Socail Technology AwarenessInternet marketing may be the key to the success of your web site's bottom line. However, before you embark on internet marketing you must make sure you have assessed who you are communicating to why you are communicating and how you plan to do so.

Asking the right questions: One of the key main reasons folks build a web site is to connect with people or to communicate a message to an audience. Of course there are many ways this can take form and many tools to achieve your goals but the first questions many folks forget to ask are:  Why am I doing this? Who am I trying to communicate with? How does this site add value to my audience?

Listen Carefully: Once you have gone through asking the right questions and build out your site you will have to remember that if you want to have your message heard you have to listen and respond to your users or visitors as well.

Social Technology Awareness: Twitter is a perfect example. There is a big "gold rush" right now towards building a following in twitter. This is a relationship of choice and if all you are is a billboard for a product or service folks do not care to listen to you and you will get "unfollowed". Since they can do a Google search if they want to go find information about a product or service and whomever jumps out at the rankings on the list of SEO or PPC ads wins. So you need more than just SEO/PPC to get them there, you need to keep them coming back. This means that you need to do not only offer value to your clients and prospects when they come to your site but you need to engage them in a conversation that keeps them interested. The same principles in networking and building relationships apply on the web as they have for centuries in offline commerce and social interaction. We are just using different communication tools and are judged perhaps on different criteria.

Customer Relationship management: When we engage with customers at CNP Integrations on any project we find that every success is built off of our ability to build a supportive and collaborative relationship of choice. This keeps us on our toes to maintain the highest level of customer service without ever taking our customers for granted, while our customers have a better understanding of what we do and how we add value to what they are trying to achieve. We both benefit by creating better results and increased revenue opportunities through higher customer loyalty. Remember if your customers are making money or getting a good value from your site offerings they will not be so shy about spending money on your products or services.

The rules are always changing: Make sure you realize this is a moving target and you always have to pay attention. One of the examples I use for folks building a new socially aware web program is that this is a very dynamic space. It is like having a picture of a child vs becoming a parent. If you are a parent you will understand this very clearly since it dramatically changes your lifestyle. The same is true with dynamic web sites. This will become part of the culture of your business and how you deal with it will determine the ultimate success.

Key points to remember:

1.     Make sure you are clear with your vision and mission

2.     Listen and respond to your customers

3.     Add value to build loyalty

4.     Have a reason for return visits

5.     Remember the target is moving

Connecting with people: I might note that often value is built in unrelated ways and at a personal level. Twitter is an interesting social revolution in this way since, though you may be promoting your company most of the folks want to relate with you on a personal level. The fact this conversation is happening often with thousands of folks at a time is really not much different than if it was one on one. It is always about what you can do for them and sometimes a good joke or witty monolog is just what they need. Getting relaxed always makes it easier to discuss business. Become friends first and then the rest is much easier. Good advice for any relationship.

Here are two important observations with this new social technology medium that you may want to  consider.

Clarity and self control are a must: One is that we are communication through a keyboard which can often get cold and impersonal and you lose the nuance of personal expressions and body language. Sometimes this can be like translating a joke into another language where what is said is not always understood the way you intended. I have experienced this first hand by telling some bomber jokes trying to talk with my wife's relatives since they only speak Portuguese and mine is very limited. This means you have to be careful what you say and how you say it. It also means that what you communicate can be reviewed in writing over time and lives forever on line so courtesy and self control is even more important than ever.

You are Judged by your ideas: The other interesting phenomena are that unfortunately we as humans are by nature judgmental to some degree. The cyber word removes many of the typical things that can shape a person's perception of who you are such as physical appearance, speech impediments, accents or other lifestyle indicators such as dress or hygiene. Instead this is replaced by the views you present and sensitivities or lack thereof that you represent. This is dramatically changing the way people interact. For example I am working on line a good part of my days for the past few years and while I am interacting with people constantly I have been doing so via the phone and chat so when I go in public to conferences it is really a different skill communicating with folks. Not that I have ever had a hard time with this but my point is that it is a noticeable different communication experience.

Key points to remember:

1.     Be aware of your tone in typed words since they can last forever

2.     You are judged more by your views and sensitivities

Tune in and use your instincts: Kind of like "may the force be with you" from the popular Star Wars movies you have to immerse yourself into the unique new communication processes and application of technologies. You need to be clear on the reasons you are communicating and to whom and listen to hear what they are asking for. Then with this awareness use your best judgment while sensing the "mood" of your audience (which by the way can change as rapidly as humans in altering circumstances) to develop your communication strategy.

Conclusion: Once you have a clear strategy, understand your audience and the available technologies you can use to build relationships then you can tackle the implementation of an internet marketing plan designed for success.

There are many tools and techniques that you may want to consider. Below is one of many articles that could help you with further insight for keeping your internet marketing on target. At the end of the day you are building relationships and using the web as a social mixer to start or embellish the conversations.

Is Internet Marketing Working For You?

May 7th, 2009 | Author: Barry Monteiro

I welcome your thoughts and comments on this. What do you feel is important for connecting with your audience? How can you get your internet marketing to connect more effectively?

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