The consumer is no longer a faceless statistic in a report: she has become an active participant in the brand-building process. Share, tag, and comment are her new mantras. Charity and commerce coagulate, as do ideas and agendas for change. Imagine a global cafe where everyone is a player, producer, director and distributor.
Social media has become the fastest-growing budget in the marketing arsenal. Earn the respect and recommendation of your customers and they will do your marketing for you, for free. Great products and services start great conversations.
Five steps toward a better social strategy
1) What’s the objective?
From customer service and customer engagement to driving sales and media outreach, social media can be used for a vast array of different business tasks. So it’s important to think about which ones are important to you.
2) How will you build a community?
Having an objective is one thing, but if no one is listening to you, you’ll never achieve it. Building or tapping into a community is, therefore, an important first step. Find where your audience is, listen to what they are saying, and begin to reach out to them.
3) What are you going to say?
Content is key. You could have the best community in the world, but if you’ve got nothing to say, you won’t be able to engage in conversation.
4) Who’s going to manage it?
Deciding who will run and manage your social media activity will again depend on what you are trying to achieve and who your audience is. Find the right people -internally or externally-for the job.
5) How will you measure success?
As with all types of marketing and PR, if you can’t measure outputs, outcomes, and impact, you’ll never know whether it is working. Agree on metrics in advance and review them regularly to help determine if tactics are working.
Social media categories
Blogs, Microblogs, Internet Forum, Social Network, Listserv, Collaboration, Wikis, Social bookmarks, Social News, Reviews
Photo sharing, Video sharing, Livecasting, Audio and music sharing, Virtual worlds, Games
Fans/followers, Shares, Likes, Comments, Traffic/visitors, Clicks/conversions.
Engagement, Conversation quality, Fan loyalty, Insights/research value, word of mouth, Brand reputation, Influence