Joy Chen

Social networks in recent years have been the hottest marketing platforms discussed and used by companies all around the world. It has been a growing way to build a relationship and loyalty with the customer.

So, is your business on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or all of the above? In doing so, have you left behind other crucial marketing elements?

Below are some critical marketing basics that still need to be done right for social networking to be effective. 

Do you have a product that customers want? 

Having a product or service that customers really want means that it has to offer something different from what is already available in the marketplace. The definition of “different” can range from different scent/color to a unique product that offers extra benefits. At the end of the day, the product must provide a key benefit that is unique and not offered today in the marketplace.

For example, customers were looking for a natural, healthier snack option to replace regular potato chips. Today, you find healthier snack alternatives in many stores. Another example of a unique product can include creating a need that customers didn’t even know they had. For example, I didn’t know I needed an Apple iPad until I started using one. Now I cannot live without it! 

Is the price value right?

Once you have a great product idea, it is critical to set the right price to incent customers to purchase what the product is offering. One way is to set pricing relative to what your product is replacing that customers are already buying or what is currently in the marketplace. For instance, if you have just developed a delicious tasting, but healthier potato chip, you may want to price your product relative to other potato chips or snacks. 

Setting pricing is one of the most important things to ensure a product takes off in the marketplace. It is also critical to ensure the pricing provides enough profit so you can spend sufficient marketing dollars to let customers know about this product and offer them incentives to try it.

How do you let everyone know about this great product? 

This goes back to how customers learn about new products in your category segment. For beauty products, customers learn about new products from reading reviews by beauty editors from magazines, beauty bloggers and their friends. They also learn about new beauty products when they get a sample. 

The key is to determine how best to reach your customers by understanding how they go about making purchase decisions for products like yours. Don’t assume social networks are the most important platform in launching any new product. It really depends on how your customers seek information for your type of product. 

The bottom line is that social networks can be part of your toolkit to business success. It is just as important, however, to get the basics of your product offering right and really understand how your customers make purchasing decisions on your product type, even if social networks are one of the major ways. Don’t just assume social networks are the answer. Start with your product idea and the customer.

Joy Chen is CEO of Yes To Inc., a global leader in natural skin and hair care products made with fruits and vegetables. For more information, visit www.yestocarrots.com.