I have started my research from actually finding out what Social Media is, as there is a lot of confusion about the subject and there isn’t just one definition of Social Media. What is the reason for that? Why there are so many different definitions of Social Media? It is because Social Media is constantly evolving, platforms are changing to enable for better interaction, content sharing and collaboration. In a nutshell Social Media is about: engagement, listening, persuasion, but it definitely isn’t about: you and your company, broadcasting and direct sales. Can you imagine joining a group of people in a restaurant already engaged in a conversation and you start talking about yourself and your products or services you offer? What would their reaction be? What about if you send traditional mail-shot, promoting your products or services to a large number of people? What results would you get? If the respond rate was 0.5% – 2%, you are lucky!
On the other hand because Social Media is about interaction, content sharing, etc; 92% of people trust recommendation of people they know and 70% of people trust consumer opinion posted online.
Of course companies are using Social Media to drive their business forward and generate business growth, but because of the word “Social” they need to adapt their actions and behaviour to a completely different level, where they genuinely listen to people, engage in the conversation, build relationship with them, build trust in order to achieve their business growth.
But how to do it?
There is no blueprint for success in Social Media and definitely it will vary across different products or services, businesses, industry sectors, but the process behind it should be very similar across all businesses.
Step 1 – Forget about Social Media and define what your business objectives are.
Step 2 – Think about the culture of your business and whether the culture of the people can support achievement of your business objectives?
Step 3 – Develop a unique Social Media Strategy that is tailored to your business objectives.
Step 4 – Set up your Social Media Profiles – that are aligned and consistent with your brand, as this will help to build confidence and trust with your target audience.
Step 5 – Think about how to attract people on Social Media – this is about your customer profiling: knowing what Social Media platforms they use the most, when they spend the most time, what they are interested in, what their problems are, what their behaviours are.
Step 6 – Engage with your target audience – using appropriate content, tone of voice, but most importantly by listening to them and giving them tailored solutions to their problems. You also need to remember to be honest and transparent in your conversations in order to build trust with your target audience and build a level of loyalty towards your brand
Step 7 – Persuade your target audience to trust your brand, talk about your brand, give you recommendation and share their experience about your brand with their network by analysing their behaviour, understanding them and incentives them to do what you want them to do.
Step 8 – Measure your Social Media activities, analyse it and make changes where necessary – it’s about putting in place analytic tools that are available, learn from the data they provide and make necessary changes in order to get even better results in the future, but most importantly REMEMBER that measuring ROI in Social Media is not about direct financial results, but about finding more accurate and contemporary ways of measuring the effectiveness of Social Media activity.
This is a guest post by Jowita Penkala. Jowita is business speaker and advisor with a strong background in strategic marketing, has studied, practiced and delivered brand communication strategies for more than 10 years. With enviable track record of success in Face to Face and Social Media Marketing, Jowita speaks at exhibitions, conferences and other business events. Her extremely high and unique content that can be applied immediately is truly appreciated by both small and large audiences. Jowita works with many companies in the UK, Poland, USA, Germany, Belgium and other European countries. She helps them maximise their Return On Investment (ROI) from Social Media through unique integration programme her company has developed in the last 4 years that delivers proven results in the businesses that apply the programme. The unique Social Media Integration Programme that Jowita delivers is getting more and more popular and sought after.