In just a couple of years, the presence of businesses on social media platforms has evolved from being something of a novelty to a critical component of marketing. However, the fact of the matter is that when it comes to social media’s role as a business tool, we have only just scratched the surface of its potential.
We all know that a decently strong social presence requires a minimal investment and that it can help your company set trends and capitalize on new ones in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut path to social media dominance for businesses irrespective of their size and scale. The true power of social media programs in bridging the interests of your business with your users lies in the ability of a business to find their niche and figuring out how to integrate social media tools into your current operations.
And even if you’re still searching for that niche, there things you can do to increase your chances of success in the social realm. Here are some of the key factors that I consider to be determining factors in achieving success in your social media campaigns:
Clarifying Objectives for the Grand Scheme of Things
It is imperative to align your social media strategies with the broad and the overarching goals of your enterprise in order to design 360-degree campaigns that bring uniformity to your organization’s image across all platforms.
In other words, social media tools can be a benefactor for not just your marketing department, but also for CRM, PR and HR initiatives in your company.
Devising a Social Media Strategy (Sounds Simple Enough Doesn’t It?)
A sound strategy for your social media campaign is the cornerstone for its long-term success. This is why it is essential to clarify all components of your campaigns ranging from:
- Identifying your target audience and their needs;
- Fixing the scope of conversation; and
- Creative and development resources available for accomplishing your social media campaign initiatives.
It is equally critical to acknowledge what goals you are tracking in order to measure the success of your campaigns and tweak as necessary — is it email sign-ups, sales, whitepaper downloads, website DAU growth? You decide.
Choosing the Right Platforms
There are hordes of social media platforms available, and obviously most companies want to be on the major ones. Having said that, in some industries LinkedIn is a far more effective platform than, say, Facebook. It is important for you to identify the key platforms where you audience is located and focus your efforts on those, more so than on the others. Remember the 80/20 rule.
Conveying Your Brand Message with Clarity & Creativity
Social media platforms provide a brilliant opportunity to bridge the gap in business and consumer interaction by providing a transparent medium for communication. Hence, it is highly recommended for businesses to have a sincere and forthcoming approach in engaging their users and having a proactive strategy to deal with customers.
It is also essential to ensure that the social media feeds of your user base never get inundated with the same repetitive message. Don’t be a Peter Promoter, always pushing your brand down the throats of your audience (apologies to all the Peters, it was the first name that came to mind). Instead, focus on engaging with your audience and pushing out genuinely creative and stimulating content that people actual find interesting or care about. Look to brands like Oreo, Red Bull or Old Spice, for examples of creative social campaigns.
Harnessing Consumer Insights
With the advent of big data, companies can now harness and filter tons of valuable information collected from user engagements and with this, re-design their strategies accordingly to meet with the needs of their user base across different segments.
Social media has become way more complicated than it needs to be, but hopefully these five basic strategies help remind you that anyone / any brand can utilize social media effectively if they work at it.
Research for this post was provided by Advanced Manufacturing Software. Learn more about their manufacturing ERP solutions here.
[Image: Cory Grenier via Flickr]