Tag Archives: value

It’s called Social Media for a reason

I have just been flicking through a book called “Social-Media Marketing” and, in my humble opinion, the title strikes me as a contradiction. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that if the title was what drove you to buy the book, you’re starting on the wrong foot. Don’t get me wrong, I support what Social Media Marketers set out to achieve, but sometimes a better title for what actually happens would be, “Social Media Advertising”. No one would buy a book titled “Cold Calling Your Close Friends & Tips to Make Them Buy!” or “Turning your Relationships into RelationSHOPS!”, it just doesn’t work like that. Well neither does the Social Web.

(hehe...myspace.)

The tide is turning. More and more value is being put on contribution and relationship. A new, web-savvy and advertising-shy generation is emerging and they don’t need to take your word for anything anymore. They will, however, give their Permission to Influence to those who have proven themselves through contributing to relationship.

I can only shake my head when I see companies getting involved in the Social Web but treat it only as another channel for news and sales pitches. They are the ones that will, sure-enough, follow everyone on Twitter who follows them (that’s just good twitiquette), but they only ever broadcast company lines and marketing buzzwords. Try to ask them a question or get support for their product and it’s a never-ending black hole (hint, hint TomTom!).

If businesses really want to leverage Web 2.0 to their advantage, it comes down to one thing: making friends the old-fashioned way. That means actually involving yourself and making a positive contribution. It may not pay off in one day…but give it time and you will have a genuine network of support that will provide PR for you that money just can’t buy.

That’s just my 2 cents, anyway. Have any examples of businesses doing it right (or wrong)? Let me know!

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Value is the new Black

Nowadays, we are all looking for added value and if we can’t see it, we’re walking away. More and more store owners a closing their doors early because they can’t find ways to drive more sales. Starbucks stores in Seattle (yes, Seattle…the birthplace of Starbucks!) are closing earlier each day because people just are not buying coffee. The answer is staring them in their face. Add value. You don’t even have to lower the price of something to add value to it. Here is five things I would do before resorting to shutting the doors early. 1. Rewards. Buy 5 coffees, get one free. That’s essentially taking about 35 cents off each drink but will actually drive more sales than simply lowering your prices. Why? Added value. 2. Live jazz nights. If your store has to close at a certain time because you have no customers…make that time THE time to be there. Find some local, undiscovered talent and let them play in your cafe. They get the free play time and can sell their garage-band album and you get to give your customers the awesome atmosphere. It’ll sell. Why? Added Value 3. Education and Diversification. Don’t forget your other products.Teach your customer’s how to make Starbucks-Style Caramel Macchiatos in their own home and then you can sell them the machines, beans and syrups. When they realize they can make their favorite drink at half the price, they’ll love you. Why? Added Value 4. Fun Friday, Cheap Tuesday, Mad Monday…call it what you want. If you really want to lower your prices, this is the only time a sale will add value to a product. You pick a day, give it a fancy name and create an event out of it. Put up streamers if you feel like it and get your staff to wear a funny hat. You could also do this as a ‘After 6pm’ deal, too. 5. Finally, combine them all. On Tuesday night, after 6pm, drinks are half price and you can enjoy the music of local band XYZ while we teach you how to make cappuccinos. Buy five drinks on the night and get one for free. The moral? If you’re a customer, keep looking for that added value and if you can’t see it, ask for it. If you’re a store owner, make your competition irrelevant by adding more value and giving your customers an excuse to buy from you and not the next guy.