It's been fun to watch companies of all shapes and sizes scramble to win the hearts and minds of shoppers through a bevy of evolving new media channels like Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, and YouTube.
Some have gotten it right (like Starbucks or Blendtec.)
But far more companies are struggling to navigate the singular paradox inherent in social media marketing: it's not about your company – it's about the shopper.
So with that in mind, here are few broad guidelines to consider.
1. Focus on the needs of your audience or the community as a whole by showing that you care about your customers and the public. This can be accomplish in a variety of ways. Use community boards, comment on prospect and customer pages and/or blogs. Or, take a page from Mountain Dew's playbook and provide a forum where customers can show off their creativity.
2. Give shoppers multiple paths to purchase and connect. For example, let them use Twitter as another customer service option or a smart phone app to order groceries.
3. Provide useful content by contributing to an informational blog, creating useful infographics, or giving away a free e-book. The key is to tailor your content to meet your shoppers' needs. If you’re not sure what they want, ask them!
4. Ask your community how you can better satisfy their needs. Starbucks has a community board to collect suggestions where the community votes on them.
Hope this helps, and if you'd like to find out more about ways we've helped our clients connect with shoppers via social media, give us a buzz.