Last night, I attended #smcrva where @DeanHolmes talked on the topic of “Evaluating Your Content”. He showed how the message should drive the strategy. It’s not about the marketing – it’s all about the content! This is a basic concept, but often forgotten in the rush to adopt the next big trend. So if it’s about the content – how do we continue the trend of impact?
It’s all about commitment. Social media is a commitment. @ComcastCares and @richardatdell proof that social media is a must for engaging to connect with users/audience in a personal method. Keep in mind, it’s not just something else to tack on – it is a full commitment to your brand.
During the QA time, Dean was asked (specifically for twitter) why a brand should follow their followers back. The most effective answer came from a member in the audience, who works as the brand manager for @StrangesGarden (a B2C company): “I want to know what my customers talk about even if it isn’t my keyword or brand – so that I can engage them and increase my brand awareness.” This shows serious commitment of the company to engage with the community even off topic as to build credibility and reputation.
If the audience determines your network participation as a brand shouldn’t the message be tailored to them as well? Jon expanded on this: “Now that you have gathered friends and followers (and want to increase those numbers) you need to truly engage them, not just throw things at them — in short you need to provide value.”
Since social media is a commitment – you need a plan. It is better to have a goal than float through networks at a whim. Especially for a business tool a good plan will identify the audience, the strategy for ongoing content generation, identify frequency of participation and determine the amount of time and resources allocated to managing the strategy. A big part of this plan should also consider “who” will be that interactive face for the brand, the personality and passion of the individual(s) will affect the overall success of the strategy.
A byproduct of social media is the speed at which you will see results to your engagement. It is a good way to experiment with different methods and tactics for short amounts of time without spending large budget. The results should be obvious. If they aren’t, then there is something off target with your strategy or implementation. Try again until you get it right.