Friday, November 11, 2011
In the past year @ExactTargetUK has spoken to hundreds of companies about their Social Media strategy and about social marketing. It’s true to say that each conversation has been very different and each company has their own unique views on how they should be seen Socially. But there are an increasing number of companies who realise that, whilst Social Media forms part of the Marketing and Sales functions, all parts of their business have something to gain from being part of this strategy. When we discuss what Social media means to our clients, one of the first point of call is what do they want their clients to experience from them being active on Facebook or Twitter. Identifying the personalities of a Twitter account or Facebook page is a crucial step in formulating your Social Media plan. If a consumer is to follow you on Twitter, like your brand on Facebook, what is in it for them? Maybe surprising to some, many of CoTweet users actually reside within the Customer Service departments of my clients. The reason for this is that, Customer Service teams talk to their clients daily via the phone, email, live chat and so the natural progression is they also use Social Media to have these conversations. After all, people are already talking about your brand on Twitter and Facebook, so take this opportunity to engage with people who are used to talking to customers. That’s not to say that Marketing/Sales/PR should not be involved, most of my clients’ Social Media teams are led by Marketing but they are forced to collaborate on engagement to ensure that not too many Sales messages are clogging up people’s Twitter feeds or Facebook Walls.
Here some of the key stages for developing your Social Media Marketing plan:
- Create a virtual team, identify people in different departments who will add value to your social media engagement and bring them together.
- If you are active in Social media or not, look at the data, why are people talking about your brand and how can you catagorise these messages.
- Ask the all important question, “if our company is active on Twitter and Facebook what should our fans and followers expect”?
- Create personalities for each Twitter account and Facebook page. Customer service will engage in a very different way to your brand teams, should they have their own separate Twitter accounts (I believe the answer is a definite yes).
- Set the fans and followers expectations, in each bio explain what you are there to do and when they should expect to be able to talk to you. (Welcome to our Customer Service Twitter account, we’re here to help answer your questions Monday to Friday between 8am to 6pm, Weekends 10am to 4pm, any out of hours support can be found here www.outofhours.com)
- Assign responsibility to your virtual team, who is expected to do what and when and make sure they stick to it.
- Get started, once you’re up and running you will quickly understand what works and what doesn’t.
- Using Social media measurement tools, such as CoTweet, our clients are able to report on activity over time and optimise their resources accordingly.
- Encourage your fans and followers to subscribe to your newsletters, making Social part of the cross-channel marketing mix will work a lot better than if it is considered a separate department.
Jon is blogging on behalf of the Social Media Marketing Team at ExactTarget white attending Connections UK.