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What is Social Media?
Surprisingly, many MVNOs still lack a strong social media presence. And some of the MVNOs that do utilize it, don't do so efficiently. Perhaps some MVNO owners don't fully understand what social media really is and its importance to their business.
There’s a recent article by Ben Lutkevich and Ivy Wigmore for the Techtarget Network that does a really great job in defining the ever-changing and fast-growing world of social media in today’s business world. In this week’s article, I’d like to use their insights, as well as my own, on what exactly social media is and then talk about how YOU can use social media to grow your MVNO business.
Ben and Ivy define Social media as a collective term for websites and applications that focus on communication, community-based input, interaction, content-sharing, and collaboration. People use social media to stay in touch and interact with friends, family, and various communities. Businesses use social applications to market and promote their products and track customer concerns.
Business-to-consumer websites include social components, such as comment fields for users. Various tools help businesses track, measure, and analyze the attention the company gets from social media, including brand perception and customer insight.
In business, social media is used to market products, promote brands, connect to customers and foster new business. As a communication platform, social media promotes customer feedback and makes it easy for customers to share their experiences with a company. Businesses can respond quickly to positive and negative feedback, address customer problems and maintain or rebuild customer confidence.
What Are The Benefits Of Social Media?
Well, first off, it’s an efficient way to reach many people. And most social media platforms can be heavily targeted. So, it should be fairly straightforward to get your message out to your target audience.
It is important for companies to have a social media strategy and establish social media goals. If you can’t measure your marketing efforts, then why bother with them? Money is not an unlimited resource (unless your weekend hobby is taking your own rocket to space.) Measuring the results will help you spend your marketing dollars wisely.
Your employees WILL be on social media. You can’t stop that. But, you need to establish social media policies that set expectations for appropriate employee social behavior. These policies should ensure social media posts do not expose the company to legal problems or public embarrassment. Guidelines should include directives for when an employee must identify themselves as a company representative and rules for what type of information can be shared.
Social media isn’t just a sales tool. It can be used for customer service, lead generation, competitive analysis, and much more.
Include media, such as pictures and video, in your social media content to make it more compelling and appealing to users.
Measure, Measure, Measure - not only your messages, but what is being said about your company through social and also about your MVNO competition.
Social media is everywhere. Individuals and businesses of all sizes and types use it. It's a critical resource for engaging with customers, getting customer feedback and expanding company visibility.
An effective social strategy can enhance an organization's reputation and build trust and awareness among a growing network of connections. While some are more tailored to business to business, no platforms are off-limits.
Okay, Now That I Understand Social Media, What Do I Do?
In the MVNO space, there are quite a few. Which platform(s) will best reach your potential customers? This will depend on your differentiator (there’s that word again!) and who your target market is.
Let’s look at examples:
TikTok is not a good choice for Consumer Cellular, which has spent millions of dollars building a brand for older Americans. They’ve cultivated and developed partnerships with AAA, AARP, and Jeopardy, so marketing on a platform that’s used primarily by teens wouldn’t be a good fit. However, a more mature platform such as Facebook would be a better option. Consumer Cellular's Facebook page has over 170k followers.
Mint Mobile has excelled at using a variety of social media platforms to reach its target audience. It has got a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and also maintains a strong and active presence on Reddit where it takes customer feedback and offers support. It doesn't hurt that one of Mint Mobile's owners is a well-known actor in Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds has over 18 million followers on Twitter that he regularly shares posts about Mint Mobile with.
Even within the same platform, it’s critical to target properly - not only your audience but with your message. While it may be easy to run an ad with celebrities in it (for example a movie clip), if it’s not delivering your message, it’s a waste of funds. Define your message and use the best part of social media - targeting - to deliver it accurately.
There’s A Group For Everyone
I can pretty much guarantee there’s a group created on at least one social media platform about your brand. Maybe more than one. And, there’s a good chance there’s another one from your distribution’s point of view. You can mine invaluable information from these, listening to your dealers and customers. Believe me, they’ll tell you exactly what your issues are - and to a point - how to fix them!
Listen - Even more than you “talk” - yes, delivering your message is critical, but social media is a two-way street. If you don’t have the resources to listen on the same platforms you’re using, then don’t bother speaking. It’s a great way to get feedback on your message - in a way that was simply not possible to do before. Take advantage of the technology given to you. Listen to what your customers and future customers are saying. It’s a built-in (and free!) focus group that never ends!
I recently spoke with Adam Wolf, President of the National Wireless Independent Dealer Association (NWIDA). He indicated to me that social media is becoming a greater part of the marketing mix for many companies. If you still get the morning paper, you’ll probably see that it’s been getting smaller and smaller over the past few years with a lot fewer ads. What has taken its place? Social media. Adam stated that more and more wireless master dealers and retailers are engaging with NWIDA to get on the social media train. If you’re looking to add social media or simply want more information, you should contact NWIDA at [email protected] They’re among the most active in the platforms and groups/sections where the dealers are.
Okay, so remember, we’re never too old to learn new technologies. And while my grown children roll their eyes when I’m on FaceBook or TikTok, I have embraced various social media platforms to grow MY business, and it works! If you don’t start engaging now, I can guarantee that you are losing business to your competitors who are, and they are getting their messages out to millions of users right now. If you’re still waiting for the phone to ring, log-in, embrace and engage!