By now, most companies see the value in engaging with their current and potential customers via social media channels. As you attempt to manage your brand and interact with consumers, you should be aware of both the opportunities and potential pitfalls that you could face.
Look Within Your Walls
Social Media channels should be chosen based on the relevancy of the audience and marketing goals. However, the ultimate decision should be based on your level of commitment and the involvement required by the channel compared to the internal resources that you have available to you. Before you publish your pages on any social media channel, you should clearly define who in your organization will be responsible for managing the content, as well as outline topics of interest and at what frequency they should be covered.
Promote, Promote, Promote!
Gaining followers takes commitment. Not only do you need to keep the content fresh and relevant, but you also need to promote the pages constantly so that they can gain a following. The most important place to prominently display social media presence is on your website and blogs. Links to your social media pages enable visitors to easily connect with you. Be sure to promote your social media pages on print advertising, business cards and letterhead as well.
Put Your “Relationship Cap” On
Avoid seeing every consumer interaction as an opportunity to sell and instead look for ways to engage with them. Rosetta Stone’s Facebook page encourages visitors to try the free demo for their newest product. Yet, their page also has a strong focus on building relationships by their recent roll out of Parature for Facebook customer service features. Talking to consumers, listening to what they have to say and developing ongoing communication can be far more valuable than a one-time sale.
Social media communication and interaction occurs twenty four hours a day and seven days a week. If your brand is running a special promotion, launching a new product or received an award, then social media is a great medium to communicate your successes to your followers. If your company fails in any way, it must be proactive and address the issue at hand. By staying involved and ahead of others, you ensure that your company retains some control of discussions occurring on each channel.
Like any marketing program, social media involvement is an investment of resources that should be carefully thought out prior to launching. Goals and messaging should be communicated to all members of the organization in order to build a strong foundation for success.