This is part 1 of a 4 part series from WebBizIdeas on the core steps you need to take to engage social media.We also have a great report that you can download with each step and examples of these steps in action. You can find that report here Social Media Engagement.
Social Media Engagement
Social media is a new paradigm of marketing, it’s requires a different approach to marketing. It’s ‘always on’ and contains elements of instantaneous communication. What we call social media should be more accurately termed social communication. Humans are social animals but what changes is how we communicate with each other. Social networking allows us to communicate instantaneously across the world in a matter of seconds. It also offers a direct one on one or one to many connections that has never existed before.
Before embarking on any social media marketing campaigns, it is essential to set your goals and define your prospects or target audience. Without a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and who you want to reach, your promotional campaigns will not be focused and the results may be fragmented and weak.
What are the goals of your organization? Do you want to build your brand and increase the number of targeted visitors to your website?
Do you want to improve communication among customers, employees and other stakeholders? Do you want to strengthen your relationships and increase profitability?
Determining exactly what you want to accomplish through a social media strategy will drive prioritization of your actions.
Family, Friends and Fun
If there was one thing that is important to know about social media it is this–the core reason most people spend time within social media is to connect with friends and family.
Consumers put social media squarely in the entertainment column. The old interruption approach to marketing simply does not work within this channel of communication.
This means that people spend time to talk to friends, family, associates and have fun. Knowing this one element will ensure that you have success in your efforts with social engagement. Keeping this in front of your mind and interactions will be the key to making sure your communication, updates, and messages resonate with your audience.
Intent and Selling
create interest in our product or service. Very few people log into a social network to purchase something. The purchase or decision to purchase or even consider a product is a byproduct of the activity.
I Don’t Have the Time
This is the number #1 item of feedback I get when I present the best practices to marketing in social media. It usually goes something like… “I’m already busy enough” or “we are bogged down with day to day stuff already, how do we add this on top of it?”.
Here is my quick and easy answer…
First, just like everything else in your business if you find it worthwhile and it generates results you will find time. What we really are talking about is priorities. The second thing is focusing on getting strong foundation in place. What follow below is the core elements to a successful social engagement plan. Also some examples on how other companies are making it work for them.
Who Owns Social Media?
The short answer is every department in your organization can benefit from social engagement. Depending on the size of your organization different departments or people will play a more central role. Collaboration is the key. When the IT department can talk to the PR department and when the R&D side learns that they can access the vast element of general knowledge, real time conversations, and actual thoughts of the target market that’s when the proverbial light bulb flips on.
Out with Interruption Advertising
Shoving marketing messages down people’s throat doesn’t make much sense, so you have to jump in and accept the good with the bad. Things may blow up, as they did with Southwest and Nestle recently, but the two-way communication channel you can build up far outweighs [the potential for negative consequences]. Social is not just a marketing channel – it’s PR, product development, customer service and even HR.