Creating lasting impressions - a five-step plan for brands stepping onto the social media bandwagon
Many marketers believe that they need to jump onto the social media bandwagon so as “not to be left behind”. They quickly set up a Twitter account or Facebook fan page, throw in the corporate logo alongside a catchy bio, and perhaps even add a visually inspiring background. And then, the “what now?” question hits home.
The often overlooked crucial consideration is that social media marketing takes hard work, ongoing commitment, and the right resources to effectively work as part of a well rounded marketing plan that yields results.
Did you know:
As with any marketing initiative, social media marketing needs clearly defined goals. This can range from lead generation through to a more supportive role to existing customers, and building relationships. Consider too, that social media has become an integral part of search engine marketing, and directly impacts what potential consumers see when searching for your brand.
It is foolish to go blindly into Social Media with no solid plan in place, so here strategy is key. Another very important consideration is that once you have started the conversation in these environments, you can never stop.
Step Two: Recruit the right team
Regardless of whether brands manage social media initiatives themselves internally, or utilise the services of an external agency such as PR or Digital, it's crucial to take a few things into account.
More than one person is required to represent the face of the company. As with off line initiatives, social media requires the support of the entire organisation, including Marketing, Sales, PR, Customer Care, Research and Digital.
All social media activity takes serious commitment and will drain time and resources and you need to ensure that you have an ongoing plan in place to manage and maintain your efforts on a continual basis.
Step Three: Listen
A key consideration with social media, is to LISTEN. The important thing here for all brands, is to be aware that it is not just within Twitter or Facebook that ears need to be tuned. Brands need to have a holistic and objective scope off all the mentions and conversations that are taking place about and around them across the various channels. These conversations are happening anyway, and the key is to get involved in an approachable, non invasive yet well planned way. This takes time, focus and consistent attention.
Step Four: Respond
The key differentiator of social media, is the fact that it is a two-way conversation, rather than the customary one-way broadcast. Nobody wants to engage in a one-way conversation. It is crucial to remember that every social media related action undertaken, is done in public, which is why social media requires transparency and authenticity.
Step Five: Measure Success (and Failures)
As with any marketing initiative, it's important for companies to monitor the impact of their social media marketing efforts.
Refer to Step One, and recall the initial goals. Success is built by monitoring your progress and making adjustments to get your social media marketing initiatives on track.
Having a clearly defined goal upfront, will dictate what should be measured. Whether it's simply increasing user engagement, the sentiment or time spent engaging with your brand, or assessing real rand value return on investment, it's crucial to utilise the right tools and resources to ensure that the objectives are being met.
Be willing to fail. As with any “conversation”, the outcome cannot always be pre determined. It may take time and experience to find the right combination of efforts that work effectively to achieve the goals. It's important to understand that relationships with customers and social media participants can be rebuilt after experiencing a social media mistake, but it takes a lot of time, effort, patience and willingness to admit to a failure publicly and do do it in a constructive and personable way.
digiVOX's social media marketing services empower brands by giving them a voice online, together with listening to what's being said, with the inclusion of real-time tracking of how audiences are engaging with brands. We help you to listen, identify, and engage audiences. We discover and grow your desired community, gain valuable marketing insight, and share detailed industry and competitive intelligence.
digiVOX provides brands and marketers with a unique combination of digital marketing tactics through a strategic, analytical, return on investment driven approach - measuring and quantifying all digital marketing initiatives along the way.
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DigiVOX is a specialist digital marketing agency that provides brands and marketers with a unique combination of digital marketing tactics through a strategic, analytical, return on investment driven approach - measuring and quantifying all digital marketing initiatives along the way.- more....