Use Owned Media to Build Customer Relationships

Owned media are the channels you control: your web-site, mobile sites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and location-based service (LBS) pages like foursquare, Gowalla, and Yelp. It’s the place where you should be driving customers and prospects with your paid and earned media efforts.

The goal of your owned media should be to build longer-term relationships with your customers. Your owned media is also a home base for all of your efforts, so as social tools change and evolve, your customers know where to find your best content, tools, products, contact info, and general information about your business.

Owned media must engage your customers just as much as social media. Include information about your company’s products and services so potential customers can get a feel for what your company does. You’re competing with other conversations and content from people (friends, family, coworkers) who are likely much more interesting to your customers. Your content should be educational and sometimes conversational and even humorous.

Keep an eye on what customers are saying when they check into your venue: the tips they leave, any pictures they post, and the societies, trips, and adventures they create. These updates are a cross between owned and earned media because the comments and content are activity on your turf, and that’s a good thing (assuming it’s mostly positive). Incorporate any of these into your owned media.

Thread your LBS activity into your web-site. Many LBS providers give you relatively straightforward application programming interfaces (APIs): Advanced data feeds allow you to thread recent tips, comments, pictures, and other activity into your web-page, Twitter stream, or Facebook Page. If you don’t have the ability to do this in-house, most good web developers know how to work with APIs.

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