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Social Media Strategy (Part1)

Social media can be defined in a business sense as consumer generated media. A company listens to customer opinions, interacts with and produces results based on what their customers are saying. Today’s consumer wants an online interactive experience to help them in their purchase considerations. A company that is not seen to embrace social media is doing itself a dis service in the current digital marketing arena. This strategy article aims to show how a social media strategy would align within any communication, marketing or sales outline already in place within a company or corporate infrastructure.

A good social media strategy needs to interact through a variety of different channels, ensuring that a constant use of variety of media is included; all of which drive traffic directly to your chosen market point. When looking at social media as a marketing channel care needs to be taken to include some, if not all, of the following:

Web and Internet concept with social media and social network signs and words on colorful cubes isolated on white background.

Initial aims

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Education
  • Entertainment

Target audience

  • Customers
  • Media
  • PR

This list will grow and change constantly

Ideas generation

  • Align to your company communication strategy what are the key milestones that need promotion- social media campaigns can be set to align to these key dates

Evaluation

  • Monitor analytics and ROI to see if campaigns are having the desired effect.

Areas for build process

  • Websites
  • Mobile apps
  • Blogs
  • Facebook
  • YouTube

digital strategy words on faded global image

Initial aims

Communication -Aim to communicate with your audience through a variety of channels Twitter, email, newsletter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Blogs all use the pull marketing format to bring perspective customers to your chosen destination.

Collaboration – comment on other key blogs, Facebook pages, forums or micro blogging posts. This is the first area of engagement with your audience.

Education – aim to educate your audience through your own blog articles, YouTube videos, Facebook fan pages and micro blogging posts

Entertainment – engage with your audience and entertain them be it with YouTube video footage, Facebook fan pages – these give you a hook to use pull marketing leverage to bring your audience to your desired communication. Through the use of gamification you can engage with your audience further, make your marketing fun, give an interactive ‘gaming type’ experience. Apps for iPhone, Android are great brand promotion along with further pull marketing strategy.

Target Audience

This will be an ever fluid medium and will often overlap from one channel to another. You will know your desired target audience some suggested audience segmentation is:

Customers both new and returning,
PR – news desks,
Media – magazines, television.

Ideas Generation

This will align with your current communications, marketing and sales strategies. A timeline for key messages will help generate social media campaigns to coincide with such key milestones within these strategies such as a new model launch or motor show PR.

Evaluation

The beauty of a social media campaign is that it allows you to easily monitor results on an hour by hour basis and change key wording if necessary. All channels of social media allow for strong analytic metrics so that campaign growth and performance can be monitored.

Engagement level to maximum conceptual meter, 3d rendering

Measuring ROI from qualitative based work

A brief description of qualitative vs quantitative

Qualitative Research is primarily exploratory research. It is used to gain an understanding of underlying reasons, opinions, and motivations. It provides insights into the problem or helps to develop ideas or hypotheses for potential quantitative research. 16 Sep 2011

I write this article from the consultant’s perspective as recently I have been asked the question.  ‘What is the value add?’  From a marketing point of view, we would look to show ROI (Return on Investment)

words used for websit design and writing for the web set out in a jigsaw pattern

Writing for the web

Much of the work a consultant does is advisory in nature.  ROI or value add can be seen once the advice is acted upon or when quick win scenarios are put in place. Any form of digital marketing can achieve different responses finding the ROI is often down to nailing what the customer wants from an online campaign.  There are so many ways that a positive result can be recorded to show ROI (Return on Investment) or put more simply the ‘value add’.  Not all marketing dictates are expected to create a sale, have a clear understanding of a client’s wishes before you begin a campaign.  You then have a set criteria you will measure against.  I use the example of a marketing ask from a prestigious automotive manufacturer.  They asked to generate test drives for a new model specifically from an age demographic.  The campaign was then set to target the specified demographic across a variety of channels that were directly suited to that audience.    The test drives taken may well have culminated in a sale but until that transaction has taken place the brand awareness continues to build across the clients chosen demographic.  Someone that had a great test drive can go on to become an ambassador for that brand as they discuss their experience with their colleagues, family and friends.  Social geo tagging also allows for the test drive to be shared through ‘bragging rights’ and all in a person’s network has the chance to see that a brand is offering a great product.

