Social media is a great way to get the word out to your customer base about what your company is doing—you can update your friends and followers with all the information they need about your upcoming events, promotions and special offers with the click of a button.
Unfortunately, if they’re any good at what they do, your competitors will also be keeping tabs on your online activities, evaluating your users’ feedback and looking for ways to outbid, outsell and out-service you at all times. And to be honest, you should be doing the same thing with them, otherwise you are doing yourself a great disservice.
So how do you find the balance between protecting your own trade secrets while still harnessing the power of social media to your marketing mix?
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook allow you to control who sees what content on your accounts. These platforms also allow you the ability to “accept” or “deny” each friend request that comes your way. You can easily look at the account information and determine whether or not the person requesting access to your information is working for your competition by the information on their account. It’s up to you to decide at this point whether or not to allow them access to your information or not. Keep in mind, that if you don’t allow them access to your information, they could try an underhanded approach by requesting your friendship and access to your feeds under a pseudonym. At that point, if you allow them to access your information while under a pseudonym, you will be blind to their activities within your page and their own, whereas if you had allowed them access, you’d be able to see what they were doing. Try accepting their friendship while closely monitoring their activity on your account and on their own. If they out and out blatantly start copying your information, feel free to block them entirely from your accounts.
2. Opt-In Lists
Social media is great, but nothing beats the old-fashioned email when it comes to interacting one-on-one with customers. Email also gives you a little more control over who sees your messages due to the mailing list that is required in order to send email communications. You can scrub your email list at anytime to make sure that competitors with yourcompetitorsname.com extensions on their email addresses don’t get access to your super-secret and loyal following only promotions and specials. This also opens the door for another level of deepening your relationship with your social media following. By offering consumers the lure of even better offerings if they engage and interact with you on a more personal level, you’re one step closer to strengthening the relationship with that customer as well as gaining valuable insight about what your customer base wants.
The bottom line about competition and social media is this: if you don’t want people knowing about it, then you really shouldn’t be posting it on the internet. Competitors are always looking for ways to outsell you but by taking advantage of the account settings on your social media tools and enacting a fully engaged and cognizant marketing campaign, not only will you outsell your competitors, you’ll outperform them too.
As Picasso said about art: “Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal” so the same is true with marketing. Protect yourself and your investments by using Chiaroscuro Concepts.
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