Taming the social media monster
Singapore - At the beginning of the 20th century where social media was in its infancy, marketing on social media was relatively simple. It was comparable to a single cell organism with only a few simple parts, easy to understand and master. A decade has since passed and social media has grown exponentially in both size and complexity.
Today, social media is often described as a "monster" that is difficult to understand, let alone be maneuvered for marketing purposes. As we approach 2013, how should brand owners and marketers be looking to "tame" social media and use it effectively?
Look Out 1 - Relevant Expertise
Seek relevant expertise when recruiting people and agencies to navigate the choppy waters of social media marketing. Relevant expertise includes formal training, certification and actual experience or track record. That means interns or fresh graduates with some "play time" on social media do not make good candidates for your social media team.
Recently, Facebook Studios launched a basic certification program to ensure that individuals (as opposed to agency brands) have undergone basic Facebook marketing training. Such certification programs helps set a basic standard for skills competency.
Emphasis should also include actual experience of social media marketing. A good idea or strategy is as good as the experience of the delivery team to execute against it. A good track record insures against the potential risk of a bad delivery.
Look Out 2: Relevant Platform
There is no silver bullet to social media marketing. So never start with Facebook. Rather, consider the most relevant social media platforms. Start by knowing where your consumers frequent and why. Platforms should then be assessed on the efforts invested to facilitate brands building a quality community.
For example, Facebook actively authenticates their base of users to ensure genuine interactions with real users. Next, it is necessary to consider the policies governing the various platforms. Some important policies include usage, privacy, promotions and even intellectual property. It is necessary to be familiar with all policies that have implications on your marketing executions.
Look Out 3: Relevant Approach
Social media marketing needs a long-term perspective. Consumers are now more sophisticated with their consumption of social media content. As a result, it is no longer possible to sustain an engaged community with blatant advertising and promotions. Constant giveaways and contests are fast losing their appeal and not sustainable over long periods.
Brands should focus their efforts towards having meaningful conversations and engagements as their staple. This is the right way towards building brand love.
Preparing For 2013
Even with social conversations, it is important to begin looking beyond basic conversations and engagements. The future of social media marketing lies in the ability to transcend across themes and campaigns to hold all the fragmented social activities as one meaningful piece like a well-orchestrated symphony.
So as we prepare for 2013, let us all plan for success, prepare for the worst, but always wish for the best in social media marketing.
For Lim's commentary on the consolidation of social media platforms, click here.
Ryan Lim is the founder & business director, Blugrapes.
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