Despite the research that shows that social media’s influence with consumers is declining brands, and marketers, still should use social media to listen to the pulse of their market. There are certain guidelines that brands should take to ensure success.
Here is a step-by-step guideline for ensuring success with social media marketing:
1ne: Clearly define your objective and ensure key stakeholders and organizational influences are buying in.
2wo: Make sure managers within your brand agree on key success metrics. Don’t use vanity metrics like “retweets” or “followers”. Use metrics that tell a story that supports your brand objectives.
3hree: Don’t use an intern or agency person as your voice in social media. Consumers identify your voice in social media as your brand. It’s too important to leave to an intern/agency. It should be someone who can view your brand as a consumer, and understands your brands positioning and characteristics.
4our: Comment/answer questions or complaints in real-time and authorize your social media person to solve problems that customers may have. Here is a great example; I recently went to the store to look for a new product only to find it wasn’t available yet. When I remarked, on Twitter, that it was frustrating to see an advertised product that wasn’t available their social media person sent me a message saying they would send me a free sample along with a discount coupon off a future purchase. Now THAT is a brand that listens.
5ive: Don’t try to use all social media platforms at once. I recommended to a client that they use Instagram to place images of new products, Twitter to spread information about the benefits of eating dark chocolate and Facebook so people could share their favorite dark chocolate recipes.
6ix: Sell the benefits of social media continually within your company. Demonstrate how social media can keep your best customers brand loyalists.
Finally, think of social media as an essential part of an integrated marketing strategy. It’s not a separate bucket and it doesn’t require a lot of hours to continually prove ROI. Consumers expect you to be listening to social media so you had better be there when they want you. It’s about them, not you.