Social Media Marketing – Are you ready for the influx?
There’s no doubt about the fact that a targeted social media campaign can raise your company profile and rocket traffic to your website. But there’s far more to effective social media marketing than just having a Facebook page or a Twitter feed. And for some organisations, social media may not be the answer. It depends on who you are and what you do. Companies need to ask a few key questions before putting a toe into the social media ocean – what can look like a big break can easily turn into a tsunami. Here’s our tips for effectively handling social media and making sure it’s used correctly to send the right message to existing and potential customers.
1: Decide who will have access to posting on your social media sites. This should be limited to responsible members of staff who are involved in the marketing and sales aspects of your business. The last thing you want is a staff member telling your customers about the state of their hangover and the steps that led them to get it.
2: Decide what you will announce and discuss on your social media. These messages should dovetail and leverage your other activities within your marketing mix. They should also be consistent and above all, engaging. You want people reading and responding. Also, there’s nothing like broadcasting your successes and letting the competition know that you are on top of your game.
3: Monitor your social media. While your followers are crucial to the success of your social media activities, you need to regularly monitor comments left by other users. Decide who has responsibility for this and who is in a position to edit/remove inappropriate or negative feedback promptly – again this relates to delegating the responsiblity for the social media to key individuals within your company. Ideally, this should be more than one person so comments can be responded to in a timely fashion. The last thing anybody needs is a string of inappropriate comments staying up on a Facebook page simply because the person who is in charge of the social media is out of the office for a few days.
4: Crisis management. You should have a crisis management policy in place in the event your company or organisation comes under fire. How would you handle it? Don’t wait until the oil tanker hits the reef. Know in advance.
5: Is social media right for you? Inappropriate use of social media can actually destroy your company’s credibility. And despite the rush towards a social media presence there are companies and organisations out there who should steer clear of using social media. One example would be clinical pharmaceutical trials or medical research. Unforeseen side effects of these will lead to a monumental backlash from social media users.
6: Respond to the world around you via your social media. As part of your social media campaign you should be constantly monitoring the media for stories that relate to or have a direct impact on your business. Again, this goes back to whom you assign responsibility for your social media to. Part of their brief should be to keep an eye out for opportunities you can leverage. Here’s one example. Coca~Cola Australia ran a PR campaign aimed at women to find the ‘Diet Coke Guy’ – young, fit, good-looking men under 30 who would become a pin-up brand ambassador. The campaign was very successful. Diet Coke is usually marketed primarily at women. After the Diet Coke guy had been found the client needed to keep the awareness going. It just happened that Shia LaBeouf, the star of Transformers, was snapped by a paparazzi leaving the set, swigging on a can of Diet Coke. Coca~Cola could then respond to this with a social media and PR campaign geared around this free publicity. Guys drink Diet Coke too. Keeping an eye out for opportunities you can link your company to in the larger world is a key to successful social media optimization.
7: Be ready to respond. If you’re doing things right then you’re going to be increasing your brand awareness and building your client base. How are you going to cope with the additional leads? Do you already have the systems in place or if not, how fast can you respond if necessary? The last thing you need is to attract potential customers and not be able to respond to them in a timely fashion.
8: Consider appointing an agency to handle your social media. Not only can an agency like Brownstone bring the creative and strategic awareness to your social media marketing to ensure ROI, you know that the messaging will be consistent and speak directly to your customer or client base and also be updated and responded to in a timely fashion.
Tell us your social media experiences. What has worked for you? What would you do differently?
Your customers are now a mouse click away. Make sure your social media messaging is that – social. It’s people who do business with other people. A market never bought anything.