Social media chan­nels are not the brand’s mar­ket­place to sell things. Social media chan­nels are meet­ing places where peo­ple come to share their lives with peo­ple who have sim­i­lar inter­ests and views. These chan­nels are fam­ily reunions, liv­ing rooms, kitchens and the water cooler at work—any place where gos­sip, idle chat­ter, polit­i­cal views, reli­gious beliefs and opin­ions about what you do and don’t like are shared. Brands and busi­nesses are not invited guests, peo­ple are. As a social strate­gist in social media, you must be a per­son and not a busi­ness entity. You must take advan­tage of the fact that you are real.

Social media chan­nels are over­flow­ing with undis­ci­plined and unstruc­tured data that can ben­e­fit you and your brand in under­stand­ing the mood and intent of a global soci­ety. As a social strate­gist you need to be a tech­nol­o­gist, data sci­en­tist or have those skills and resources at your dis­posal on your social team. Your ideas, actions and strate­gies will be based on the ana­lytic insights the data pro­vides. I tend to look at data as the big cus­tomer rela­tion­ship man­age­ment (CRM) resource in the sky. An inter­est­ing point to note is what is said on the web will always be on the web. Time­lines, trend­ing rep­u­ta­tion analy­sis, gran­u­lar audi­ence seg­men­ta­tion, etc. can all be asso­ci­ated with its spe­cific set of data to pro­duce action­able results and strate­gies to deal with those results, both good and bad.

Being a social strate­gist opens doors to try just about any strat­egy you want, pro­vided you pay atten­tion to the rules above. Exper­i­men­ta­tion, dis­rup­tive inno­va­tion, crowd­sourc­ing events, agile strate­gies tied to cus­tomer mood, local­ized meet and greets ram­i­fi­ca­tion strate­gies, and just about any other “social” event is fair game. It is not the brand push­ing prod­ucts at the group; it is you, the social strate­gist, pulling in the crowd to engage oth­ers with like interests.

A great anal­ogy of the desired atmos­phere you are try­ing to cre­ate is the busi­ness of online dat­ing ser­vices. They have a boom­ing busi­ness by lever­ag­ing the key strat­egy of build­ing a people-to-people busi­ness. All they do is facil­i­tate the abil­ity for indi­vid­u­als to meet and dis­cuss likes and dis­likes. In mar­ket­ing terms, if the match is a good one, you con­vert an inquiry into a lead, a con­ver­sion and a buy­ing cus­tomer. The busi­ness model is infal­li­ble and successful.

As a brand, you are not mar­ket­ing a people-to-people rela­tion­ship per se, but you can cre­ate a people-to-people event with the brand social strate­gist as the facil­i­ta­tor guid­ing the dis­cus­sions and calls to action. The peo­ple in atten­dance will engage oth­ers in atten­dance in dis­cus­sion about what you say, result­ing in con­ver­sions. The rule is sim­ple: ordi­nary peo­ple trust the opin­ions of ordi­nary peo­ple much more than they trust brand adver­tise­ments and hard sell tactics.

I will wrap this up with a sim­ple story. I had a bad user expe­ri­ence at a pop­u­lar chain restau­rant. Two things hap­pened as a result. First, I have never gone back to the restau­rant. Sec­ond, I told all my fam­ily and friends about my bad expe­ri­ence. As a result, most of them have never gone back to the restau­rant either and view it with dis­dain. That is the fickle nature of social strat­egy and soci­ety. It only takes one seem­ingly unim­por­tant user expe­ri­ence gone bad to tear down months of work that built the brand’s rep­u­ta­tion. As a social strate­gist, you have to pay atten­tion to the small­est details when orga­niz­ing your mar­ket­ing campaigns.

Over the next few posts, I will share some of my expe­ri­ences with you along with the results obtained.

4 comments
JyotiMandal
JyotiMandal

Useful informative about social media strategy. all digital marketing related person collect their strategy.

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