It’s amazing how convinced I am on the unending and cardinal impact of social media on businesses, both multinationals and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
I am not oblivious of its benefits, hence my decision to shine forth its gospel. I have personally experienced the power of this new media to accelerate brand awareness and to spread my stories.
Like the saying goes, seeing is believing. But the tasting is in the eating of the pudding right? You can exhort and preach to the CEO’s and executives about social media’s power and some will “get it”, but until you start to experience it for yourself the flame will not blaze brightly.
Sometimes when I look at the site statistics and Google analytics for my blog from time to time, the global reach that one can achieve with social media never ceases to amaze me. I see that in less than two weeks I started this blog; it has been read in 12 countries and over 1,000 visit and over 2,000 page views each day.
I don’t know of any other media that could achieve that in less than two years without spending a cent in traditional advertising or marketing.
The Harvard Business Review Analytics Services recently conducted a survey of 2,100 organisations and discovered that 79 per cent are currently using social media channels. They also asked them what they saw as the benefits of social media and here are the results and feedback from the real world.
Twelve major benefits of social media
•Increased awareness of the organisation – A lot of people know about the company and its services or products.
•Increased traffic to website – Many more visit the company’s website to get more information.
•Greater favorable perceptions of the brand – What do you think? Is no more a scary question to ask customers and potentials.
•Able to monitor conversations about the organisation – Feedback at its best.
•Able to develop targeted marketing activities – More guided decisions towards customer satisfaction.
•Better understanding of customers’ perceptions of their brand – What do you know about this brand.
•Improved insights about their target markets – Widen your scope – spread out.
•Identification of positive and negative comments – Troll management and brand management
•Increase in new business – Opportunities for growth. Who doesn’t like one.
•Identification of new product or service opportunities – Can we make butter for the bread too?
•Ability to measure the frequency of the discussion about the brand – What’s trending about us.
•Early warning of potential product or service issues – Customer Satisfaction and CSR.
Let’s pause and let me just ask you this: Are you reaching your audience of loyal fans and influencers? Are you driving them to endorse your brand on their own?
Before you can answer these questions, it’s important to understand who your influencers are and how they differ from each other but first what’s your social media plan and strategy?
Social media is used by businesses to help boost their marketing efforts to meet their overall objectives such as creating massive awareness, sales, customer base, improve customer services, increase loyalty, engage etc.
I have found out that most businesses tend to jump onto social media without having a clear strategy. A new research shows that 72 per cent of businesses that use social media do not have a clear set of goals or a clear strategy for their social media platforms.
This goes to say that seven out of 10 businesses are using social media without knowing how to fully utilise it. Worst of all, managing social media carelessly may result in some pretty serious backlash.
Can you imagine the mess? Let me first put it out there and clarify that a social media strategy is not creating profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine and simply gaining fans or followers.
A strategy requires one to go back to the drawing board and start all over with questions like this:
•Where are my audiences spending most of their time on?
•How can I gain their interest and attention
•How can I measure success?
Now here are eight steps to help you plan your social media activity:
• Build an ark
•Listen and compare
• What’s the point
•What’s your one thing
•Engagement and humanisation
• Channel plan.
Step eight is definitely a must for all businesses. It’s about creating specific plans or tactics for each platform. A single plan would not work on all social media platforms. The first few steps will help you get an idea on where your customers are and give you an idea on where and how you should focus your marketing.
culled FROM PUNCH MAY 21ST, 2013 BY CHI TOLA (CHITOLAROBERTS@GMAIL.COM