I believe that the majority of business and brand owners get the social media idea back to front when it comes to getting their message across in social media. To illustrate my point let’s take a look at why the end user (consumer) gets involved in social media in the first place. It is to be part of a social network of friends, family and to a certain extent inner contacts.
Now from a business perspective one has to figure out a way to push into the users inner circle of contacts and engage with them in order to raise the Brand or Business Owners profile. After all Facebook works on the principle that it is invitation only. Twitter is more open, but you have the ability to follow something or someone interesting, or un-follow them. So for your message to be raised above the din get’s quite tough.
Those 15 minutes of fame in the social media world are down to about 15 seconds and if nothing special then it is a click away, unfollowed or worse still ignored.What a business or brand needs to do is be a part of the social media toolkit that the end user participates in social media.
As an example where Eplixo made the initial mistake was to assume that if we built something they would come. Time was…… etc, not now.
We built a great video conference platform. Yes it was free to end users, yes it was breaking the technology barriers and out there in front. In one case a VC we met said we were ahead of the market. hmmmm!!! Not helpful, but factually correct.The only reason we would use it is if and when we are communicating with our social circle, friends, family or indeed business contacts.
The Inner circle
Getting back to the way social networks work it is because we want to communicate with our inner circle. So we figured out that it would be better if we built a social media toolkit for users on their mobile phones and integrate the video conference into the toolkit. Now it is part of how those who use the toolkit communicate with their inner social network.
Great, but now what? It does what it says on the tin… It is a social media toolkit, Twitter Client, Facebook, YouTube Channel, Blog, engagement with the end user and the Brand or business owner is now part of the way the customer communicates with their friends, family and inner circle.
Then we thought, wouldn’t it be a useful business tool if we allowed other Brand or Business Owners to do the same thing. They have their mobile application with all the bells and whistles of a marketing mobile application but instead of it being a download once, viewed and never view again, we make it to be centre stage of how their customers connect with their friends, family and inner circle.
What is more as it requires invitations to be sent to others it also creates a situation where the customer actually helps the brand or business exposure to grow by invitation.The Brand or Business Owner application becomes a tool to engage with customers.
Next we thought well if we raise the profile of the Brand or Business then wouldn’t it be useful to allow the Brand or Business to push notices or information to the end users in special offers, last minute deals, loyalty customer benefits right to their phone?
And on top of that we gave the Brand owner access to an operator dashboard with analytics so that the Brand or Business Owner can manage marketing campaigns to their customers who are now inviting others to join the Brand.
Cog in the wheel
All of this because we built a technology that was great for social media, but by itself was just a cog in a big wheel only becoming great if it was part of the reason why the end user would download and app and use it every day.
Finally we said what about allowing any small business or brand access to the whole thing for a nominal fee and provide it as a service? Anyone Brand or business now have this application from as little as 399 euro and only start paying a monthly fee of 25 euro when more than 250 of their customers download it. We did it, so can anyone.
Entrepreneurs can be a bit like girlfriends or wives. They are never wrong, they just change their minds
Author: Gerard Brandon, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org