It’s been a fascinating year for social media: Vine coming into its own, Facebook reaching 1 billion active users and Twitter clamoring to find its B2B/B2C/C2C sweet spot.
As an example, over the summer, Subway utilised social media in an attempt to distance itself from the Jared Fogle controversy with one tweet, ‘We no longer have a relationship with Jared and have no further comment’ which is a far cry from a full blown brand restoration PR campaign you might have seen 10-15 years ago.
As a contrast, earlier this year Business 2 Community ran a story around the same time that questioned the effectiveness of social media when it comes to brands and customer engagement, citing Sharpie as a leader in social media, until about a year ago they scaled back their social media presence by going dark.
So does how can a social media strategy make a difference?
– and most companies are coordinating their social ad budgets to social marketers.
Twitter recently announced several new features for advertisers who want their campaigns to go beyond Twitter itself. The social media marketing space is changing and adapting faster than ever.
These trends point to a diverse market where companies and marketers are confused about how to best divvy up their social ad budgets. For this, companies need to look at how social media, integrated with the rest of a marketing infrastructure can impact on market share.
An effective social media campaign does sustainability better than most traditional marketing campaigns: If you have an effective social campaign, fans and brand loyalists will keep it going. That’s the beauty of social media: You don’t always have to be pushing it. Others will do the heavy lifting for you.
However, it’s important to note that social media marketing doesn’t always provide a one-to-one correlation to sales or conversion. Social media raises awareness for traditional marketing to kick in and gain market share.
In many B2C cases, social media is only going to move the needle only so far, but that doesn’t mean a company shouldn’t do it. Some of the best ways to make an impact in social media are: Monitoring social media closely to identify and follow key influencers and detractors; keeping a close eye on where people are having conversations about your campaign and have the right people reach out to them; engaging with your customers at the right time and the channels they’re most prefer; and considering a full digital marketing services campaign that can effectively manage and answer the question, ‘What can I do with all of this awareness and keep it going?’
In terms of caveats for companies considering a change in social media tack:
If you’re considering making a major change in social media strategy, it’s important to not look at social media in a silo. It’s just as important to no not take on social media because ‘everyone’s doing it’.
Your brand is unique: Social engagement should be one part of a multi-channel marketing experience. Your customers don’t only engage with your brand in the store – they engage with you on your website, via email, on mobile and in apps.
All of these things are going on constantly. Start looking at social as part of that conversation. As much as you’re spending on outward communications through social media, make sure you’re doing just as much listening on social media: Listen to what they’re saying about your competitors and your brand.
Finally, bring in social media analytics into your social media/marketing equation, that way you’re being smart about when you engage with customers and what the information is telling you.
Sourced from Sean Shoffstall, VP Innovation & Strategy, Teradata Interactive