From a consultant point of view showing ROI on a qualitative appraisal can sometimes be a problem.  With the world of social media/digital engagement showing an ROI on work you are doing can be tricky.  I have had clients offer a variety of different capture points that they want to achieve from a social media campaign.  More and more digital engagement is monitored through a variety of analytics and demographic viewpoints.   There are a multitude of different platforms and software offerings that will track your engagement interaction and ultimately show what that engagement value has returned.   To take a quote from Will McInnes CMO Brandwatch from #HootConnect the online conference:

Qualitative at Quantitative Scale

engagement level monitor showing low moderate high options

Engagement level to maximum conceptual meter, 3d rendering

An effective campaign can generate interest on a quantitative scale simply by building a high amount of noise and social engagement across a variety of channels.  Your tracking software will show you the number of shares, retweets, likes and comments from a post or across a whole segment of a campaign all of which are great analytics to monitor but do they deliver a call to action.  Does a channel message bring visitors to your webpage, deliver numbers to attend an event?  What is your client expecting from the marketing work you provide?   Social media engagement help to build brand awareness, this will ultimately bring about extra interest, sales, easier recruitment, but not necessarily immediately.  A strong Brand engagement strategy builds these qualitative details into a recurring ongoing plan to ensure that messaging, engagement and call to action is used across all channels for a comprehensive interaction with all demographic considerations.

This is just a start on engagement demographics and how success can be managed and reported upon.  Further articles will follow looking at some of these topics in more detail.  It would be interesting to see how others feel about the qualitative vs quantitative consideration.   To find out how Aureate Digital Strategic Consultancy and Sales (ADSCS) Ltd can help with engagement and measuring your ROI visit our services page

 

Knowledge is Power. Sharing Knowledge Builds Networks

“Knowledge is Power” was the strapline I used for my first company ( An online degree platform). I still stand by that Francis Bacon quote “scientia potentia est” for present day I would add sharing that knowledge builds networks and is almost expected as a given in today’s society. Gone are the days of keeping certain knowledge as a closely guarded secret. Media commentators jostle to be the first to break a story. Many aim to be the first to share breaking news across their social networks. The more you share key pieces of news and topics of interest the more people want to follow you and so your network grows.

social network and connected words on touch-screen tablet-pc with finger touching screen

With the expected use of social media networks across most walks of life now; sharing knowledge or items of interest is as much a habit as your morning routine. Sharing what you know also helps build your profile both online and in person. The higher up the career ladder you progress the more need there is to show thought leadership through speaking events, white papers or a slideshare presentation. Social media has allowed people to propel themselves to online fame with nothing of substance to back up that claim. The simple act of sharing your knowledge on a certain subject helps elevate your standing above those that claim to be masters in a certain field. Add SEO into the social media mix and your network grows for all the right reasons. Write with the correct medium, keywords and style to engage with your target audience and the numbers amplify considerably.

I have worked in digital communications, social media and MarTech for well over 15 years now, I took a career break to bring up my children prior to this. (Taking my degree as a mature student, setting up my first company and going through a stressful divorce all in the same three years. I’ve taught my children that hard work gets results in life). Not only can I talk strategy and design a strong engagement flow, from programme conception through to a detailed campaign I’ve earned the stripes to get me here. I can roll my sleeves up and do the hard graft as well. If someone consults with me they get the wealth of insight, knowledge and the experience to match. Not only can I talk about the various social platforms I also have a sizable network on each to show that I am proof of what I say. This also helps amplify a message if I add my network to a promotion or campaign for a client.

The recent social media frenzy we have seen around certain airlines shows how the online society feeds and shares from social media posts. The discussions around Fake News highlight the need for authenticity and influence when writing about a subject so that we can bring credibility to a topic or add a voice of reason to a debate.

I write this article as much as a way of compiling my thoughts and to ponder on those key quotes that set us down certain life paths. What are any key quotes that reasonate with you? And why?

 

First published on LinkedIn 26 April 2017