Social Media - Why It's Ok Not To Have A Social Media Strategy



By Andrew Atalla

Social is the new buzz word. Everyone’s doing it, and everyone’s talking about it. Buzz Tracking, Social Media Monitoring, Perception management – it’s all big business now, with agencies popping up all over the place specialising in this market alone.

Meanwhile, marketers are running around trying to get in on the bandwagon which, without proper consideration, may not even take them anywhere.

I can just imagine the water-cooler moment with two marketing heads talking about how amazing it is that Facebook has grown so fast, before immediately deciding that they need a corporate Facebook page. A month later, they’re starting a Twitter account and presenting to their bosses about how they’re at the forefront of digital.

Fools rush in

While this ‘social media strategy’ may get them a pat on the back, it rarely results in any genuine business success, neither does it really represent any form of strategy. However, you could argue that the only thing wasted is a bit of time, so it’s not a huge problem. This is true only until we realise how significant the gain may have been – as which point the opportunity cost becomes quite significant.

The problem arises from today’s action-led corporate world, where we are obsessed with all things ‘doing’. What we’re doing, what we’ve done and what we’re going to do. As long as we’re doing, our salaries are safe.

Sit quietly and listen...

When developing a social media strategy, try a different approach. Just this one time, park being proactive and instead, realise it’s ok to not know what you’re supposed to do. Only with this mindset will you be able to extract from the new and exciting world of social media the real value. After all – this is not an arena for you to flex your corporate biceps, but rather to sit quietly. Listen. Absorb. Consider.

When search marketing started booming, it was a revolution. Representing ‘pull marketing’, search allowed companies to target active consumers who were genuinely ‘in the market’. As the consumers were in charge, they didn’t mind being fed messages by companies trying to bid for their business as they had, in fact, requested it. This happy relationship meant we could all go about our business, lining the pockets of Google.

The mindset of a social surfer is entirely different. They're not calling your customer service centre or placing an order online, they're just chatting. It just so happens that the online world is so transparent, you know exactly what they’re chatting about. Whilst the ‘doing’ urge might be strong, it would be rude to barge in.

Design a considered response

The first problem is that consumers are bored of companies trying to sway their opinion. And to be fair, you can see why, given that an average person is exposed to 1000s of marketing messages each and every day.

The second problem is that a company’s urge to ‘do something’ often results in a defensive approach, rather than a creative one. My favourite example is from EA Sports, who responded to a video posted by a customer on YouTube.

The ‘Jesus Shot’ showed Tiger Woods being able to walk on water due a bug in the PGA Tour 2008 EA Sports game. Clearly a glitch, a natural response would have been to run off and try to fix it for the next release. Perhaps communicate with the poster about the fix, send him a free game as a thankyou for his feedback, and assume you’ve correctly leveraged ‘social’ to its full potential.

EA took a different tack, using this feedback to create a reply which has now been viewed over 3 million times. Had EA not tracked the space with such an open and creative mindset, this initiative would never have occurred, and their brand would have been interacted with 3 million times less.

Let the consumers take the lead

The first thing you need to do is simply to start tracking. There are a number of paid tools you can subscribe to, although many will be too expensive for non blue chip companies. However, there are other few tools you can use, or get your agency to start tracking this for you.

At the very least, you should set up some Google Alerts for your company name, your competitors, and indeed the core terms relating to your market and offering. Make a list of some of the key sites you know where people discuss what you offer and check them regularly.

Check in on Facebook every now and then to see if there are any groups which related to what you do, hunt out relevant blogs, track the twitter space closely to get a feel for the zeitgeist of your industry – immerse yourself in your consumers.

Know your audience

With the correct systems in place, it's possible to learn more about your audience than ever before. What they like, what they hate, what they tell their friends and what they fear. Intelligent, considered and creative analysis of what you find can lead you down many a road which you had not even considered.

As I said – it’s ok to not have a social media strategy just yet. In fact, I think that’s the whole point...

About the Author: Andrew Atalla is the founder of atom42, a London online marketing agency. atom42 employs a range of marketing fields to create an integrated online marketing strategy for each of its clients.

Source: www.isnare.com
Permanent Link: https://www.isnare.com/?aid=379513&ca=Internet
Join our Facebook fan pageFollow us on TwitterWatch us on YouTubeSee us on PinterestSubscribe to our RSS news feed

Testimonials

Pro Epic's professionalism, service, and creative abilities are unequaled in my experience. Their ability to produce materials (website & brochure) presenting our company in a manner which, so accurately reflects the character of our brand is amazing. We appreciate their high standards and desire for excellence! We couldn’t be more pleased! Texas Saddlery has found a home with Pro Epic!
Rory Boren, Co-Founder, VP, CFO, Texas Saddlery
We have had so much positive response regarding our new web site! It has generated new business for us and the blogs that we are adding are driving people in that direction too. Pro Epic has done everything they said they would do, on time, on budget and the follow up afterwards has been wonderful. I have referred Pro Epic to many other clients, including the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce and everyone has been pleased.
Paul Paschall, Owner, Paschall Insurance Group, Weatherford, Texas
I want to let y’all know that we are very pleased with the website. I do appreciate the communication, training and service that was offered. Thank you very much!
Keith Harless, Manager of Engineering/Sales, Antelope Oil Tool & Mfg. Co.
Pro Epic is awesome at what they do. Give them a chance to help you grow your business.
Constance Frantz, Wright Chiropractic Health Center, Weatherford, Texas
I'm a VERY picky business owner who values communication and professional thoroughness in the companies I deal with. Pro-Epic wins hands down. If you want a website, I highly recommend this company.
Heather Wright, Owner, Wright Chiropractic Health Center, Weatherford, Texas
Pro Epic delivered a beautiful website, on time, that functions and looks just the way we wanted it to. Their personal training on how to use our website was outstanding and communication was excellent throughout the whole process. I highly recommend their services! Top qualities: Expert, Good Value, Creative
Kira Connally, Owner, Spectacles West, Weatherford, Texas
Thank you for your hard work. Mostly I notice that you really are sincere about giving your customers a Website that reflects their vision AND that your communication and efficiency is terrific. In this day and age it is unusual to find. I've enjoyed the process.
Linda Kessler, Owner, Barefeet Yoga, Mineral Wells, Texas
The folks at Pro Epic sat down with me, and listened, while I described my business; really caring about what would be the best for me. They are not just out there selling their business, but offering advise on how to bring the public to a better awareness of how I can serve them. Pro Epic is very professional, and at the same time helped me feel at ease answering all of my questions. I truly recommend their services to help you increase your business.
Teresa Gilbert, Owner, Less Stress Massage, Weatherford, Texas
Pro Epic Technology Solutions

190 N. Rambling Fork St.
Weatherford, TX 76087
Toll Free 1 (866) 580-3617