How to Leverage the Synergy Between Communications and Social Media
By Mark Simmons
Businesses need to look at social media in a number of ways. On the one hand, social media channels act as an additional distribution vehicle for their normal communications. The beauty of social media is that content has the potential to go viral and produce tremendous ROI. It won’t happen every time, but when you hit that sweet spot, you can hit an international audience from just a few posts. The number of available tools also makes it easy to streamline distribution. Once you’ve created the content, you can schedule posts for future release and use analytics to measure results.
Social media can be used as a “listening tool.” Essentially, you can get the sentiment of the consumer population around a brand. You can accomplish this by manually searching for information about your company or you can leverage tools to do the heavy lifting. Companies like Radian6 have developed excellent tools to efficiently accomplish this task. Once you add in the particular key words you want to track, the tool will troll the web looking for any and all mentions of them. It organizes them in an easy to use fashion and decides whether they are positive, negative or neutral. Understanding this consumer sentiment is extremely valuable to a brand. Imagine having the ability to push out product information across the web, have strangers (potential customers) discuss it, and then see what they have to say. It’s the same as having a huge focus group but at a much lower cost.
There’s a place for both traditional communications and new age social media in today’s business landscape. Don’t be afraid of new ideas lest you get left behind by the competition. Begin looking into how you can augment your efforts using social media, determine what channels make sense for you and start measuring everything. If this all seems like a daunting task, invest in a consultant to make sense. Whatever you do, it may be time for a change. Your bottom line will thank you.
Mark Simmons has been a digital marketing professional for over a decade. Prior to co-founding his own group, Mixed Digital, he gained his experience working for leading NYC agencies. His client roster includes SAP, Four Seasons Hotels and Wharton School of Business. Mark has a passion for digital marketing, especially mobile and social media. A graduate of Duke University, he lives with his wife and daughter in Durham, NC. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter (@markfsimmons) or mixeddigital.com.