If your social strategy is not based on sound data and research, does not have measurable and achievable business goals, and is not constantly monitored and analyzed, you do not have a strategy, you have a new toy.
From this day forward, your customers will decide if you are welcome into their world. We are no longer permitted to practice interruption marketing. We are in an age of permission-based marketing where your old corporate message, your old advertising philosophy is no longer welcome or effective. But, social media marketing is not enough. If you’re not adapting internally, becoming a social business, your marketing strategy will fall short and your consumers will see right through you. Are you prepared to adapt, to become a social business, internally and externally, or are you still convinced social media is just a fad?
Content marketing may not be all that familiar to you, but business probably is. Our process likely speaks your language. Everything we do must revolve around our strategic plan for your company. Our content marketing strategy must help us meet specific objectives. Our social media management must help us execute specific tasks. Everything we do is results oriented, and it’s all measured and monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – so you, and we, know what is what is not working.
If you’ll notice, there ‘s been almost no mention of social media yet. Why? Because without a sound strategy as a base of operations, it won’t matter if you’re using Facebook or a fax machine – you’re destined to fall short.
In this stage we are not just evaluating your external communications, we are evaluating you internally as well. A social business is human. It’s a return to basics, where a business is less burdened by departmentalization and more fluid with its communications.
Monitoring & Analysis
Social media is word of mouth on steroids. Right now, millions of people are talking about millions of brands and products – it’s a safe bet your brand is part of that conversation. Today, we can locate, track, analyze and engage in those conversations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The data available to marketers today is unlike any other time in history, combined. It’s there, waiting for adaptive, social businesses to take advantage of. For example, by monitoring the social web, you can:
- Align your goals with metrics
- Accurately measure true reach and brand awareness
- Track and join conversations, in real time, about your brand and products
- Analyze, to the tiniest detail, those conversations based on demographics, sentiment, and thousands of other filters
- Track and measure the success of marketing and advertising campaign and other special events
- Know what people are saying about your competition
- Better understand what your market wants and when they want it
- Engage with individuals and groups who are influencing others about your brand
- Identify key market indicators as they happen
- Relocate your customer service to where your customers actually are
There are 7 primary areas (not thousands) in which social media, when done correctly, can have a sometimes profound impact on your brand.
1. Increase Awareness of Your Brand
Look at your brand(s) from the eyes of your stakeholders. They don’t live and breath your company and yet their perception of your brand is more accurate and indicative than your own. Social media can help make that perception a positive one with messaging, online conversations, effecting consumer preferences, appeal and online market share. Remember, your audience on social media has its own audience too.
2. Protect Your Reputation
Nothing has revolutionized crisis communications more than social media, both positively and negatively. On one hand, social media has become a resource for those who wish your brand harm, on the other hand it’s an effective and essential tool for communicating with those who may hold a sympathetic ear.
3. Increase Public Relations Effectiveness
Social media is a convenient extension of public relations. It more easily incorporates media relations, event planning, community relations and internal communications.
4. Build Community Around Your Brand
Growing an audience of consumers to serve as ambassadors for your brand is central to social media marketing objectives. Social media is the ONLY truly effective and scalable way to build a constantly-connected community around your brand.
5. Improve Customer Service.
Increase engagement, decrease costs. With social media,your customer service department can more easily facilitate needs with online communications, while constantly tracking sentiment and brand reaction with social monitoring.
6. R&D & Continuing Education
There are a lot of very smart and creative people out there. Many of them are in your industry and are offering their thought leadership, ideas and plans for free with anyone who cares to listen. Social media makes continuing education, access to creative ideas and inspiration and thought leadership more accessible.Creativity, ingenuity, innovation & continuing education are all made easier and more accessible. The idea is simple – experts share their expertise with others. This is open-source collaboration at its finest and has never been more real than in the age of social media. Share and learn.
7. Drive leads and sales
That’s right, we said it – social media can and does (when done correctly) bring in revenue. It can do so by generating leads from blog visitors, from social channel interactions, from increased conversation rates and from your community of advocates.