Piggy Banking Social Media Marketing theory is one such theory that I often use in my workshop while teaching what social media or community marketing is. As a kid, I was always attracted to piggy banks and there were various incidents when the attraction towards those colorful piggy banks made up of clay or earthen mud in different shapes: pig, fish, house etc used to be my favorite ones. The reason I liked these earthen piggy banks was because the pennies dropped in by me or my family member wasn’t visible and these piggy bank didn’t had locking or unlocking feature so I had to wait till the money reached the brim of piggy bank and one had to break open the earthen piggy bank to see the savings.
It was fun, surprising and the patience always triumphed with lots of money.
As time went by and as I grew up I started becoming impatient towards these earthen piggy banks , because I never knew how much money it had, I wasn’t sure how much are other members in the family contributing and it wasn’t attractive to me anymore. It was for the first time I decided to buy a piggy bank made up of glass in a German fair held in the city as it made things very much clear. The transparency helped me learn more and hold more patience till the money reached the brim.
My workshops are usually conducted in a conference or banquet hall of 4 star or 5 star hotels and while explaining the concept of Social Media Marketing I started using transparent piggy bank made out of glass to relate the incident to Social Media Marketing. The piggy bank is usually rolled out to participants asking them to donate some money for a noble cause. I clearly specify to them that the money they shall donate today will go to an NGO and not to me., I re assure stating ‘I do party, but not with this money’ to make them assured enough that the money was going for a Noble Cause and not for my partying. Once people dropped in some pennies, I explain the incident in a below way relating it Social Media Marketing:
Table: Social Media and Piggy Banking Theory – Relevance
The Banquet Room / Web 2.0 Platform:
If this wasn’t existing in the first place the rest of the action wouldn’t have taken place. As a marketer it is crucial to identify the right Social Media platform to match with the right kind of audience and content. Different social media platform serves different purpose. Platforms like YouTube, SlideShare and Blogs are considered to be as a content hub where contents in different formats can be uploaded and stored for lifetime. Sites like YouTube and Slideshare has a search engines by itself, at the same time the content uploaded here are very much accessible to the popular search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are considered to be social networking sites where people network, conversation occurs and the content posted on the content hubs can be used here as engagement element by brands.
People / Community:
Many marketers don’t really understand the importance of building a community. I have seen many Indian brands or small businesses that do not have many spectators or people in the community who would respond to their queries. Posting content to a platform without having audience = addressing a press conference without having journalists. If people don’t exist then having a content manger, content in place doesn’t really matter. To bring the right kind of audience a brand needs to invest in promotion for promotional channel, they need to invest in promoting their presence on Social Media through traditional ads, Facebook ads, email campaigns, product packaging and more so as to make their audience aware about the brand’s presence on Social Media and bring in the right kind of audience to the platform.
Many marketers also believe that the number of people in community = success of the social media campaign which is not true again. It is more important to have right kind of people in the community than just having random people joining community. Example: I am hosting a Social Media course with 100 participants and just because I hosted a free session I have 40 Social Media Enthusiasts and other 60 who aren’t aware of Social Media or aren’t keen to pursue career in this space. I might make more sense to the 40 individuals and sound boring to the rest 60 how much ever good my content is the other 60 will just want to leave the premises or ignore what I am saying. Number of likes or followers does matter as long as they are relevant and targeted.
From my understanding of the businesses in India, most marketers or small scale businesses individuals invite their friends and family members to join their business page or their Social Media Channels. It’s a good step to increase number of followers/fans but the response ratio to the content you post will be barely minimum. Friends and family members might like the page not because they like the subject or the brand, it’s because you are his/her friend and he/she is just doing a favor to you by joining your page and encouraging you.
Speaker / Community Manager:
A community manager is the initiator of the conversations he is the one who administrates the concerns of audience on Social Media. A role of community manager completely depends upon the brand’s objectives of going on Social Media. It might be Customer Service focused, or Marketing/Sales, Legal, HR, Product Development or a mix of all of these. A community manager sets specific targets and plans daily schedule of posting updates to engage audience, he is responsible for administering comments and chart out a weekly plan of activities to actively run the social media channels of the brand. A community manager is also denoted as Social Media Marketing Manager and is creative enough to distinguish activities compared to other brands and competitors on Social Media.
With established brands on Internet in India the position of ‘online community manager’ isn’t a new position. This is a new position for many businesses planning to develop a platform to interact with its customers. Many small and medium businesses hires a community manager who can engage, cultivate and manage the social media channels by offering the finest service through various forms using internet as an business extension. Established brands prefer to consider these roles in the middle management and are meant for professionals with prior skills in customer service, social media and marketing. Since Social Media space is mostly dominated by young minds the one who comes with a good social media marketing experience is a rare case to see and that’s why many small and medium enterprises in India prefers to go for someone with less experience.
A good Social Media community manager is one who juggles between internal and external communication goals of an organization. He is also responsible for carefully laying out company’s holistic presence on web. In India career opportunity in Social Media is increasing and many are hiring social media community managers to structure their business towards the customer and customer relationships. Doesn’t your company still have an online community manager? It’s time to hire one!
In my next blog post I shall be discussing the content and audience reaction aspect of Piggy Banking Theory. Part 2 will be shared in this week.
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