A few days ago I was at Sephora for a makeup trial. A lovely young lady Kristin worked some magic on my face. She was perceptive, understood exactly what I was looking for, knowledgeable knew a lot about the products, very engaging spoke to me through the entire process. At the end of it, it felt like not only did I have a beautifully made up face, I had made a connect too.
Sephora broke the mould, according to a Harvard Business Review article that I recently read, because their retail concept represented a stark break from the traditional cosmetics retail model where sales representatives would push their products onto shoppers. Sephora placed multiple brands of similar products next to each other and encouraged clients to try on products. They told people that it was ok to come in and try on make up without buying anything. It gave them access to products that they otherwise would’ve had to buy just based on the packaging.
This in my mind is how social media works. It has completely altered the way customers react with companies. It makes us feel like we have a voice and someone is listening to us. It gives us access to areas which were previously thought of as unreachable. It makes you experience an organization as someone that we know rather than a cold factory/office somewhere far away.
It encourages participation by leveraging on the “intrinsic motivation” of community members, which has more to do with obtaining a reward from the activity itself than its actual outcome. Most campaigns are not linked to direct product sales but focus on creating a feel good factor.
There is a desire to experience, a desire to own and a desire to be a part of things. Smart social media marketing channels people’s desires into revenues. But how do you do this, how do you create a successful social media presence. The REALLY framework is a great place to start:
RESEARCH the social media landscape of your industry, understand your goals, objectives and competition
ENGAGE with your customers, work towards not just creating a large following but encourage people to engage with the brand. Always respond to customers whether the comments are good or bad
ANALYSE your fans/followers; when are they online, where do they come from, what type of content do they like or dislike
LISTEN to what they are saying, use monitoring tools like Google Alerts or Tweet Deck to know every time there is a mention
LEARN about your audience and brand and implement it in your strategy
And last, but not the least, YOU! Be yourself, have a voice, a personality that shines through and makes people want to listen to what you are saying.