Wednesday, December 16, 2009
As we've discussed previously, our Facebook Page is performing really well for us and I've been doing quite a bit of reading on social media marketing to learn how we can improve on our efforts.
I was recently introduced to Greg Ellis (Co-Founder) and Johan Kriegbaum (Online Marketing) of Cash Doctors and boy do they have a social media challenge on their hands! Encouraging people to talk to their friends about PayDay loans is no easy task. But I think they're making a fantastic go of it, and there are some great lessons for those of us using social media marketing.
I should mention, payday loans might make you think of dodgy, scammy lenders, but after reading through their site and meeting with Greg and Johan, I'm very impressed with their ethics and responsible approach to their lending practices - eg. Cash Doctors only lend money to people with a job and a clear ability to repay the loan.
So onto the good stuff, here's the lessons I've taken from Cash Doctors social media approach:
1. Develop a clear strategy around what will best get people talking about your product.
People aren't going to talk about how they just got a payday loan because they were running short of cash, but they will talk about ways to save money and great deals, so Cash Doctors have developed 'Catie Cash's Deals' to discuss great deals, like this post about saving money with your Christmas shopping. They've also established the 'Tight Arts Appreciation Society' to discuss innovative ways to save money.
2. If you make a mistake, be honest with your customers.
Check out this post from co-founder Greg titled 'How we blew our launch'. Who are you going to forgive and develop an affinity for, a company that gives a short, undetailed 'oops, sorry' response, or one who takes responsibility and explains the error in detail?
3. Show your personality.
Cash Doctors do this brilliantly. Check out the video on their Facebook Page that shows co-founder Sean's face being painted like a dog! Or this post showing whales migrating past their office (which had 10 comments on their Facebook Page). Cash Doctors also regularly change their profile pic to show a different employee from their company.
4. Engage with your customers - social media is a 2 way communication.
Cash Doctors do a great job of responding to fan comments on their Facebook Page and messages on Twitter. Follow up comments from fans is testament to this being viewed positively by their customers.
All of that said, it's clearly still early days for Cash Doctors and their social media strategy. And speaking to Greg and Johan, it's still unclear whether this is going to work for them. Despite what I view as a brilliant effort, they've only got 122 Facebook fans and 94 twitter followers, so clearly they aren't getting a good ROI just yet, but if it's possible to have an effective social media strategy in their space, I think they're going the right way about finding it, so hats off to Greg, Johan and Catie Hughes (their social media whiz) for giving it a go and good luck!
What do you think of their approach? Any ideas on what they could be doing differently?
Posted by Michael Fox at 9:22 AM