November 4, 2011

Social media success is an integrated affair

Following on from ‘The Power of Twitter’ article, here we look at how a business or brand can successfully formulate and implement a social media strategy.

Marketing is changing – thanks to the internet and all the social media platforms available, power is very much in the hands of the consumer. They have the ability to lead, and end, the discussion and openly influence others. As a result, the first consideration must be the audience and the creation of a relationship with that audience; not just the ultimate goal of a sale.

There are four types of active social media engager: watchers, sharers, commentators and producers. Each is equally as important as the other. For example, mums lead the commentator pack, engaging more than any other online user. But that doesn’t make them any more important than a ‘watcher’, who absorbs ever-increasing quantities of information from the numerous channels they’re tuned into and moves in wider online circles than ever before.

Once you’ve defined your audience; next, listen. What is being said – if anything – about you online? This determines a reactive or proactive social media start and the tools, tactics and techniques you employ in your bid for online success.

Now that’s all sorted, here comes the really tricky question: who’s going to look after what has rapidly become a rather large task? Social media – amenable as it may be – will not stand for being overlooked, left for a couple of days or dipped into as and when. The day that happens is the day your audience moves on, and is the reason why most brands these days outsource their social media responsibility.

The general and ongoing perspective is that PR, instead of specialist online agencies, is better suited to managing social media campaigns. But really this is nothing new. Ever since the conception of grassroots marketing, PR has taken control of creating the buzz. So with the explosion of the net it wasn’t going to be long before social media became an essential part of every client’s PR spend. This, however, is not an issue when choosing

Our PR team not only deals with the online press, but handles everything from social communities to online reputation management and blogging. Supporting them is a strong digital team extending press release reach, link building and auditing your website for search engine suitability. It’s an integrated approach that ensures our clients’ marketing messages meet the requirements of the multimedia age and, most importantly, convert social media engagers into sales.