This is a guest post by Michael Perulli, account executive at Cision.
2013 is here, yet many traditional marketers are still struggling to make their business more social as they realize they must adopt a social marketing plan or ultimately fail. These days, it’s not enough to simply have a company Facebook, Twitter and YouTube account (if your company doesn’t have these set up by now, you should probably stop reading this and go set them up). Here are some important things to consider when focusing on creating a social business in 2013:
Content Strategy and Thought Leadership
Social networking consumes, on average, 3 hours of our day. With all this exposure to messaging, traditional marketing and advertising are proving to be less effective. In order to capture and hold your audiences’ attention, you must offer something useful or educational and remove your brand from the story. Develop a content strategy and deliver valuable information to your prospects and clients in order to simultaneously educate and organically bring awareness to your brand.
Illustrate thought leadership throughout your company; encourage employees in different departments to contribute as content creators. Granted, not every employee will be an appropriate candidate; however, by showcasing the expertise of your employees and building their personal brands, it will naturally make your company’s brand stronger.
Woody Allen said “80 percent of success is just showing up.” Unfortunately, showing up just isn’t enough for a social business to succeed. Customer care has gone social and the number of customer service related tweets are on the rise. Companies should be employing full-time social customer service reps, often called “social ambassadors” or “community managers,” to monitor all social platforms. It is a time-consuming full-time job but the cornerstone to a good social business that will allow content creators and strategists to focus on their tasks.
If your company doesn’t have a social media crisis plan, things can spiral out of control quickly. It’s impossible to predict what crises may arise but reading case studies and doing role play activities will help your social media manager stay prepared.
Lastly, invest in a good social media monitoring tool that will allow your community manager to monitor and engage a variety of social platforms at once. This will save time and effort, allowing your social ambassador to monitor more efficiently.
It’s important that we measure and analyze the results of our social efforts to ensure that they are aligning with the goals of our social strategy. Ask the right questions: Is the content we are creating relevant and interesting to our customers? What is our blog traffic and how can we increase it? Do the demographics of our Twitter followers match our target audience? How influential are our Twitter followers? Are we influencing the influencers? How often are our competitors getting mentioned?
Analyzing your efforts will not only ensure your social media plan is staying on course and providing valuable insights, it will demonstrate ROI and reaffirm a social business strategy.
Companies have slowly entered the social sphere in the last two years as they follow their lighthouse competitors and now it’s hard to find a company that isn’t on Facebook or Twitter. However, whether it’s B2B or B2C, good content marketing and social engagement strategies should be atop the to-do list in order to stay relevant in the new year.