In my last post, I talked about a strat­egy to enable a brand to socially engage you, the con­sumer. That’s my moti­va­tion for being in your social space, and I’ve given you a strat­egy for how any dig­i­tal mar­keter can make the best use of social forums. My third and final post in this series of blogs is on the process and plat­form I intend to use in engag­ing you. A strat­egy is not much good if there’s no way to exe­cute. This is not, how­ever, totally self-serving. There is an inher­ent value to you as well, whether a mar­keter or consumer.

The debate on how to use social and dig­i­tal media most effec­tively in rep­re­sent­ing your busi­ness in the B2B and B2C com­mu­ni­ties rages on, and every­one has an opin­ion. There are peo­ple, orga­ni­za­tions, and groups out there mak­ing a busi­ness out of telling you how to use dig­i­tal media to do busi­ness. I’ll share what works for me and a few thoughts on search, social, and dig­i­tal media at Adobe.

SEO DNA

More than 240 social media sites gather and report sta­tis­tics such as num­ber of users, demo­graphic char­ac­ter­is­tics, and audi­ence tar­get­ing. Adobe’s busi­ness is in both the B2B and B2C mar­kets with our Mar­ket­ing Cloud and Cre­ative Cloud solu­tions. As a result, our dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing reflects a strate­gic and inte­grated approach to reach the vast major­ity of our intended audience.

At the core of any social enable­ment effort is the cross-channel fer­til­iza­tion of the mes­sage sim­ply because dif­fer­ent demo­graphic groups are par­tial to dif­fer­ent social media chan­nels. Future arti­cles will address this in more depth. The com­mon social media chan­nels that will reach 90 per­cent of the peo­ple I am look­ing to engage include

  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Face­book
  • Twit­ter

Those choices are reviewed peri­od­i­cally because social media sites change depend­ing on the demo­graphic, prod­uct, and type of post. Other social sites are reg­u­larly con­sid­ered depend­ing on audi­ence and mes­sage. Pin­ter­est or Insta­gram are ideal for pho­tos and visual sto­ries. YouTube is con­sid­ered the sec­ond largest search engine and is ideal for scripted and instruc­tional videos of Adobe prod­ucts. We also uti­lize inter­nal social forums like HelpX, Forums, Acro­bat Users, and Adobe TV to engage in reg­u­lar con­ver­sa­tions with users. In busi­ness, we call this agile mar­ket­ing, allow­ing us to stay customer-focused and flex­i­ble, immersed in the cus­tomers’ expe­ri­ences as they engage with our brand. The graphic from the last post includes the term mar­ket­ing insights from the ana­lytic process—this is a sim­ple way of describ­ing our abil­ity to be agile.

An effec­tive plat­form will use the social enable­ment strat­egy, process, and tools to effi­ciently com­pose rel­e­vant con­tent, respond in real time, and mea­sure the effect of social media inter­ac­tions in a repeat­able, feedback-enabled, and cir­cu­lar process. The basic ele­ments of each part of the process are sim­ple, straight­for­ward, and com­mon sense dri­ven. The tools to use in doing this are, for the most part, free and easy to learn. We will cover all that in future posts.

Social Enablement Insights

Com­pose rel­e­vant content:

  • Post links, mes­sages, pic­tures, or videos to mul­ti­ple social net­works using third-party apps via an API func­tion­al­ity built into the social chan­nels. Vary the mes­sages and post­ing time to engage in a more authen­tic and gen­uine way.
  • Learn and under­stand how to use each site by learn­ing to do things such as shorten links auto­mat­i­cally and make them track­able with things like #hashtags.
  • When appro­pri­ate, sched­ule cer­tain posts for auto­matic upload in keep­ing with accepted social eti­quette using a cal­en­dar tool (such as a third-party app with a com­pat­i­ble API).

Respond (real peo­ple talk to each other):

  • Use tools to con­sol­i­date the responses to your posts and cre­ate a one-stop shop for B2B and B2C com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Tweet­deck and other tools are ideal for this.
  • Always respond. Most sites give you one-click response capa­bil­ity (e.g. retweet with one click).
  • Some­times, it’s not pos­si­ble to respond right away. Flag mes­sages for follow-up if need be.
  • Cat­e­go­rize mes­sages as part of your data mea­sur­ing efforts. Pos­i­tive responses are han­dled dif­fer­ently than neg­a­tive ones. Tag them and respond appro­pri­ately. It matters.

Mea­sure by using social site metrics:

  • If the site itself does not have a met­rics func­tion, use a third-party app that does (many are free). Mea­sure your efforts. For enter­prise track­ing, Adobe® Social has func­tion­al­ity to prove social media con­tributes to the bot­tom line. Over 75% of mar­keters aren’t sure if social media is work­ing for them. For­tu­nately, Adobe® Social, part of Adobe Mar­ket­ing Cloud, helps you con­nect the dots between social inter­ac­tions and busi­ness results. It shows you what’s work­ing with your social strat­egy, where it’s work­ing, and how to use that insight to improve results across all of your mar­ket­ing channels.
  • Most sites auto­mat­i­cally tell you the num­ber of fans and fol­low­ers, retweets, men­tions, click throughs, and more. Keep a daily log and track trends in rela­tion to events.
  • Com­pre­hend and ana­lyze responses—this is often referred to as sen­ti­ment analy­sis. Learn from pos­i­tive, neg­a­tive, and neu­tral trends and develop a style and method that res­onates with your audience.
  • Mea­sure your reach. Are you reach­ing the intended audi­ence? How are they respond­ing to mes­sages? Are there com­mon trends or out­liers to make note of? Ana­lyt­ics is the only real way to do this. The tools are out there.

Future blog posts will talk in more depth about spe­cific social media sites and dif­fer­ent ways to develop rel­e­vant con­tent, respond to peo­ple that com­ment on con­tent, and mea­sure the effect by giv­ing peo­ple value for the time they spend read­ing messages.

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