But its not just about social media � its all about how you connect with the world. Let�s look at old-school brick and mortar (had to use it). When stores were built, we considered the external enivronment � demographics, how easy it would be to get to the store, to park, would there be obstacles leaving the parking lot� In the store the inventory was planned, the shelving laid out to create the best buying experience, products adapted to market needs, Calls to Action (sales, sampling) to get consumers involved.
That didn�t at first translate when we went online. We put up brochures. We bombarded surfers with flashing banners and �whack the monkey�� What were we thinking? Finally between the volume of information online, the democratization of personal computing and the advancement of technology � we all became alot more savvy or found a lot more utility in the web. Then we started to demand change. When we didn�t know where to dine � we looked online for reviews. When we were planning trips we started to value other travelers' reviews of hotels, airlines, etc., more than the industry�s. After being perpetually annoyed by the word �blogging� the masses realized it was a great way to find out about what other peole thought and not just be resigned to the local news website with curiosity about their affiliations and owners (maybe our frustration with the media coverage in Iraq led sped up the curiosity).
So now marketers must not just be talking about social media. It�s just one piece of the pie � but one that makes the importance of others very clear. You need a website that provides information wanted by those who might find your brand interesting. That website needs to be written so that the little bots and spiders find it an index it so that those potential clients/consumers can find you by typing in keywords. Plus that content needs to be updated frequently (blogging helps). Once they land on your website � what do you have to keep them engaged? (That�s a hard question � bookmarking and RSS feeds have changed that a bit). But you should be able to get an understanding of how people are navigating around your website � where are they entering and exiting? Depending on what you do � you might want to be able to see if your competition is a regular visitor � maybe even limit their access. Social media can help you be found. It can be used to show your brand personality. It can create some engagement. It can help you find out what is wrong with your product/service. It�s great for seeing what the world says about you, your competition, the new entry into the market, your partners�
There�s a new product out from Sitecore that provides great website content management tools like I mentioned above http://www.oshyn.com/_bpost_4325/The_Next_Evolution_of_Web_Content_Management_Technologies. I�m researching every day to find better ways to track the social aspect. There�s got to be more ways to use CMS to engage in inbound marketing and social media marketing!!!! Any ideas?