“The low cost of social media can lull marketers into improvising solutions,” Paul Verna says, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the Insight Brief “Five Reasons Why Marketers Need to Have a Social Media Strategy.”
Trick is that money takes up a lot of precious time. Social media takes a lot of time or money to hire someone to do what you don't have time for. Yesterday I talked about just how precious time really is. Social media may not take up a ton of up front money resources like buying advertising time, but it takes up as much time if not more as producing a great television spot or new website. The difference between social media and a news paper or television ad is that once you've produced your plan of action you've just begun. You need to know why you are part of the conversation, who you want to talk to, what you want to say, what you don't want to say, what the take away is and how you are going to drive traffic.
“Instead of researching the best ways to engage, many businesses create accounts across multiple social networks and publish content without a plan or purpose. However, businesses that conduct research will find a rewarding array of options and opportunities.”—Brian Solis, founder and principal, FutureWorks, in a blog post on Mashable, January 11, 2010
A strategy is also critical because social media users will expect companies to be savvy in the social space. That includes making sure social marketing initiatives are in line with other brand marketing strategies. -- EMarketer
Your online policy and strategy is the guiding light when things are good and when they go bad. What do you do when a customer is angry or makes a video about not liking you? You need to plan for this. What are you trying to gain by being part of the conversation? Do you want to inspire your customers or challenge them? If you are part of the conversation you have the opportunity to both guide and inspire them by the content that you produce. If you ask questions you may invoke people wanting to respond. If you make fun and inspirational videos you may get video responses or new and adoring fans. With negative content you are likely to receive negative content. Do you see a pattern here?
You can integrate social media into every fabric of your corporation from brand-building, to networking, customer service, brain storming, project collaboration, competition monitoring, research, to counter-act negative, sales, and IT. Am I missing a few? Are you using social media for more then just the list I've come up with?
"Although companies may use social media for several discrete business purposes, they should work toward integrating social media expertise into functional teams. Silos of expertise should be avoided." --Emarketer
“A Facebook promotion is only as good as the information that it feeds back to the sales, CRM, marketing or senior management executives who can turn it into a business gain,” said Mr. Verna.
"Regardless of the pedigree – public relations, corporate communications, marketing, customer service, research, etc. – today’s social media task masters are probably still operating from the traditional corporate mindset or training. First, you define your audience and your goals and objectives. Then you develop talking points to convince that audience to complete the action that fulfills the goals or objectives. Then you measure, report; rinse, repeat." -- Jason Falls
To develop your parameters of conversation for your social media efforts, answer these questions (by Jason Falls):
- What types of people do we want to talk to?
- Where do we find them?
- What are they talking about already?
- Is it appropriate for us to join that conversation and, if so, when?
- How do we inject usefulness into the conversation without being overly promotional?
- What value can we provide in terms of knowledge, opinion or content?
- How can we earn their trust?
- When we do earn their trust, how can we best ask for their input into our product or service?
- Under what circumstances can we point the conversation toward considering our product?
- Can we say or do something that invites someone else to point the conversation toward considering our product?
- How shall we apologize and regroup if we overstep their comfort level or accuse us of violating their trust?
Photo Credit House Of Sims
As always you are more then welcome to use any of my content, repost it, rewrite it, and broadcast it all I ask is that you link back to where you found it (http://interactivemedias.blogspot.com)
I would also love to hear YOUR comments, questions or concerns of my posts and reviews! What do you think, its ok if our opinions don't match up! Leave a comment or let me know what you would like to learn more about and maybe it will become my next blog post or video blog.
Also don't forget to subscribe to my video tutorials (on youtube or itunes) as well as subscribe to my blog posts on here so you can have the latest web tips, tricks and book reviews delivered directly to your inbox!
Thanks for reading!
--Desarae A. Veit