Social Media Success… let’s See

August 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

I’m a sucker for a contest especially when comes to being able to talk about what Social Media has meant to my business.

Before attending Social Media Camp 2010 I had built a bit of a following on Twitter and our Facebook page was a source of a great deal of fun and engagement. What I took away from SMCV10 was that these platforms were more than simply and new way to communicate, they were nothing more that telephone lines into our business that were operating 24/7 and all we had to do was to answer them.

After having some fun with this we did the big ROI analysis. I can remember quite clearly Scott Stratten almost blowing a gasket when speaking of ROI – “do you question your telephone on its ROI? Of course not your moron!” Although very impassioned I was about to make a pitch to a number of people whose concept of social media was that it was a diversion from real stuff. My pitch was going to be simple – put the money we spend on Traditional media into to two things – 1) the in-store experience and 2) social media.

To make a long story short I was given the green light and the switch was made in January 2011. By the switch I mean that we were re-directing $70,000. So what was the result?

A retailer measures success in two ways 1) the bottom line and 2) the ‘flavour’ it provides its customers. To see if my game plan was working we needed to be able to see it in gross margins and an increase the number of customers visiting our stores each week. After 4 weeks there was reason to be confident, however it was still to early to tell as we needed to see loyalty from our new customers.

As I write this  it has been 8 full months since the switch and this is what we have seen.

Advertising Spend $7250 vs $70,000

Gross Margins +5% over same period the year before.

Average Weekly Customer Count +9% over the same period the year before.

I don’t know about you, but that is a success to us. Thank you SMCV10

I Don’t Care What You Know Until I Know that You Care

October 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

This is a really simple statement and applicable in so many ways. 

You can apply this statement to any facet of your life because it is a call to action for you or the other person to find out about your/their values, needs, wants, life. How can you/they offer anything of value if you/they don’t genuinely know what you/they value?

The other day I was talking with a rep who was calling into question the intellect and blood lines of my largest competitor. I think he thought that this is what I wanted to hear and that would make it seem that he was on my side, instead it had the opposite effect. He didn’t care about me, my business or even his own when I think of it. He was trying to employ a cheap trick in order to transfer some inventory. There are no idiots, just people who you haven’t taken to the time to understand.

Instead he should have gone into my business, taken a look at the exterior, met the people, take a look at the merchandise and how it is displayed, start to understand who I am through what I have built and then come and ask questions to confirm or deny his assumptions, upon which he can pitch something.

On my side I completely dismissed the guy. I should have stopped him and asked him questions about him, what he values about the company he is working for, what are his goals & dreams? Who knows if I had practiced what I preach then I could have found the next killer wine/beer/spirit that was going to rock the world. Everybody is a present, we just have to unwrap them… if they want.

Another example comes for a blog post by Chris Burdge at B West Interactive The example is one that is a classic. You go onto a car lot and the salesmen proceeds to do the show up and throw up. You know- when they greet you don’t ask a question other than what are you looking for, then proceed to throw up a diatribe about all the features of this particular vehicle? The vehicle that Chris ended up buying may not have all the features of others in its class, but the guy selling it him took the time to find what was important to Chris. Chris bought peace of mind and trust simply because the salesmen talked to Chris and not to a ‘prospective commission’.

Let’s look at politics. About 5% of population will follow a political party blindly. The rest of us sway depending on the level of care that we perceive to be receiving from a government or political party. The BC Liberals are in the tank in terms of popularity just like the NDP was in the late 90’s. The issues may have changed but the function was the same. In both cases they were elected because the people thought they cared about them. They, the parties, presented compelling cases why their lives would be better under the governance of their party. Yet I don’t know of many people who have actually done an analysis.

Take HST. I think we can all agree that there are real economic facts that say that we will be better off economically with HST than without it. What we don’t is the government went ahead and implemented it without showing that they cared about us. They didn’t even ask one question. The same is with the Fast Ferry fiasco. Why did it mean to me to save  15 min. on a boat trip between Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay. What did it mean to me to develop this technology in B.C.? So what if Nobel Peace Prize winners for Economics can prove that HST is the right thing to do? So what if an engineer has a better mouse trap that they can build in B.C. ? What do you know about me that says these needed to be done?

If I want you to buy a particular wine does it matter that I travelled around the world, suffered through an American Airlines flight to find it. No! The question would be what makes me think that you want/need that wine and how do I know that to be true.

Guessing is/will not be good enough anymore. Nor will focus groups. What will be good enough is simply talking to people and that is what Social Media is. Talking to people. If you really want to make your life better, find out how you can make someone else’s life better.

Thanks for reading this.

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