Jarter Jargon

The Social Media Sprint

Posted on: November 5, 2012

When Facebook and Twitter completely exploded and changed the Internet scene, companies rushed online to make their presence within the socialsphere. They tried to accrue all the likes and followers they could, but at what cost?

As we’ve seen, it doesn’t matter how many likes/followers you have, but how many active and engaged likes/followers you have. Different social dashboards (i.e. SocialBro, Tweetdeck, BottleNose, etc.) can help you keep track of what’s going on, who’s doing what, and who’s talking about what. They can even give insight to your followers. SocialBro lets you know different ratio stats about followers (e.g. they have a higher ratio of followers-to-following/vice versa), and they can tell you about inactive/unengaged users that follow you. Facebook insights also does a pretty good job of digging deep into your ‘likes.’

But looking at the strategy that goes into a brand, some are too quick to get onto social streams. The idea is that, “If our competition is doing it, we should be too.” WRONG. The idea of a brand’s strategy is to look at what problems they are facing and how they can solve those problems. If Facebook and Twitter are solutions, develop a plan. If not, don’t jump head first into it just because your competition is using certain platforms.

Social media affords businesses with the opportunity to build their brand and gain customers more quickly, as well as having a greater and more personal impact than traditional branding methods.

But as with everything in business, there is a double-edged sword. The more quickly you can spread the positives about your business, the faster customers will come running. The same can happen if a dissatisfied customer uses social media to spread the word about their experience with your company, which can cause your customer base to dwindle.

Some might even say that social media has caused companies to remain more transparent and accountable to their customers because of the tool’s ability to be used for both positive and negative, both by company and by customer.

Just because Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a hundred other social media tools are available for businesses to use, doesn’t mean that they are the best route for every business to take. Finding the tools that will work best for not only your business’s needs, but the work style of your team and the requirements of data backup, tracking and analytics will take time, but can mean saved time, money and frustration in the long run.

Adding social media to a brand management strategy may not simply be a matter of fitting it in between current marketing processes. In order to facilitate long-term success with social media brand management, it may also be necessary to take a look at the complete marketing and branding process to ensure that it contains the hierarchy and work flow to accommodate it.

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