This morning, a couple of us had coffee and some OJ with the Ad Club and their three panelists talking about social media strategy: “Dunkin’” Dave Puner of Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. (@dunkindonuts), Tom Matlack, co-editor of The Good Men Project (@TMatlack) and Janet Swaysland of Monster Worldwide. Listening to these social media rock stars, I was reminded of a few fundamentals that all too often we forget:
Even the pros were once newbies.
Up until a little over a year ago, even Dunkin’ Dave was new to Twitter and Facebook and claims, of the entry into the social media space, “we knew there were conversations happening about our brand, we just didn’t know if we would be welcomed by our consumers to join the conversation.” The lesson? They were welcome and indeed it is still better to try to guide and be a part of those discussions that are happening about your brand. To date, @DunkinDonuts has gained nearly 40,000 followers on Twitter and over 950,000 Facebook fans. The other lesson? It’s natural to be hesitant, but you have to trust (Janet’s advice) that it will work if done right and know your brand (Dave’s advice) and your intentions.
Don’t forget to find your evangelists and show them some love.
Much like the problem child getting all the attention, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the negative comments – and you will hear them – from consumers instead of paying attention to the people who <3 you. Remember – your loyalists need love too, maybe even more attention than the problem child. Never forget to thank the people who share their love for your brand and remember, when things get rowdy with a negative comment or two, it’s usually your loyalists that will come to your defense.
Treat each community differently.
Streamlining is great, but remember that consumers use each of the spaces differently. Think about what you personally (not professionally) do on Facebook v. how you use Twitter v. what and how you’re really (don’t lie) watching and sharing on YouTube. Now think about your brand’s professional strategy and how you approach each of them. Are you thinking about the content you are creating (oh, and, you ARE creating content by the way) and the purpose of your brand’s use of each space? Do it.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize.
It’s easy to get excited about the ways you can use social media. OOH OOH! Customer service! Oh wait!! Recruiting! OOH we should try a direct drive to sales and share exclusive deals! Especially when getting started, be sure to prioritize and know your purpose for being there. What conversations are happening already? Are you leveraging them? Or do you want to start entirely new conversations?
ROI is tricky.
There are an abundance of ways to measure influence in social media…at AMP we call a combination of those measurements a return on engagement (ROE) or return on relationship (ROR), but a traditional ROI can be tricky – often do-able, sure, but always tricky. Plunging into social media may require a shift in economics for your marketing plan. It’s not all dollar signs, there really is a direct benefit of engaging directly with your consumers, but it may be difficult to directly measure its monetary value. Based on your goals, identify how you want to measure the effects of your brand’s presence – if your goal is customer service, then how quickly was the customer issue resolved on Twitter? How efficiently? How happy was the customer in the end? If your goal is sales, what technology are you leveraging to track this? Measurement will always be an enormous part of any social media strategy, but it’s important to understand that the way you have traditionally measured success in your other marketing plans may need a tweak or two. Trust us…if you can get your business into this new mindset, it will be worth it.