There are thousands of people, no, hundreds of thousands of people leaping into social media marketing and social networks without a detailed method they are going to utilize to build their business. With the myriad of ways to reach people, it’s even MORE important to understand the process of social media marketing that produces money!
A fellow Carter, Brian Carter that is…(we’re not related, but he’s a real cool cat too. Funny guy. you can follow him on Twitter. He’s @BrianCarter) “Author of The Like Economy, Facebook Marketing, LinkedIn For Business. Search/social marketer, keynote speaker and trainer. Improv and stand-up comic. ~ Charleston, SC”, posted some time ago one of the finest breakdowns of the “method to the madness” that IS social media marketing I’d seen at the time. Here’s just one image of many that he made available then:
You can see the methods to each sphere of the process and how the development of connection, trust & relationship correspond with every stage of the internet marketing process.
What’s the Point of The 6 Spheres Diagram?
The point is for you to see how it’s a process, with different actions and tactics depending on how close your prospect is to your ultimate goal.
The assumption is that you want prospects to buy something, or if you’re a charity or non-profit, you might want them to donate or sign a petition.
(Yes, maybe now your goal is to get emails or build your twitter account or whatever- but those are ends that become means to the real end… if you’re ultimately not making money, you’re going to have to get another job.)
Surviving and thriving means keeping the end in mind, which is the small green sphere at the bottom.
What Brian is able to show that no matter where you are in the relationship, branding, or sales process, you can be empowered knowing where the person is at and what your next steps should be.
Understanding Where Prospects Are At In The 6 Phases
1. The Universe: This is the universe of all your prospects. The size of that group depends on scope of your offerings and popularity of the niche. These people may not know about you but definitely are not members of your email or social media lists. You’re working on the Attention aspect of the AIDA acronym.
2. Awareness/Initial Engagement: These people are aware enough about you to interact with you, but they aren’t sold on you yet. Engagement happens on almost every level, but the difference is in the degree and strength of the relationship you’ve achieved. Now you’re working on the Interest aspect of AIDA.
3. Social Media List: These people are interested enough to become a Facebook fan,a Twitter follower, or subscribe to your blog RSS. This is similar to your email list, but I regard an email list as a stronger connection and more responsive. We might debate that Gen Y’s attitude toward email will change this in the future, but it’s equally likely that as Gen Y gets deeper into the workforce they will accept and use email as Gen X and the Boomers do. NOTE: you may turn regular website visitors into SM list members, too. There are a lot of other possible directions. I’m really just examining the process of pulling new customers in via social media.
4. Your Website: People who get to this level have reached an area you have great control over. Everything your website does should help convert visitors to the next level of relationship. That might be to subscribe to your email list or become a lead. Or you might try to get them to buy now. This is the Desire aspect of AIDA.
5. Pre-Conversion: These people are on your email list or have submitted a lead to the sales force. The lead in many cases is closer to a sale than an email subscriber is, unless your lead collecting form is very general.
6. Converted: These people give you your most wanted result. For ecommerce, that means they bought something. For charities that’s a donation. For a petition drive, it’s a signature. The is the Action part of AIDA.
Tell me what do you think about it? Does what Brian put together make sense for you and for your business? Do you use an action plan to move your prospects along the sales process?