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5 Tips For An Effective Social Media Program

There are a number of activities that need to be completed in order for any social media program to be successful.

This is a fact that is not understood by all companies. Here are the main components of a comprehensive social media program:-

1. Marketing And Customer Insights

Consumer insights and a good understanding of your objectives should be at the centre of your strategic planning for social media. It is important that you reach your customers. You must also find a way of analyzing and measuring how successful you are in terms of the goals you set yourself.

2. Measurement and ROI

You need to consider how you will approach measurement and ROI in social media. You must have relevant metrics. A metric that e.g. shows the number of your customers that would recommend your brand could provide a greater value to growing your business.

This however require a good amount of initial knowledge and time, so if you are strapped for resources then this is where an agency would be useful. The role of the agency would be to assist the brand with its initial strategic analysis. I would identify the trends that the company should be paying attention to and which forums and social media sites would be the best for initiating a presence with. It would also indentify tools that would be useful for measurement and engagement etc.

Many brands look for a partner to assist them in developing media or channel-driven campaigns or social marketing. Social marketing comprises of integrated programs, media strategies and channel strategies.

3. Channel Strategies

These refer to what you wish to achieve through your social media presence and whether you need an agency to help you with your Facebook or LinkedIn presence, or to send your tweets for you etc.  When social media strategists regularly engage the community about what the particular brand can provide, this helps to create a strong way for consumers to engage with a brand.

4. Media Strategies

These are very important to consider and are areas with which progressive agencies can create value. It is very important to understand the best social networks to engage your audience. Niche social networks as opposed to Facebook and Twitter etc. could be better places if that is where they spend a vast amount of their time. Sites such as Twitter, MySpace and Facebook have grown so large that some users feel a bit lost when using them. That’s where niche social networks step in. These networks allow users to connect with fewer people who have the same interests, hobbies or professional associations.

5. Integrated Programs

These are campaigns. Brands will often just focus on one channel, commonly Facebook. Your Facebook application will not be of much use however if you do not consider how you are going to drive traffic towards it.

Many brands will turn to agency partners for support in this particular area. It can be a wise move to make use of agencies in this instance as their core competency is developing customer insights. Agencies can also offer support to the brands by means of implementation, vendor management and through experience of what has worked for other previous clients.

Finally, it is important to realise how essential real-time monitoring is and how consumers expect meaningful responses from brands when they are reaching out to them. However, brands also need to be aware of the online communications that are happening, in order to prevent anything that has the potential to damage their brand reputations. It is important to be prepared for anything that may arise and possibly put forum moderation guidelines in place in order to prevent any offensive or disruptive behaviour. An agency can be used for anything ranged from monitoring and reporting back, to educating social media practitioners on how to use the tools correctly.

These tips should help you to consider all the key elements that will assist you in shaping your company’s social strategy. If you would like more information on how to maximize the effectiveness of your social presence, then why not give us a call and speak to one of our digital strategists.

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