Thinking Social Media Strategy? ‘Your employees are your best bet’

employees are the heart of social media strategyMarketing strategies of any size organisations are no more untouched from the social media element rather it is becoming an important part of their approach. Whether it is one person show, mid-sized or large enterprises; all are embracing social media with open arms. More and more companies are seeing the value in engaging with consumers across various social media networks.

Here, I want to draw your attention to an old theory because I find it totally evergreen and I am sure you will also find it a sure shot way to your business success. ‘Your employees are your best brand ambassadors.’

Keeping this in mind, now just because you have a community or social media feeding-box doesn’t mean you have to limit your company’s social media use to that person or team. The most sustainable and successful way to use social media is with the motivated employees while building a community focused on your brand and business. Here are a few steps you can take to make that happen:

Inside the Office – Managers and Employees
Social media and online communities can be used to motivate and incentivize employees. Social media use can also help promote productivity. A 2012 Gartner, Inc. report found that 46 percent of organizations agree – from somewhat to strongly – that social media helps promote productivity.

When you’re considering whether or not to bring your employees into your business’s social presence, think carefully and make sure they have some training or guidelines in how your brand is to be represented in these social spaces. Even if you have an employee who is solely responsible for managing your business’s social media networks, every business has a large pool of ideas to draw from.

  • Ask your employees for input on social media strategies so they feel they have a voice in the overall direction of the company, nurturing loyalty. Old yet evergreen way, reward good ideas and more will be brought to the table.
  • Encourage your employees to follow each other on the different platforms they’re active on. This can create a deeper sense of family within your business, while promoting a positive culture to the outside world. 49 percent of organizations from the Gartner study used social media at work to connect with their coworkers.
  • Give your employees public acknowledgement when a job is well done. Everyone appreciates the recognition and when it’s via social media, it’s something easy for them to share with friends, family, and their social audiences.

Outside the Office – Employees and Customers
Never forget that your employees are your best brand ambassadors and most of them have an existing pool of connections. A business can make a lot from its socially-connected employees. Employees can delve into the various communities where your customers and potential customers are. Your employees shouldn’t only be interacting with their coworkers; they should also be using social media to connect with customers by becoming a thought leader and reliable source in your business’s industry. Employees can answer customer service questions pertaining to their department while finding new prospects.

  • Transparency is the key. Ensure your employees represent your brand and business well on social networks by getting them to interact, respond, and listen to feedback from customers in various communities.
  • Ask employees to encourage and participate in discussions in online social spaces with customers who have questions or complaints. In the same Gartner study mentioned above, 44 percent of organizations used social media at work to connect with customers.

By having employees participate in social media, you can help build brand awareness while creating a greater sense of accordance in your workplace. As employees participate in online social networks and communities with both coworkers and customers, thank them for their participation. Employees like to know that what they are doing is recognized and appreciated. Appreciation is always appreciated by employees of each era. Social media can create a community among coworkers and customers.

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Principles of Social Media Marketing

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The most interesting fact about Social Media Marketing is that its beauty and beast both rest in one quality. It is very fast-moving hence companies are struggling to acclimatize their strategies and schemes. What worked in a few years before is so ‘last year’ now and is becoming less and less effective.

For the fast changing social media marketing turf, along with the 6P’s (Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance) rule following the key principles will take you and your organisation a long way.

Here are some key elements you need to keep in mind to market on a social web.

Think sharing

What do people want to share? Then publish and promote it. Simple yet compelling headline is the key.

Go Real Time

Social media marketing is all about being active in real time. It involves publishing in real time, not next week or next month. The up-to-date posts and tweets will help you catch the trend and viral surge. The action doesn’t end with the real time tweeting, it also means you need to respond in real time to complaints, issues and inquiries.

Just Enlighten, Don’t Hawk

Think like your audiences. Do you think to be “sold to”? NO! So does your audiences. Social marketing is about giving the relevant updates that contributes to solving people’s problems with answers and information. The mode doesn’t matter as long as you follow the rule, whether that is from your blog, links in your tweets or updates and information on Facebook.

Souk is the ‘old soup’, Entertain

Again think like your audiences. Would you prefer the mundane and bland dish or would clasp the ‘WOW’? We live in an information age that discards the tasteless and shares the ‘WOW’. Facebook pages and updates that entertain, with competitions, humor or the unexpected are the links that will be shared.

Go Multichannel

One-track channel is not sufficient these days. You need to be on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Blogs as a minimum. Social Media can provide you with the channels to be omnipresent (everywhere) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For the starters, based on your target audience you can choose at least 2-3 channels to focus on. This is just to start, keep adding as you progress. Pace & multiplicity is the key here.

Different folks, different strokes

The blue-penciled content on its own doesn’t make it anymore; you need to provide information in ways that meets different people’s style. Going multimedia is the key.

Target Your Niche

Clans and fans find you and share you to their community. On Twitter you need to follow leaders and people in your niche so that when you tweet they will retweet you to their followers who will have similar interests. Facebook marketing can target demographics including roles, interests and geography.

Show Your Passion

Remember social marketing involves passion and enthusiasm. If you are not passionate about your forte, it will be obvious to your audiences. Remember, a passionate publisher always shine through and gets communal.

Don’t just talk, converse.

Effective listening before engaging is the key here. Your audience will tell you themselves what they want, what solutions they need for their problems and then provide it. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Blog comments will reveal the gold mine of the information for you.

After listening to your market, you are ready to engage in real time with the platform your audiences are comfortable with. It can be anything, email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…. Worth repeating, Different folks, different strokes.