In honour of Social Media Week, we've invited our favourite social media experts to pen a guest column this week. Sixty Gelu is Social Media Manager at TRUE212. He gives us his four top tips for getting the best business benefits from social.
The advent of the ‘always on’ age is well and truly in its maturity. According to the IAB, digital ad spend on social media increased by 71% between 2012-2013. Channels like Facebook and Whatsapp have allowed individuals to share their personal stories with their audiences; it is not uncommon to see your university friend’s wedding photos, whilst checking your Facebook newsfeed on your lunch break!
From a commercial standpoint, consumers are now publishers with the ability to distribute information to hundreds of people at the click of a button. Put simply, power has shifted from brands, to consumers.
So what does this paradigm shift mean for businesses? It is worth jumping on the social media bandwagon just because every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be doing so? Here are four key tips that will allow you to add value to your business using social media communications:
1. Use social media to assist other areas of your business
From a business perspective, never spend time and money on creating a social media presence for the sake of it. Ultimately, social communications needs to compliment the directives of the other departments in your organisation. For instance, Starbucks uses its Twitter profile to field customer queries from its legion of dedicated followers. The brand uses its audiences’ opinions to improve its existing products. This is an excellent of example of using social media to facilitate Research and Development.
2. Use analytics packages to get a handle on how your campaign is performing
The social goals you set must be measured and scrutinised like any other business target within your organisation. The only way to do this is by using monitoring tools like Hootsuite. Analytics packages give you the ability to gauge exactly how many comments your Facebook posts are receiving on a daily and monthly basis, for instance. Moreover, Hootsuite offers a reporting tool that allows you to convert your statistical findings into an easy to read report. Using this feature to convey how your campaign is performing is crucial for engaging clients and stakeholders.
3. Focus only on the platforms where your audience can be found
The ‘one size fits all’ approach is a cardinal sin in the social space. Just because one of your favourite shoe brands has a significant presence on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you need to establish a Facebook page for your insurance company. Put simply, learn to harness the power of the social platforms that are popular with your audience. For example, after sending a brief survey to your customers, you may find that most of them are aged between 25-45 years old and have demanding professional lives. Having profiled your audience, it would be better to set up a presence on Linkedin, as opposed to Facebook.
4. Publish content that is tailored to your audiences’ interests
Consumers now have a direct way to communicate with businesses and brands. More importantly, individuals can share their opinions with one another using the social ecosystem. Savvy organisations like Coca-cola and Intel have adapted elegantly to this power shift. Coca-cola for instance, uses its blog to publish news and videos about travel advice, food recipes and major sporting events. In this sense, the brand continues to uncover the things that are most important to its audience. Consequently, the Coca-cola blog provides a constant source of entertainment that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each month. Each visitor is exposed to the company’s unique visual branding, which makes for powerful advertising!
Sixty Gelu is Social Media Manager at TRUE212. Follow him for digital advertising tips, and new music suggestions at @Sixtylicious.
Check out the best events on at Social Media Week here.