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Social Media—Not “One Size Fits All”

December 4th, 2009 by | 3 Comments

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Most companies are jumping on the social media marketing wagon and understand its role in brand reputation management and customer feedback. And why wouldn’t they since it is quickly becoming one of the most intimate and non-invasive means of marketing? The “follow us,” “be our fan,” and recognizable Facebook and Twitter icons on company marketing materials  are growing and marketing professionals have come to understand it is necessary to have a presence in the space…and let people know you are there.

Once companies garner the internal support needed to initiate a social media commitment (and it is a commitment), they begin thinking about strategy, ROI, marketing integration, etc. and realize the depth of this medium can be overwhelming. Companies are learning from others’ mistakes and smartly putting an emphasis on careful and effective execution and without proper planning, this is rarely accomplished.

To execute social media the right way, the next question a company should ask is “how do we get started?” and “what should we be doing?” Those questions are paramount when crafting a social media strategy since there is not a “one size fits all” approach.

When planning an approach, there are a few key components to consider:

  • What is the overall goal for a social media campaign? Without identifying why a company wants to get into social, a strategy is impossible.
  • What is important to the brand and to the target customer? What is the best use of social base on the company goals and current services?
  • What do customers want to know or share (i.e. comments, images, videos, etc.)? Do customers simply need a way of informal communication to share opinions or do they need/want more of a service focus?
  • What type of online presence already exists (if there is a presence, how can it be optimized)? Does the company current have an ad-hoc approach that can be organized to increase effectiveness or does the presence exist only on the customer side?

Carefully thinking about these considerations and crafting honest answers will help determine:

  • Which social media outlets and accounts will be created and why (i.e. what will be the Twitter account focus?).
  • How the social efforts will be maintained (updated and monitored). Are there internal resources or does the effort need a combination of internal resources and outsourcing?
  • The positioning of the accounts, which includes the focus (i.e. which accounts will be used to encourage feedback or manage brand reputation).

After these considerations are evaluated and the questions answered, a comprehensive social media marketing strategy can be created and execution can be planned accordingly.

This will get a company off to a great social media start and encourage success!

Jen Cohen is a social media and marketing maven knocked down many times in 26 yrs. Something Creative http://somethingcreativemarketing.com


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