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Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’
Whilst it’s easy for brands to go and create accounts on the various social media channels and then start broadcasting their marketing messages it’s a lot more tricky to have active conversations and develop relationships with the customers that use those channels.
One of the things I’ve tried to do more recently is give a brand a personality by putting a face and name behind the account. Some may think this is a risky thing to do as people change jobs or roles and those connections with the customers can potentially break in the long term but in my experience it helps build those relationships in the first place.
If you have a real person managing an account, giving the key information to the audience but also stopping to take the time to have 1-to-1 conversations, answer questions and comment on other people’s activity it show that you as a brand (and the person behind the brand) are actively engaged in your customers lives. Giving a brand personality also makes it easier to engage with influencers as they are able to get a handle on who you are as a person (yes, the one managing the account) as well as the brand you represent.
It may seem obvious that different groups of people interact in different ways but sometimes we seem to forget this when it comes to online. When developing (and executing) your Social Media Strategy it’s important to remember the differences between channels, who you are aiming to engage with and what you are looking to get out of them.
Depending on your ultimate objective you should have a presence in the channels you feel will benefit your business whilst ensuring you do it in a way that makes sense to the audience. Having a Facebook fanpage is slowly becoming the norm but it’s still too easy for people to “like” your page and then never visit it or have too many other things in their feed to notice the update you posted. Likewise, if you have a YouTube channel it’s great having relevant video content to watch but start requesting they click through anywhere and chances are they will just ignore you, they are on YT for one thing only; to watch.
Whilst I am a big fan of Top Gun this title does actually have some relation to Community Management and SoCom. As is human nature we all love to be recognised for doing good things, for gaining status in our respective circles and for being rewarded when goals are achieved (even if it’s the 1 chocolate bar a week when it gets to the weekend).
This can also be applied to your community in just the same way and can help with both activity and engagement. The big question is “what sort of thing can I do for my community?”
In the best of traditions I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer that says; “in my opinion”. For me there are 4 pillars that should form the basis of all your Social Media and Community Management activity. Working from this base you can shape elements of your strategy and work more effectively to meet the goals you have set.
So what are these 4 pillars and why are they so important?
Marketing has been around for pretty much forever with far too many books being written about it. SoCom on the other hand is still a relatively new field in comparison and is often seen as the poor relation. With the generally accepted view that Marketing is about trying to get a slice of a customers wallet instead of the competition getting it I think SoCom comes in at the other end of the spectrum.
SoCom for me is all about time, we fight for share of a users time both before and after they’ve decided to part with their hard earned cash. Whilst Marketing may not fully understand SoCom (or even acknowledge it) it still plays a large part in the “circle of life”. SoCom Managers, Community Managers, Online Evangelists are all attempting to engage users, give them the information, keep the informed and retain them in one form or other. If they can successfully do this then it actually has the potential to make life easier for the Marketing bods (although chances are they won’t say thank you).
So whether you operate a corporate forum, the social media accounts for a brand or dabble with the monthly newsletters just remember that what you aiming for is making that connection and enticing people to part with some of their time.