Digital, new media and social media are the buzz words said by marketers and advertising practitioners nowadays. More and more clients are asking their partners to create integrated campaigns that include social media and digital components in the mix. However, what they often fail to take into consideration are the steps that need to be followed through on in order for it to be a truly successful campaign in the long run. It makes me cringe sometimes when I hear people say, “Okay, you want to be in social media, that is easy.. let’s set up a FaceBook page, or let’s open a Twitter account.”
It is pretty easy to join social networking sites for business and brands, but it requires a lot of planning and strategy to get the most out of your efforts. Okay, you took the first step and joined the sites that were recommended to you. It shouldn’t stop there. Placing an avatar and a profile will not suffice. Here are some things you might want to consider:
1. Research – Know who your consumers are. What do they do online? What sites do they frequent? What are the demographics? What do they think of your brands and your competitors? Who are your competitors and what activities do they participate in?
2. Actively listen – This is something that is easier said than done. Being able to monitor all the conversations around your brand will be tricky. Good thing that there are a lot of tools available now that you can use to actively listen to the favorable and the not so favorable things said about your brand.
3. Engage with your consumers – Being in social media has its ups and downs. There will be people who will love you for it and there will be those that will attack you because of a bad experience with your brand or service. Please take the time to interact with both sides. Engaging with your consumers will allow you to build relationships. This will allow you to be human in their eyes. You will become someone they can reach out to and depend on.
4. Monitor and measure – Make sure that you have the necessary tools to monitor and measure the success of your campaigns. It is through these mechanisms that you will see the effectiveness of your approach in problem solving and in giving your customers the best service that your business or company can offer. It will also help you craft the messages in such a way that it is relevant to your target audience.
5. Be open to change – Be flexible. You have measured and monitored, now you must be open to make the necessary changes in your plans when you see fit.
Social media is here to stay and will be used by more and more brands and businesses to connect with their consumers. I have included a very cool video that will illustrate why it’s here to stay.