Embed, Engage, Analyze, Monetize, Retain
Any business, whether it is a startup or a veteran corporation, needs to understand how to use the power of social media to amass and keep a customer base. It has become clear to brands and marketing professionals that social media users and popular bloggers are an extremely valuable resource for spreading their message. The Corporate Social Media Summit in New York focuses on the following five steps to successfully utilize social media platforms and to develop a successful social outreach strategy.
Laying out the groundwork for the social media effort is key, as your brand must be visible on all of the appropriate platforms (and then some!) Are you using Facebook and Google+? What about Instagram and Pinterest? Learn where your consumers are and make sure to have a consistent presence there. Pay attention to emerging platforms to always be one step ahead of the competition. Starting your own company blog is also a great way to keep people updated.
You made an account on Twitter, uploaded a profile picture, and regularly tweet updates about your brand – great. But your journey is just beginning. It is not enough to simply have a social media account; you must invest time and effort into building meaningful relationships with your consumers (and would-be consumers) by conversing with them, replying to their comments, and generally taking note of their interests. A particularly useful way to engage with your consumers is reaching out to influential bloggers and starting a conversation, giving them an opportunity to review your product, and seeing an instant upswing in publicity as a result. One of the best tools to spread the word about your brand to the blogging audience is BlogsRelease – the Press Release Board for bloggers. Submit your notable company news and developments to BlogsRelease to be seen by thousands of bloggers worldwide.
Now comes the number crunching and analysis that will actually determine what’s working in your social media strategy and what isn’t. Keeping up with the latest data on social media usage is extremely important in this step. For example, the usage data within different age demographics is an important factor to consider when developing your strategy. Those ages 18-29 are most likely to use social media, making up the majority presence in all major platforms except LinkedIn, which is dominated by the 30-49 brackets. Meanwhile, the 50-64 crowds are big Facebook fans and have recently been showing a growing interest in Pinterest. Where does your audience congregate? What do they blog about.
Perhaps the trickiest part is turning all of this effort and information into profit without alienating your consumers and jeopardizing the relationships you worked so hard to foster. The good news is that if you have successfully embedded your brand in social media, engaged continuously with your consumers, and used analysis to figure out how and who to target, you have the opportunity to be successful.
The nature of social media as a constantly evolving and developing beast makes it a challenging area to conquer indefinitely. Maintaining and growing your consumer base is a never-ending effort and you must make sure to keep it at the highest possible standard. Make social an important part of your support strategy and your consumers will thank you for it.
Your social media strategy is an investment that needs constant care and supervision to grow. What starts as twenty Twitter followers may evolve into hundreds of tweets about your brand every day, so keeping in contact with this audience and developing long-lasting relationships with bloggers is crucial to utilizing social effectively. Finally, it is important to take advantage of events like the Corporate Social Media Summit, where you can learn about valuable tools for developing your social media strategy from successful companies and seasoned professionals, which this year include BBVA’s Chief Marketing Officer, MTV’s SVP of Consumer Marketing, Molson Coor’s Chief Communication’s Officer and many more.