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.
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
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.
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.