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Brand Thinking Blog
Posted on July 6, 2012 at 5:43 pm
As CEOs everywhere roll their eyes at the sheer mention of social media, hear me out. Forget everything you know about, and even the phrase, social media. You need a method of engaging your clients and communities through your thought leadership. Everyone wants to be heard and if you are an expert in your field you need to be heard. Being viewed as an authority requires you to be in the front of people’s minds when they have a related issue.
You should have at least one blog on your site. If not, you call me immediately so we can discuss developing one. Now, I’m sure your SEO (search engine optimization, for the uninitiated) is flawless and brings traffic to your site in droves, but we both know that shouldn’t be your only plan of attack. You need a mode of interaction, a level of control and a modern delivery method. Sure, getting subscribers to a newsletter is great, but how many newsletters lay dormant in an inbox just to be relegated to the trash bin without ever being opened? And you can’t expect people to forward your newsletter around, so the chances of it being read by others are slim. This aged distribution model is begging for more and we’re here to deliver. Marketing isn’t a field where you can put all of your eggs into a single basket: You need a multi-pronged approach!
We want what you want. We want to drive more people to your site and services, to get people talking about you and what you do, to gauge performance, provide metrics and build the business. There is no better place to do that than where the people are. They’re on sites you may consider a waste of time. And they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Capitalizing on this isn’t easy; you can’t expect to build a single page, let it sit dormant and then wonder “where’s all my new business?” B2B marketing isn’t going to come from a direct sales pitch in new media, and even B2C marketing requires a bit more complexity in new media than traditional marketing.
But you don’t need a ten million dollar ad budget on Facebook to make an impact. There are two ways of looking at social media: as another method of simple distribution, or, as an avenue for communicating with the public. Your company won’t have a million “fans” simply by pushing robotic updates with no human feel; I can tell you that right now. I strive for a happy medium between distribution and what I call a “social brand.” This involves giving a human voice to the company and interacting with the following we have bred over the years.
There are important considerations particularly for professional services firms in developing their social media voice and content, since confidentiality issues are paramount. Questions to mull over include: Who in the firm speaks for our brand? What can and cannot be shared on these public and permanent forums? When should public conversations be deferred to a specialist within the company? How do we respond to bad social press? How do we edit and approve posts efficiently? As the Social Media Strategist here at GB, I address all of the above and strive for consistent protocol and policy.
A social media strategy should also include the appointment someone specifically to be your social brand manager. This person needs to have a thorough, defined understanding of the company’s voice and image (you might, of course, want a second pair of eyes to look over posts before uploading them). Give this person the ability to post on behalf of the company. This will cut down on time consumption and ensure efficient responses. If you don’t post often but need to be in the know, have posts sent to you on a weekly basis. Your social media manager needs to seek approval and defer to respective departments soon after engaging in a conversation to ensure a knowledgeable response.
Do you have more questions? Ready to take a planned leap into this new frontier? Sound off in the comments below, or reach out to us on our various social channels!
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