website, and many are also involved in social media. Social networking channels are meant to be conversational and engaging in a conversation is a great way to build “familiarity.”
Social networking channels like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, can all be used to build familiarity through conversations that can take place online. Social channels are more than just your website, which has content that Buyers can read. Social channels are places where Buyers can “get to know” the business as something real and not impersonal.
Listen, Engage, Publish
To best leverage your social channels you need to Listen, Engage and Publish. It is circular in nature, like the graphic depicts. Listening to hear what people may be saying about you across all channels, even those you do not normally participate in, Engage in the conversations and that can be as simple as responding to a review. Then Publish content that will be helpful to your Buyer and always attempt to end your content with a questions that is designed to start a conversation.
Through conversations your Buyers will get to know you better and become more “familiar” with you and your business. That will help build a relationships and Trust which will at some point in time result in sales.
What do you think? Have your experienced a conversation on a social channel where it has lead to your Buyers becoming more familiar with you?