Implementing social marketing tools and tactics accelerates customer engagement.
Aviation component and systems manufacturers already practice the basic elements required for social marketing. Taking what you know on the B2B side and moving it to the people-to-people social marketing side requires a shift in thinking – losing the urge to dominate the conversation and understanding the tactics and tools of social marketing.
Social marketing adoption for aviation marketing has been slower than on the consumer side. However, a case can be made that certain B2B practices can easily be extended into social marketing. For example, most aviation companies exhibit at trade shows. While there, they:
- Learn something from leaders in their field
- Interact with their peers
- Share advice
- Solve problems
- Gain customer feedback
- Meet new vendors
- Engage with new prospects
- Check out the competition
The reality is that most aviation manufacturers are challenged with budget and resource constraints, and therefore only participate in these activities a couple of times a year. With a properly structured social marketing strategy, these same actions can be conducted 365 days a year with real-time monitoring and feedback.
Understanding how to use the tools of social marketing and where your prospects are hanging out is essential for inbound marketing success.
Social Marketing Check List:
- Before engaging in Social Marketing, list the objectives to be accomplished.
- Define how to measure and track the efforts’ success
- Understand who your target audience is and where they congregate
- Keep in mind how your customers learn and find out information about your products and services
- Understand what social media tools they use
- Tie in and cross-pollinate with other outbound channels
You don’t want to be stuck in the elevator with a life insurance salesman.
Social marketing differs from advertising, promotion, direct mail, and broadcast in that the tone of conversation is not about selling your product or service. In a social marketing setting, prospects do not want to be sold. The quickest way to lose a prospect’s interest is to try to sell your product or service as the answer to their needs without first gaining their trust and advising them on how they may solve their particular problem.
Social Marketing Tools:
Blogs – Blogs are about sharing expertise and allowing prospects to check you out before engaging in a conversation.
Social sites – LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ – These sites allow you to engage with your community. Use these to join groups, establish conversations, and provide customer service.
Twitter – Micro-blogging site that allows followers to stay up with events, trends, and current news.
You Tube – Video sharing site that allows you to tell your story in a compelling way that is preferable to reading content on a corporate website.
Measurement needs to be established at the beginning of your social marketing efforts. Some metrics that are worth looking at are:
- Cost per inbound lead compared to outbound
- Tone of conversation
- Number of followers
- Engagement with customers and prospects
- Number of mentions
- Number of re-tweets
- Number of prospects ready to purchase instead of having to be sold