How to Create a Social Media Roadmap...or, the Key to Unlocking Social Media Value
If social media is not done correctly, the consequences could be ugly. As marketers, we go to huge efforts to get consumer's attention. That consumer can be your biggest fan or your worst critic depending on how well you execute. And it only takes one angry customer with a blog to do real damage to your brand's reputation. So how do you avoid the angry-customer-screaming-at-the-top-of-their-lungs-via-every-digital-channel scenario?
Customers expect more from your organization than just passing along information. If your current strategy is to just tweet or share information, then you've already failed. Your customers are using a social media channel because it gives them an experience they are seeking. If what you are sharing is misaligned with their wants (or only aligned with your own), you will surely lose them. Or worse, bore them to tears. The most powerful thing that you can do to create loyalty is to simply respond to a customer's problems socially. It creates more loyalty than any other social media tactic.
So how do you get real value from your social media efforts? You have to find the social sweet spot. You need to understand what consumers want from their social experiences. Do they want product info? Are they looking for promotions or special offers? Do they want to give feedback? Do they want to influence product direction? Or are they simply looking for a way to complain? Whatever the answer is, you need to align their needs/wants with your goals. That is the key to unlocking social media value.
The types of social interactions consumers want can range from very superficial relationships such as product discounts or access to entertaining content, to being a part of a brand community, influencing product direction, and so on. Consumers that follow a software brand for example, might be looking to learn something new about a product, but are less likely to be looking for entertaining content. If you give them entertaining content and they want product information, you have a disconnect. To avoid this, you first need to figure out what type of social relationship consumers want from your organization. Then you need to map those consumer needs to your own goals and objectives. Do you want to sell product? Drive awareness? Improve customer satisfaction? Where the two intersect is your sweet spot.
Once you've figured out your roadmap, you need to enable it with technology. Too many choices mean wasted time and bad results. There are an overwhelming number of social tools for marketers to choose from, and it's time consuming and challenging to manage social conversations across the growing number of platforms which all require regular check-in. New tools come on the market frequently, and they aren't replacing old technologies—they are adding to them. So which are the right tools to use, and where do you focus your energies and valuable marketing dollars?
Marketers need a foundation with fewer, more intuitive tools in order to be successful. Organizations that don't have a manageable digital foundation in place will find a barrier to success which will only continue to grow over time, while the ability to take advantage of new social innovations decreases. CommonSpot serves as the engine that powers websites and enables content to be shared and conversations monitored across all digital channels—including social. It is a critical hub for digital marketers that reduces the number of tools you need to be successful by providing a one-stop-shop for Web content management, social media management, experience management, campaign optimization, and analytics.
If you have a digital foundation in place such as CommonSpot, and understand your customer needs and wants and align them with your own goals and objectives, you will find a measure of success you haven't previously achieved.