Last week I wrote about an approach to relationship marketing, Hub and Spoke: A Customer Marketing Strategy for the Rest of Us, that even the smallest business can use. Two of the most commonly used and least understood spokes, or tactics, in this approach to relationship marketing are Twitter and Facebook.
In general, they are considered to be standalone marketing tactics and, when thought of this way, their value isn’t immediately apparent. But, when they are considered relationship marketing tactics and incorporated into the Hub and Spoke strategy, their value becomes apparent and they can increase the overall value of your relationship marketing program significantly.
Given the Hub and Spoke Strategy, you want to consider them as conduits through which you can develop a community of interested customers. Many of your customers will be fine interacting with you within the spoke. Some will use the spoke to travel to your website. Either is fine if you are using the spoke as a means to add value to the relationship you have with your customers. Let them choose the channel that works for them.
On a practical level, making these tactics work hard for your relationship marketing means you need followers. There will be some overlap but, surprisingly, not as much as you would expect. People who like to engage via Facebook are not that fond of Twitter and the reverse is also true.
The key here is to use Twitter and Facebook to create incremental value, value that goes beyond the benefits your customers expect from your product. The wine industry is doing this effectively. If you follow @OlesnOgdenWines or @StSupery on Twitter you will see that they tell their followers (customers) all about things that would interest them. Olsen Ogden and the wine maker Merry Edwards also have significant presences on Facebook where they create value for their customers that goes beyond their great wines.
There are myriad sources online where you can learn about the nuances of Twitter and Facebook and how to get followers. A resource I recommend to clients are the Mashable Guidebooks: Twitter Guidebook and Facebook Guidebook. You should spend some time learning, but the bottom line is this: when you add value the followers will come and stay.
- Consider Twitter and Facebook as conduits for your relationship marketing strategy.
- Use them to add value that your best customers will appreciate and the effort required to use these tactics won’t be wasted.